Spring Shearing Day

I realize I’m going to have identify which shearing day I am blogging about as two of my sheep – Marley (the Wensleydale)  and Quentin (the Karakul) – get sheared twice a year. Their wool grows really fast and I get better fleeces when they don’t get a chance to felt.

I asked Robin if Rusty, her Border Collie, had time to help move sheep prior to shearing. He was available (lucky for me) and  helped us move the sheep into the shelter (it took him all of about 2 minutes) so they would be dry for shearing. Also, it helps the shearer (and the sheep) for them not to have eaten for about 12 hours before shearing. Kathy got Paridot into the shelter at breakfast time – he usually follows her into the shelter, so that part was easy. When Robin and I arrived, we tethered him so he didn’t escape while we got the sheep in. Paridot wasn’t getting sheared but, since he is their guardian, we knew everyone would be happier if they were all in the shelter together overnight.

As usual, the rest of the flock wondered why Paridot was in there without them.

Robin created a barrier…

…while her Border Collie, Rusty, worked the flock…

…except for Marley and Sid who just went in on their own.

"I do not need a Border Collie to tell me where to go!"

All in for the night.

We took advantage of this opportunity to drench (worm) them as well.

Today, Kathy had done a lot before I got there this morning but the rams still needed to be moved from their pasture up to the barn. Kamal, the senior ram was not on board with the idea of going into the barn. Kathy tried to entice him with a little grain….

…bu he finally had to be carried into the barn.

Another ram from the lower pasture also had to be persuaded….

Boy, these rams are big!

The ewes were already in the barn waiting…

And now the rams joined them – in a separate stall, of course!

The reluctant Kamal was the first one on the shearer’s board.

Look at that wool!

The rest of the rams indicated their preference to go outside – forget about shearing.

Kathy’s new little ram lamb, Onyx, was next. 

We’re excited to get him into the flock – she should have some beautiful lambs from him! They always look so small once sheared but what a pretty head!

"I feel a little embarrassed"

Once sheared, all the rams waited to get out…

Oreo was a little confused about how to find his pasture…

But he soon joined the other rams for breakfast.

Meanwhile, my sheep waited impatiently in their shelter. Marley definitely wanted out and wanted his breakfast!

But first I moved Quentin up to the barn. He was reluctant, to put it mildly.

Marley was equally unwilling to go into the barn but a little grain made him feel more at home.

Quentin, "I can always eat off Marley's back - even here."

Marley gets sheared…

Look at that beautiful wool coming off!

Quentin was next…

It was easy to get Marley and Quentin back to their own pasture – Kathy and I just got a few flakes of hay and they willingly followed us back up there.

Quentin was a little confused…

But happy to be back with his Jacob buddies, who won’t get sheared until November.

"You won't believe what just happened to me!"

Everyone was happy to see breakfast after a stressful morning…

But no one was happier than Marley to start his day of eating!

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 6:42 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I want a ‘Marley’! He is so funny 🙂 Great pictures and it was fun to see the karakuls sheared and to see why they are classified as a ‘fat tailed’ breed. I love their droopy ears.

    • Marley is mostly great. It has been a challenge to learn to handle such a big guy but I am gaining some confidence. He’s fine as long as he gets what he wants – which is usually just food!

  2. I enjoy reading your translation of what your sheep are saying. You have mastered baaa-speak.

  3. How much did Marley’s fleece weigh?

    • Hi Chris, I haven’t weighed it yet but last time he was about 4 lbs (remember, he gets sheared twice a year). I just read an article with wool washing suggestions – using a lingerie mesh bag will help keep Marley’s fleece together better through the wash process this time!

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