Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Shearing day - Jen

Our shearer from Minnesota arrived in NY ahead of schedule, so we had him over Monday vs. our original plan of Thursday. I had to make a few frantic phone calls and scramble to the hardware store for bags and cords, but we were ready when he pulled in the driveway. We are similar to other shetland breeders I've read, shearing is a nerve wracking, exhausting and stressful day that you really just want to be over with. So we were glad to have him 3 days early.

We use Jake Sirek, he is very careful, and provided the rise is right, does a good job of preserving the fleece. We had a lot of inexperienced lambs this year, and as usual, the lambs seem to object a little more strenuously than the more seasoned veterans. It seemed to help if Rich or I held the back legs so the lamb couldn't kick herself into a fury. We found that quite a few of the lambs fleeces were resistant to the shears, but as as I said above, its over and we are glad of that!

Did anyone else look at this photo and wonder why Doris (my mother) is helping with shearing? ... She wasn't there, but for a split second when I first looked at it, I was all, "What the...oh, its me."

Jake does the feet on all the sheep for us, which is a terrific bonus.

Jake surveys his work. I get the feeling the rams feel a little emasculated without the added bulk of their beautiful fleeces!!

The final bounty, now its time to get to work! My friend and fellow Shetland breeder Linda Geiger laid down the gauntlet yesterday, questioning whether I will be able to process and spin all these fleeces myself. So, those of you who know me and are now rolling your eyes, yes, well, its all Linda's fault that I must refuse all social invitations and volunteer opportunities, as I am now forced to toil away like Rapunzel in order to get these done by next year on this day, 3/25/09.


Katie said...

Well...it was nice knowing ya!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

If you want to get out of the challenge, you could tell yourself that it would be downright GREEDY to keep all those nice fleeces to yourself, and that you really ought to share some. :-) I hope none of your sheep were damaged during shearing!