Spring Shearing 2009…

Icelandic Sheep Fleece

Icelandic Sheep Fleece

We had a busy but fun day I am happy to report!  We were able to work all the sheep today and get everyone up to date with vaccines, hooves trimmed, wormed and most importantly…sheared!  The last couple of weeks we have had temperatures up in the 80’s making the sheep miserable in their old hot winter fleeces.  Icelandic sheep have a naturally occurring wool break in the spring and then they start regrowing in beautiful fleeces that grow all summer and then are shorn in the fall when they come off of pasture but before we start to feed hay (that can make fleeces become full of vegetative matter).  If they are not shorn in the Spring the new wool and old wool can become tangled together and then start to felt making the wool a mess.  We had a couple of sheep that had had their wool break early this Spring and their old wool had fallen out over the course of the season except in a few spots that we were able to comb out.  We were a little late getting spring shearing done this year as it is normally done before ewes lamb, but we had such a cold spring and then we were in the thick of lambing by the time it started to warm up.  It seems it’s sort of debatable as to whether shearing too close to a ewe lambing and having a the lamb(s) be  malpresented, so  we decided to wait until today even though we still have one ewe that still needs to lamb.  We were afraid we might not get to shear today as the temps. have dropped again and we had 2/10th’s of an inch of rain last night and the barn has a few leaky spots in it, but when we looked the sheep over this morning everyone was nice and dry.  We were suppose to get rain today too, but it has held out all day and we just had breezy cool day.  We (Mark, Sawyer and I) were able to trim hooves, vaccinate and worm everyone this morning and then Jason showed up this afternoon and just blew through the sheep without any problems (besides wiggly sheep!)  We are very blessed to have the best sheep shearer around to shear for us and be a wonderful uncle to our children and is just generally a great guy.  My mom was also able to show up and helped watch kids and brought us lunchand helped put supper on, and my dad came over after he was done with work to help too.   Here are some pictures from the happeningss around the barn today…

Before...

Before...

All waiting their turns...

All waiting their turns...

Shearing
Tori helping bag fleeces...

Tori helping bag fleeces...

Watching...

Watching...

Teigen shooting the sheep!

Teigen shooting the sheep!

Black sheep
Maddie and Hayden watching...

Maddie and Hayden watching...

A wooly Dyr getting her turn

A woolly Dyr getting her turn

Dyr almost done...

Dyr almost done...

Dyr done!

Dyr done!

Ram-bo getting his turn...

Ram-bo getting his turn...

All Done...

All Done...

All the little boys watching...

All the little boys watching...

The pregnant ewe...

The pregnant ewe...

Don't ya love how he gets it to all come off in one solid piece?

Don't ya love how he gets it to all come off in one solid piece?

In one big piece...

In one big piece...

Everyone back out on pasture after a busy day!

Everyone back out on pasture after a busy day!

We even had a Sandhill Crane fly over!  I love how they look they look like dinosaurs flying over!

We even had a Blue Heron fly over! I love how they look they look like dinosaurs flying over!

When they’re done being sheared we were able to get a good look at everyone and see what their condition looked like and everyone looked to be pretty good.  It’s always neat to see them all shorn up and start dreaming of fall fleeces, not that I am ready for fall at all yet but still it’s pretty neat.
When we were done we had some little pieces of wool lying around which made think of earlier this Spring we had to have a tree cut down that was about to land on the barn.  When it was being cut up into firewood their was a little squirrels nest found that was stuffed full of…………………………..left over pieces of wool from last Falls shearing adventure.
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Thanks again Jason!

 

Working away...

Working away...