Shearing The Rest of The Sheep

Ian shearing Issachar. His fleece is gorgeous.

Ian was back as planned and he finished shearing the rest of the sheep and clipping their hooves. It even stopped raining when he got to the farm.

I have to sort through the fleeces and see which ones I can keep and which are too short. Issachar and Asher both had the most beautiful fleeces, although they do have a lot of pieces of hay in them so they’ll be tough skirting.  Also, their wool was a little damp from the rain even though I put them in the barn at 11am and Ian got to the farm at 4pm.

Tomorrow the sun is going to come out and it’s supposed to be warm, so I’ll spread the damp fleeces out to dry.

Robin hiding behind his mother.

Robin was the last to be shorn.  His wool was so short I was debating whether to even shear him or not.  But I wanted to make a clean start of things since I’ll only be shearing the sheep in the spring from now on. I didn’t want Robin to go a year and a half with shearing.

When it was his turn to be shorn, he was hiding in the corner of the barn behind his mother Lori.  Kim and Merricat were also gathered around.

Sometimes when shearing a sheep, they get nicked by the clippers.  When that happens the shearer spays the cut with an anticeptic spray.  The one Ian used on Issachar for a small cut is purple.  That’s what Kim has around her eye.  She didn’t get nicked, but she rubbed up against the cut on Issachar and got some of the purple spray on her wool.

Issachar was not bothered by the small cut.  I was careful to take my earring off so he couldn’t try to eat them again, but He continued trying to eat my hat and the tops of my boots, before and after he was shorn.

Issachar after shearing

Sometimes, like the sheep themselves, I have a hard time telling them apart after their wool is gone. The sheep sniff each other to get reintroduced.   I often confuse Asher and Issachar and Suzy and Socks, especially from a distance. But Issachar has a faint white streak on his nose, Suzy has those big eyes, and the older Socks gets the more white she has on her face.

Liam, Biddy, Merricat, Issachar and Robin in the way back.

I won’t be bringing the wool to the mill till sometime in June because I’m on a six-month schedule with the Vermont Fiber Mill.  They won’t start working on my wool till July or later.  I’ll get it back as yarn and roving in September or October.

Fate is always there for shearing. Although she doesn’t really help in any tangible way, I appreciate her enthusiasm which is always infectious.

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