Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Shearing Your Own Sheep





We hire a sheep shearer to come and shear our sheep every year. But there are times when we have to shear a sheep.

This past weekend we purchased two ewes, who had not been sheared this year. Shearing sheep is not my favorite thing to do, but we have done it and can manage a couple of ewes.

To shear your own sheep you need shears. We have several types, some are better for clipping show lambs, but we do have shears that work for shearing a sheep in full fleece. There are hand shears as well, that are a cheaper alternative to buying shears, but are more of a workout for your hands.

We have a sheep stand that gets used when we are shearing show lambs. They are "trained" to the stand. These two ewes are more like our sheep in the pasture, they were NOT going to just stand there and let us remove their wool without some serious protest. So, we pulled out a tarp and on their bottoms they went.

Mike has taken a sheep shearing class, we have watched our shearer for years but that doesn't qualify us as a sheep shearers. One thing you learn really quick as you are trying to shear your own,  it is harder than it looks.

The first ewe we did was the yearling who had never been sheared before. Why not pick the most challenging one first? There were three of us, we could handle it!  When you place a sheep on their bottom, somethings happens-they sit there! They stop fighting, moving, and trying to flee.  The challenge is to keep them there and shear at the same time. As I mentioned before, there were three of us, so it wasn't as challenging as it would be for one person, with not much experience working on their own.

We  She survived her first shearing


What takes our shearer 3 minutes, took us about 20. Her wool clip was very long and it was not easy to get through. The second ewe had a much lighter fleece, and it only took us about 10 minutes.

Lovely BFL/BL locks


What are the pros of shearing your own sheep?

If you only have a few sheep, it can be difficult to find a shearer willing to come out and shear your sheep.

If you plan on keeping your wool, you can take your time and make sure there are no second cuts etc. Shearers are not always concerned about the wool clip.

You don't have to pay a shearer. You will have to buy the equipment to do you own, but if you decide on hand shearers, the investment is minimal.

You can work around your own schedule, working on one or two sheep at a time.

Cons?

Unless you are as good as the sheep shearer, it takes a lot more time.

I find it is more stressful on the sheep when we do it. There is a art to moving the sheep as you are shearing to keeps them calm.

It does cost money to hire a sheep shearer, but I think it is worth every penny.

7 Year old gave us a much easier time of it.



If you have a desire to shear sheep, practice makes perfect! There are classes you can take, and videos you can watch. You may even get good enough to make money on the side, shearing for others.

I will continue to hire a sheep shearer every year,  but it is a job that we have to do ourselves, on occasion



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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Hop #53



Welcome to the Hop!

What have you been up to this Spring?
I look forward to your Homesteading, Homemaking and Homeschooling post.




Most Visited & Featured Post from Last Week




Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.



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Monday, May 23, 2016

Pasture Happenings-Lambs Everywhere



This is the best time of year to live on a sheep farm. 





Lambs Everywhere!



We have two bottle lambs this year, mom just wasn't giving them enough. They come a running every time they see us, 
just in case we may have a bottle. They are both ewe lambs, so the girls are excited that we will be keeping them. It is hard to sell those bottle babies, they get so attached.


Newest Lamb, Romney Border Leicester cross.


It has been a cold spring, I  was beginning to wonder if the grass was ever going to green up and grow.  Delaney took advantage of the nice weather and spent some of her weekend in the pasture taking pictures.



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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #52




Welcome to the Hop!

Getting to the end of our lambing season. (finally)
Baby goats arrived this week. 

I have been working on a farm website. It is a work in progress.

What have you been up to this Spring?
I look forward to your Homesteading, Homemaking and Homeschooling post.




Most Visited Post from Last Week

10 Things You Should Never Throw Away
Our Simple Homestead






Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.




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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

We Have Baby Goats

Two of our does kidded yesterday,giving us two sets of twins. The other two does look like they could kid any day.

We have used Oberhasli or Toggenburg bucks in the past, but this year we did not have a buck on the farm, With only four does to breed, and knowing we were not going to keep any of the kids this year, we decided to use a stud service, a Boer Buck that belongs to a neighboring farm.

With the Boer cross you never quite know what to expect when the kids come, it's a surprise!
Out of the four we have now, no two look alike.

Here are Delilah's twins, two doe kids.




I don't have any good pictures of Sophie's kids yet. She was put in the barn before she kidded (cold and rainy) and you can't get a decent picture in there, due to lighting.

The kids stay with their moms, no bottle babies for us. My life is too busy for twice a day milking, Keeping the kids with the dams make it possible for us to keep goats and have milk. I will start milking the does in a few weeks. I look forward to yogurt, Chevre and ice cream.

The girls love having baby goats on the farm.  I am having a hard time convincing them that we are not keeping any this year. (Waaaaaaaah)


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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #51



Welcome to the Hop!

We are still waiting on 5 ewes to lamb, I am not sure what they are waiting for...
 lambing is usually wrapped up in about 4 weeks time.
I am still working through fleeces. 
Skirting
Washing
Picking 
Carding

I have been working on a farm website. It is a work in progress.

The one thing I have not been doing is blogging. 
I hope to be able to get back to a regular schedule within the next couple of weeks.
What have you been up to this Spring?
I hope you share your Homesteading, Homemaking and Homeschooling post with us this week.



Featured Post



Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.









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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #50





Welcome to the Hop!
It has been busy with lambing season. We are still waiting on a few ewes. 
Life should slow down a little after that...



Most Visited Post



Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.




Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop


Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.




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