Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I Sheared the Sheep......or not....

I went to shear the sheep. I meant to shear the sheep but didn't actually get to touch a sheep. Now before you feel sorry for me let me say after I watched my BIL do it I was not eagerly jumping in there.

BIL works on Ram with electric horse shears, Cherie holds the cord out of the way, DD2 watches, but where am I?

He started with the most desperate case, a 235 lb ram that had not been sheared in 2 years, poor thing. He looked like he was being choked by his own fleece. That is the way he recently came to BIL who keeps sheep for food, not fleece. He only shears them because it is humane to do so.

Who is that in the funky, painty pants and red sweat shirt standing by?

Even though he used the electric trimmers it still took about 20 mins. Why isn't there a professional doing this? There isn't one available. There used to be one in the area but he moved to New Zealand 2 years ago.

Oh ya, that's me.

Cherie could hardly wait to get the shears in her hand. BIL suggested not using the electric ones so we could get a longer fiber. This is the yearling. Her fleece is a lot cleaner than the rams.

Almost done. That is BIL holding her between his legs. Sheep cannot be on their side for too long. They have difficulty breathing in that position. BIL did manage to get the sheep in the proper shearing position , sitting up on their bums, but they didn't stay there. This is A LOT more difficult than it looks.

Cherie and BIL switched places to get the job done.

Hold on there sweety! Just a few more snips.

All Done! Back with baby.

Who's next? Actually we will be back in a week or two to finish the job. I promise I will be more proactive and get in there.

When all was said and done BIL fixed us a great supper of BBQ lamb chops and mutton steak. Thanks Cherie for pushing me into this learning experience. Maybe I should hold that thanks until I try cleaning the stinky fleece in the van. More to come .......anyone out there know how to clean a fleece? It's like talking to a wall.
It's official. I'm great at standing around while others work, but then you already knew that.


Anonymous said...

I have a link to how to clean the fleece, but I have to rush to work. I am getting several bags of fleece from a friend next week and will be doing the same. I'll get that link to you before you actually have to clean the fleece.

My email: slundqu000(at)aol(dot)com

Kellie said...

Hey! I have a reader. Hi Sheila! Thanks for any help you could offer.
I have tried cleaning, some is drying now on a sweater rack with the fan blowing right behind me.

I'm so thrilled! Thanks for commenting. Will you be my friend? Is that too desperate?

Amelia, belle of The Bellwether said...

That was a great set of photos of the shearing :-) and you already found my skirting, washing, etc. fleece instructions, right? They're on my blog, Now, for sheep shearing, try YouTube -- but you won't find me there, I have Soays, and you pluck them (yep, pluck! hehehehehe just like overgrown angora rabbits)

Kellie said...

YouTube! what a great idea. why didn't i think of that? thanks amelia! yes i have found your site. I have read a lot of it and will refer to it often. I will be posting soon about my cleaning adventures.


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