Monday, March 27, 2017

Shearing Day 2017

Waiting in line for her turn to get her yearly hair wool cut.


After rescheduling twice due to rain, we finally were able to get the sheep sheared. 

I was a little apprehensive this year about shearing since the sheep shearer we have used for many years, decided to "retire".  Our shearer this year was a local Amish man, who raises sheep as well. I am happy to say, that he did a great job.

We spend the previous day getting ready. Setting up gates, chutes, and gathering supplies. After many years of doing this, we have a pretty good system worked out. 

We split the sheep up into two groups, last years lambs were first to get sheared. 




The aged ewes were next, they have been through this before and behave pretty well. While they are waiting in line, we give them dewormer, and check their hooves.
 The hooves get trimmed if needed. 












Next-shearing

Tunis Ewe being sheared 


Tunis Fleece



 After the sheep are sheared, the fleece gets put on skirting table.



Border Leicester Fleece





Skirted fleece gets put in bag and labeled with breed and the sheep's ear tag number.





 Waste wool gets taken over to the woods and dumped out.







When the sheep are sheared, we get a better idea of what kind of body condition they are in. The wool hides a lot! Some of the sheep were not in the condition we like to see them in, so we are adding more grain to their daily diet.
We also could see which ewes were developing udders, getting ready to lamb. Two big reasons we like to shear before lambing.


44 fleeces bagged and tagged, that should keep me busy for a while! 




 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

14 comments:

  1. Yes, we run into the body condition issue as well, although we've usually lambed by then, so we have to take that into account. But it's great afterwards because you can see who's picking up like they need to and who might still be lagging behind. We always expect them to be slim after lambing and nursing twins, even on hay and grain. But they should catch up quickly once the grass comes in and be fat all summer. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the ewes were not too bad, the lambs were the ones that did not have the body condition we would have liked to see. I think we need to shear our lambs in the fall.

      Delete
  2. Love to see a great set up like yours. One of the farms I work for shears the breeding ewes in the fall, mostly because they are used for a dog trial, but also, as the winter goes on, you can easily monitor body condition and udders... Of course we don't live in Michigan ;-).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have done fall shearing on on occasion. They are the nicest fleeces.

      Delete
  3. Very interesting post, Sandra. Great photos, and I'd love to have watched the process. So interesting... Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is one big process, but looks like it's worth it. Thanks for sharing the "how-to" on this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a big process, but we have a lot of help and it goes quickly! Thankfully, it is just once a year :)

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing - loved it. I always wanted Tunis sheep - but, while in 4-H the girls stuck with market lambs - suffolk cross.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Haha - it sounds like I need to develop a wool fleece of my own. It might hide MY body issues! ;) I'm glad everything went well with the new guy, and that your weather finally cooperated. Good luck with the fore-coming lambing season!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Thanks!! We had our first lambs a few days after lambing.

      Delete
  7. Great post! I wonder what it would be like to have a sheep or two. Then again, I wonder is they would like the hair cut that I give them. Have you ever been tempted to give one a hat or rabbit ears? Perhaps a Mohawk. Maybe this is why I am not allowed to volunteer at the local farms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) haha, I think a mohawk would be great on our Romneys!

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by the farm!

We appreciate your comments!

Related Post

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...