The sheep often find themselves in strange positions when getting shorn. Sometimes they just look like a lump of wool.
When sheep are sat up or laid on their backs, they go limp. Most of ours stay that way till the shear is done and lets them up. Rosemary, Izzy, Pumpkin or Liam will sometimes give the shearer trouble, trying to get back on their feet again. But Biddy and Sock didn’t give Liz and Ian any trouble.
When the sheep are being shorn the other sheep mostly stay in one corner. Red holds them there. Fate hangs around, Jon takes pictures. I take pictures too and gather the wool in separate plastic bags, writing each sheep’s name on each bag.
Next Jon and I will skirt the wool, which means picking all the large pieces of organic debris from the fleece (like hay and sticks). Then I’ll figure out what I’ll do with the wool. Which fleeces I’ll mix, which I’ll dye and which I’ll keep natural.
After that Jon and I will drive to Brandon Vermont and drop to wool off at The Vermont Fiber Mill to be processed. I’ll get the wool back sometime in the fall and sell it in my Etsy Shop then.
Our Shearer Liz Willis brought some help with her today.
Ian is the grandson of Jim McRae, who used to be our shearer. When she was 8 years old Jim taught Liz to shear sheep. That was when she began her own flock of sheep too. Now Liz has taken over for Jim after he retired and Ian is helping Liz.
Liz not only shears the sheep, but she clips and checks their hooves and the teeth of the older sheep. Griselle has been limping for a few days and Liz found a but of an infection in one of her hooves. She trimmed the hoof back and we sprayed it with peroxide. She said Griselle would limp for a few days but would heal.
Zelda and Griselle are both too skinny. They are both old, Zelda at least nine or ten. Griselle still has all her teeth, but Zelda only has a couple of front teeth left. That means she had a hard time eating hay and grass.
We’ll feed them both grain. Griselle should gain some weight back, but it will be harder for Zelda without her teeth. I’m thinking that after this summer it will be best to put Zelda down before the winter comes. I certainly don’t want her starving to death or suffering unnecessarily.
Both Jon and Liz agreed that it would be best for her. I’ll see what feels right when the winter comes.
All the other sheep are healthy and have grown some beautiful wool.
I’ll post more pictures and video later today and tomorrow.
We sat in Jon’s study listening to our fourth podcast we had just made.
Red was there the whole time, but Bud jumped onto Jon’s lap and Fate came in to see what was going on.
We don’t have a podcast schedule. So far we’re just making them when we feel like it. And we don’t even officially have a podcast yet. We’re still in the process of having all the technical stuff done so that it’s easy to listen to and people can get it where they get other podcasts.
We decided on having a recording of our donkey Simon braying in the beginning instead of music. On the podcast we did today, I played a video of Simon before our introduction and we talked a little about Simon.
Once again the conversation seemed to flow.
I have a habit of moving around when I talk (my hands are taking as much as I am) so sometimes my voice gets louder and lower. I’ll have to get used to not moving around so much, I’ll never not talk with my hands, but that doesn’t matter on a podcast.
Jon has so much more experience with this kind of thing, having been in TV and interviewed over the years on radio and TV, that I could get overly critical of myself and my inexperience. I suppose Jon could too, but he doesn’t.
He thinks what we’re doing is great just the way it is. And I don’t want to over think it either. That part’s about being comfortable with and accepting with who I am.
So here it is, the fourth podcast of Katz n Wulf On Bedlam Farm…
Fanny and Lulu have been doing this thing lately where they chase the sheep away from their feeder, pull the hay onto the ground and eat it.
When the sheep try to get close, they turn their backs to them as if to kick (I’ve actually only seen the donkeys kick up their back legs when they get Donkey Madness, often in the spring and summer and chase each other around the pasture).
So the sheep go to the donkey feeder to eat. But I put less hay in the donkey feeder so then I have to move the hay from the sheep feeder to the donkey feeder.
I don’t know why Fanny and Lulu are doing this now, but the grass it starting to turn green and grow, so soon I won’t be feeding them hay anymore and the problem will go away.
Poor Fate, there’s nothing worse for her then when someone is in the barnyard with the sheep and she’s on the other side of the gate.
But she cut a pad on her right front foot and we’re trying to keep her from running so it can heal. She spent most of the past two days in her crate, but we bring her out to sheep at feeding time so she can feel like she’s working a little.
Jon brought her into the barnyard for a while, but it’s almost impossible for her to just lay down and not run.
I’ve been rinsing her foot with warm water and spraying it with peroxide to keep it clean. There’s not much else to do for it. Mostly, she just has to rest it so it can heal.
It seems like she was just here, but it was six months ago. I love to watch Liz work because she does such a good job and the sheep are so calm around her. This time all the sheep are getting shorn. I’ll dye some of it and leave some natural.
I’ll get the wool back from the Vermont Fiber Mill in the fall, around the time to have the sheep shorn again.
I threw the Vintage Hankie Scarf that I made for myself years ago around my neck this morning. It was the perfect day for it. A little damp and chilly from the spring rain, but too warm for a winter scarf.
It was also the perfect day to make Vintage Hankie Scarves. I needed all those cheery colors, cat and dog hankies and flowers on this gloomy day.
It took me a couple of hours to wash and iron all the hankies, but I was able to make 4 Vintage Hankie Scarves today. Three of them have cats and dogs on them (the one I showed in my video earlier is already sold) and one has flowers and leaves.
My Vintage Hankie Scarves are $50 each + $5 shipping no matter how many you buy. You can see them (front and back) and buy them in my Etsy Shop just click here or on the Shop Etsy button below.
After I took this video I watched as two geese tried to land in the pasture where Bud chased our Canada Goose couple. They had a brawl, on the ground then in the air, honking and flapping their wings at each other. It was like a dogfight scene from one of those movies about WWI.