I didn’t expect to be shearing a sheep today. Actually I never expected to shear a sheep. But when we got to Donna’s farm to help her round up the Romney we’d be taking back to Bedlam Farm, Donna, said she wanted to clean her up first.
We called her Rosemary, and Red, with Jon’s direction rounded her up so Donna could slip a lead rope around her neck.
Soon with help from some of Donna’s friends, we had her on the ground and the shearing began. I was just watching until, Treasure, who was using the buzzer got up to stretch her back. Donna handed me the buzzer, told me how to use it and I continued cutting the matted wool, cover in feces, from Rosemary’s hind quarters. There was so much wool and it was so thick we didn’t know if Rosemary had a tail or not.
(we carefully discovered her tail was docked)
Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t doing the work a professional Shearer would. I was just hacking off the dirty, matted wool as best as I could, being careful not to buzz too close to the skin. When Treasure came back, I took the scissors and cut the wool around her face. While Donna practically sat on Rosemary, Treasure buzzed and I clipped.
When I thought about it afterwards it was surprising to me how smoothly it went. I’ve only met Donna and Treasure a couple of times, yet we worked together as if were old friends. There was no tension, everyone just trusting each other to do their job. And we all did.
It’s not the best shearing job I’ve ever seen, but we got the worst of the wool off of Rosemary. Then we walked her out to the car, picked her up and put her in.
Unlike Izzy there was nothing to salvage of her wool. ( I’ll won’t get Izzy’s wool back till next spring) We’ll get her shorn again in the fall when we have the rest of the sheep done. So I won’t have her wool till next fall. From what I could see of the wool closest to her body, I know it’s going to be beautiful.
Once at Bedlam Farm, Rosemary jumped out of the car and found her new flock. She’s been baaing on and off, more than Izzy did. Maybe looking for her old friends. But she’s hanging around with Izzy and surprisingly, with Chloe too.
Rosemary has a presence about her. She holds her head high and chest out and struts around. I told her I thought she would like it here, once she got used to it.
6 thoughts on “Rosemary, Another Romney, Comes to Bedlam Farm”
I WAS going to tell you how you could have gently washed Rosemary’s fleece…until I saw the photo of her on Jon’s page. OMG, what a mess!! Too bad the fleece had to be trashed; Romney fleeces have incredble crimp and lustre. I learned that their wool is used a lot in sock making, particularly for the toes and heels of socks, because it’s so strong. So the spinners who buy your wool will be happy!
Yes, Bridgett and there is a beautiful crimp to Rosemary’s wool. I didn’t know that about making socks, but it makes sense.
Correction- spinners AND knitters (I need to teach myself how to knit socks..)
Maria, thank you for this very interesting time with the new sheep. I do not remember being so engrossed in a procedure to clean up animals long neglected. I am certain that both Izzy and Rosemary appreciate the effort as I commend you for your concern. Wonderful story and again thank you for such a great post.
Just so relieved that Rosemary is going to have such a beautiful existence in the shelter of Bedlam farm. Thanks for the report of how she was rescued, how funny to see her looking out the Subaru window! Forgive me for asking a silly question but I don’t know these things… Can sheep be given a hosing down? Is this something they’d ” enjoy”? Just to have all that wool off of her brings out her beauty. In the summer’s heat, i don’t know how sheep even endure it ,because I sure wouldn’t want a wool sweater on…
HI Bobbie, Wool being somewhat water repellent and all that lanolin in it, a hosing down wouldn’t affect a sheep much. And I know they wouldn’t stand for it. The wool does also insulate so what’s on her now will help keep her cool.