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The “no guilt” early shearing

15 Feb

 

Antonio and the unshorn ewes

Antonio and the unshorn ewes

In mid-winter, we shear the ewes that are going to lamb in March. When it goes well, we even shear before lambing starts!  We do this for several reasons. Even though it seems early to shear, all goes better if the wool is off before the first lambs hit the ground. We raise our own bucks, which means that in order for them to be “of age”–at least some of them, by next winter, late winter/early spring is the time to be born. It is important for the ewes to be out of the wool for a couple of reasons. In cold weather, if the ewe is not cold, it doesn’t occur to her that her lambs might be cold and she should seek shelter. And when those lambs are looking for nourishment, it is helpful if tags of wool are not hanging down in strategic locations. Anyway, thanks to Cliff and Donna of Hoopes Shearing, we have spent two days shearing the early lambing ewes and the mature bucks. What did the bucks do wrong, you might ask? Well, then we don’t have to figure out how to get them staged for the main shearing in April (April, right Cliff and Donna?).

Often, well actually, always except for this year, it is pretty cold in mid-February and we feel guilty removing wool coats from the sheep while we are all wooled up in sweaters and long underwear. I don’t know if we have weather or climate change to thank, or blame, but this week, we had ideal shearing weather–not too cold, not too warm–Goldilocks Weather.

We do have a few lambs on the ground, due to errant buck lambs–born last March–you get the picture.

Sorry, but it was too dark in the shed to get shearing shots!

unshorn ewes, Brittany, Gyp, Antonio, shorn ewes--in that order

unshorn ewes, Brittany, Gyp, Antonio, shorn ewes–in that order

free at last!

free at last!

 

 

Rambouillet ewes, after the blade

Rambouillet ewes, after the blade

Sharon, working the pink chute

Sharon, working the pink chute

Donna loading fleeces into the brand new packer

Donna loading fleeces into the brand new packer

 

which has a few glitches...Antonio and Oscar pushing out the first bales

which has a few glitches…Antonio and Oscar pushing out the first bales

Justin, who keep the wool packer working!

 

 

 

 

 

Maeve and Seamus checking out the new bales

Maeve and Seamus checking out the new bales

Siobhan trying to push her siblings off the wool bale

Siobhan trying to push her siblings off the wool bale

Seamus and Maeve dueling with livestock working sticks

Seamus and Maeve dueling with livestock working sticks

brands of growers on the side of the purple Hoopes Shed (with lime green accents and the pink chute)

brands of growers on the side of the purple Hoopes Shed (with lime green accents and the pink chute)

Pat through the chute

Pat through the chute

ewe, ready to lamb

ewe, ready to lamb

before

before

during

during

shorn Rambouillet bucks

after

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One response to “The “no guilt” early shearing

  1. Jordan

    February 20, 2015 at 8:34 AM

    Great pics! I had no idea ewes might not realize their lambs might be cold if they’re not cold themselves.

     

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