Shearing Day

That's Deb under that coat of wool.
That’s Deb under that coat of wool.

Our shearers Jim and Liz showed up just as Jon and I were digging up the Dahlia’s for the winter and Tyler was raking leaves.   Deb and Zelda were the first to get shorn.  Zelda, of course, gave Jim a hard time,  but  Deb was pretty easy.  Liz, did a great job with Deb considering it was her first time being shorn.

Liz and Tyler with Suzy
Liz and Tyler with Suzy

I handed Tyler,  plastic bags  and name tags and while I bagged the wool from the sheep Jim sheared, Tyler bagged the wool from the sheep that Liz sheared.  Some of the wool gets tossed, mostly the stuff from their heads and around their bellies and rear, because it’s so dirty.  Tyler was quick to learn what to keep and which part of the fleece to throw away.

Ma, Deb and Red
Ma, Deb and Red

Deb ran straight to Ma once she was  shorn and her hoofs trimmed.  Ma was standing by herself in a corner of the barn ( she’s been doing a lot of this lately, going off on her own) and  having her an Deb separated from the rest of the sheep did not make Red happy.

That's Kim, Liam, Zelda, Socks and Suzy ready to get back to the pasture while the Donkeys check them out without their wool coats.
That’s Kim, Liam, Zelda, Socks and Suzy ready to get back to the pasture while the Donkeys check them out without their wool coats.

Both Liam and Pumkin gave Jim  a hard time.  They were difficult to catch and wouldn’t settle down during the shearing.  They were kicking and in constant motion.  All the other sheep, including Zelda, become docile as soon as they were turned on their backs.  But even though they’re wethers (neutered males) I worry as they grow bigger that they may be even more difficult to handle.  They’re fast and strong and can easily hurt someone. I know I couldn’t catch and hold onto one of them by myself.  While I was watching them kick and thrash around as Jim tried to hold and calm them to be shorn and have their hooves trimmed, I was thinking it might be best to give them away.  We know a sheep farmer who would take them.  But then, when Socks was being shorn, Pumpkin was calling out to her.  He seemed like a little lamb again.  And he has such a sweet and gentle baa. I also think he has some really nice wool.

rainbow over bedlamAfter the shearing was all done,  the dahlia’s dug up and stored in baskets in the basement, leaves raked, and manure spread around the flower beds,  a rainbow arched over the farm.  It seemed a promising way to end the day.

7 thoughts on “Shearing Day

  1. Maria, have you sold the wool yet! I’d be delighted if I could purchase some from you and your sheep. Please let me know when you get a minute. Thanks much – take care, Kate in Bend, OR

  2. Maria,

    I hope you have a chance to see Beasts of the Southern Wild. Amazing movie of those living on the fringes determined to protect their rights to be on the outside of convention. Your reflections today about your feelings about making a quilt made me think you would be moved by this movie.

    And a rainbow to end your day! What a blessing to receive this beautiful image of good things to come.

    How traumatizing to be shaved of one’s outer coat. Sheep are more resilient than most humans who would lose their identity when they lost their outer coat. I would go undercover and wait for it to grow back before surfacing again to walk main street.


    1. The sheep seem to be lighter for it Ellie. although I do think they have a bit of a hard time recognizing each other at first. I’ll look into the movie you mentioned thanks.

  3. Oh how I hope you give it a bit of time before you decide about Liam and Pumkin. Did you shear Ma or let her sit this one out?
    Cindy 🙂

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