Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shearing time

On Sunday, February 1st, our shearer, David Hinman, came to the farm to shear our 25 sheep. We shear in order of color, white first and then continuing on the other colors until we're down to black. Here are a few pictures of the shearing day. All pictures are courtesy of Bryn's DH, Nick. Thanks so much! I tried getting the video camera to work, but it really takes better videos if you hit record! Can you tell I don't use it much?? We'll Nick saved my bacon and allowed me to have some pictures to share with you all.
Sabrina being sheared. She was the second to be done.
One of my kat twins with a good shot of David. He was concerned that the video camera was going to point at his rear end, so now he can breathe a sigh of relief.

Viveka coming through the door. Good to see the wool off of them as she and her twin, Rakel were rubbing against the doorway in their pen every time they would go through. Add a bit of snow and they made a horrible scratchy sound.

Here's a shot of Minard (red - in front) with Pat getting the fleece ready to be bundled and Oren in the blue coat. I have them bundle my fleeces in bed sheets and I then skirt and figure out what happens with them later. Minard pitched in and helped by taking the fleeces over to Pat and Oren to bundle. This was his first time seeing sheep being sheared and when we were done, he took some of the belly wool to take into his kindergarten class for show and tell.
This is Balder waiting his turn to be sheared.

Here's another shot where you can see Oren in the background while Mulan, I believe, is being sheared.
After they get sheared, each one gets a coat on them. This shot shows Arcturus (blue snuggly) and Wilkins (rust snuggly). You can see that they weren't all done as Gulliver's toosh is still looking very wooly! Some tend to shrug off their snugglies after a little bit, but some stayed on for a while.

This picture shows David shearing a lamb with Ruth (in the pink shirt) and I'm next to her in the elf/hershey kiss hat. Ruth and my job is to get the sheared sheep and put the snugglies on them and then take them out back to be put back in their pens.

We keep them indoors for a good solid week, then remove any snugglies that have stayed on and then normally another week to "harden them off". Then they're released to the elements. This time, Tim was chomping at the bit and they went outside a few days earlier than I was figuring. The girls had fun running and cavorting like lambs. You can see some baby bellies now. April here we come!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We'll miss you, Wilkins

Today is a sad day. Wilkins has passed away. He was born in 2001 and I was fortunate to have purchased him from Nadine Chounet back in 2005. For those who've never met him, he was a wonderful ram. He was very gentle and was a great way for me to get used to rams, even though in the beginning I was very nervous about his size. He was very good about not letting one ram pick on another by either stepping in the way or just pushing the "bad boy" out of the way. He was VERY good about converting poor quality hay into a "beer gut"!

I think he was taken out by one of the yearlings that was trying to establish dominance. I've called the Federal Vet to report the death and may have to call the local vet for necropsy sampling to be done. Yipee.
I know that he's now frolicking around the fields just beyond the rainbow bridge and looking for all the ewes he can find.
I'll post tomorrow or another day soon about the shearing that happened on February 1st. Just got the pictures yesterday evening.