Woolies

 

The lambs and sheep are looking wonderful!  Their fleeces have grown all summer long….

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The rams fleeces even look exceptional this year!

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They are even feeling a bit ramish, those hormones are changing as we creep closer to the end of October.

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Thankfully, Brandon was available to shear this last weekend and did a wonderful job!

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Some more of the shearing crew…

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Jason, my brother-in-law, even sheared a bit.  He’s shearing my favorite fleece here…

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All business…

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A happy Dugur dog…

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A pretty mouflon…

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Two rams getting reacquainted after loosing their fleeces.

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They don’t seem to really recognize each other and will fight reestablish the pecking order.  Boys!

What a job!  It took the whole weekend but all sheep came out of beautiful and now I have a ton of fleece to sort through!  Any helpers?

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Bedded down…

Post-shearing… (if you missed our shearing experience last week go here)

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Thankfully, the weather has remained fairly mild this week and by Saturday we are suppose to hit 50 degrees!!

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Even though we have several sheds and a barn for them to bed down in, they are just content to lay in the rows of straw next to their feeders.

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There was also a visitor checking out the activities below him….

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Shearing Day…

Wow!! What a day!  We had a five man and one woman crew hit the farm this afternoon with the single mission of shearing.  They did an outstanding job and had all 110 sheep nekid within an hour.  We weren’t able to get a shearer in this fall so it was a great relief to have it done today, about a month or so before lambing will start.  Here are some pictures of this afternoon, mostly taken by my 11 year-old, Garrett!

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Here comes the snow…

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The older kids moving the sheep up the shoots to the shearing plant…

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Mark pushing them from behind

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Hayden and I moving them in…

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Waiting their turns…

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The gate keeper…

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Shearing happened  a bit earlier than what I had hoped to have them shorn but the crew was coming through our area.  We missed fall shearing and rather than miss spring shearing and then really worry about them overheating this summer we went ahead and had it done.  The sheep might get a bit cool, but we have lots of places for them to get out of the cold and stay toasty.  We also have put down a couple of extra-large round straw bales out for them to nestle into.  Luckily the weather forecast is supposed to keep warming up and be in the mid 40′s with lows in the mid 30′s.  Thankfully no rain is in the forecast.

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Calypso looks just thrilled…

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Really Ramming with Fall Shearing…

We held our annual fall shearing yesterday. The weather cooperated and it was beautiful ~a great day to get it done.

Here is a slideshow showing Jason shearing a ewe lamb…

Mark even tried has hand at shearing…

One of the dangers of shearing is that after a sheep or in this case, a ram has been shorn, the other rams do not recognize him and they will fight for dominance.

The two head smashers had to be separated as Sullivan took a pretty good cut to the head and Icelandic rams have been known to fight till the death.

 

 

Blackfoot imprisoned...

Griswold with a fresh shave.

 

Sullivan

When it was all said and done we ended up having quite a few laughs throughout the day, Mark tried his hand at shearing and we ended up with some beautiful fleeces!

Thanks again Jason!

Shearing…

Have I ever mentioned how fortunate we are to have a brother who is a Shearer?  Tis that time of year again for our lil’ flock to have their spring haircut and Jason just graciously brings all of his shearing stuff over and spends the afternoon with us.  Last fall between work schedules and hunting we were unable to get shearing in, so by this spring the sheep had grown a tremendous coat… 

Their long wool coats…

Most of the pictures that I took ended up being fuzzy, the barn is sort of dark with lots of motion and I dared not use a flash to encourage the sheep to jump any more than they all ready were while being trimmed!  Apparently Icelandic’s are unlike most sheep and try to fight the Shearer instead of just sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the trim.  They are constantly kicking and slipping out of position~which Jason handles amazingly well. 

Another look at the group.

 It always amazes me to see how easy he manages to make it look.  It’s like peeling a banana…with a bit more fuzz!  Shearing was a bit more difficult this time as the sheep were starting their natural wool break (where they naturally start to shed their wool).  Jason would be able to zoom through a sheep that had not started in their wool break and then on another that had  started it, it was like the shearing piece would just get bogged down.  Despite the ornery sheep and wool break, Jason did an amazing job! 

Shearing a lamb…

  

  

Shearing a ram lamb...

 

Jason shearing a ewe...

 

Jason did a great job of shearing our flock.  Thanks again!  We sure had a fun afternoon watching you do your thing.  

  

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...