A Successful Shearing

05 May

shearing underway

2021 shearing went very well. Roland Montemayor’s crew showed up with plenty of shearers and wool handlers, good equipment and on time. The Montemayor crew has sheared for us for several years. We try to shear two weeks or so ahead of lambing, which is easier on the ewes and the shearers, and allows time for the ewes to trail on to the lambing grounds ten pounds lighter.

My only complaint was the howling wind for the first two and a half days. The winds were so strong on the third day that it was blowing the fleeces away. As Meghan pointed out, “The point is to get the wool into the bags.” We called it a day after lunch. We have shut down shearing many times due to weather, but this is the first time we’ve stopped because of high winds. Finally the weather settled down and we were able to finish all the sheep–pregnant ewes, yearlings, the early lambers and the bucks. Roland’s crew moved on and sheared sheep for a couple of our neighbors. Shearing is one of the very most important things we do all year, and it is one which we have little control over since there are so many factors that come into play. Thank you, Roland, Ciro and crew for your good work!

early morning–waiting to get started\

wooly ewes waiting their turn

the first shorn sheep

shearer at work

Tiarnan, Guillermo and Anthony on deck

Siobhan at the chute


packing the wool

wool handler on the run

packing the fleeces into the tromper

guard dog supervising

Thomasa–former bum lamb and newly sheared lead sheep

Pepe processing sheep

lunch line


top hand Julio


Badwater base camp


view through the hatch

shorn ewes: free at last!

Pat and Roland

ewes through the shearing shed


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7 responses to “A Successful Shearing

  1. Martha Kennedy

    May 6, 2021 at 12:33 PM

    I love all these photos. Makes my hand itch to draw them. I love the black sheep in front of the white herd.

    • Ladder Ranch

      May 6, 2021 at 10:38 PM

      Thomasa was Pepe’s pet orphan lamb two years ago–now all grown up!

  2. murisopsis

    May 6, 2021 at 10:10 PM

    Love the photos of the shearing process! How do they treat any cuts? I remember a farmer that would slap tar on any cuts…

  3. Ladder Ranch

    May 6, 2021 at 10:37 PM

    We saw very few cuts. If it’s needed, we spray a veterinary treatment for cuts on the wound.

  4. dcat3r

    June 19, 2021 at 2:09 PM

    I enjoy your monthly RAM-BLINGS in the Shepherd Magazine. I saw the photos of the shearing there as well as here. Thanks, always for your insights and experience. It’s among the first thing I look for when the magazine arrives each month.

    • Ladder Ranch

      July 29, 2021 at 9:27 PM

      Thanks for the kind words!


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