Monday, April 06, 2009

Shearing Time

And every muscle in my body is sore. Wrestling three sheep will do that to a body. Some readers might remember that I took a shearing class last year in the New Zealand shearing method, so that's kinda, sort of what you're seeing below.





Okay, now I'm starting to work up a sweat! Time to shed some layers. Esther's not very happy about shedding her extra layers right now, but she will be soon enough.


You can see Esther's neck and head behind my leg. Her fleece is very nearly off by this point, as I work on her last leg:


Two shorn sheep back in with babies and feeling much happier:


And then, there was Candace, who flat out refused to cooperate for a second year in a row. She stayed on her rump about long enough for me to trim her hooves, and then it was a friggin' free for all!



It took both of us some serious wrestling to get her shorn, and I ended up shearing quite a bit with her standing up.


We did finally get her shorn and back out on the winter pasture as we wait to see whether she will lamb or not. She didn't look terribly pregnant to me, but she has another month or so within the realm of possibility.

9 comments:

Deb said...

What a workout! I could never do three sheep bent over like that - I'd never be able to stand up! Have you ever tried shearing on a stand? I shear my entire flock and 8 goats all on a stand. I do have to tip the males on their butts to do their bellies but I can do the entire female on the stand and never have to bend over. Just a thought...........

They look great and I bet they feel better :)

Christy said...

I'm impressed that you did it yourself! The woman I got the sheep from has a shearer coming next month, so I can transport the sheep to her place for shearing. I'm not sure which will be harder on me and the sheep.

Woody said...

SHEEP WRESTLING @ Touch the Earth Farm...

Madeline said...

Farm-Woman! You.are.amazing.

Jenny said...

That's Churros for you! They definitely don't sit still like those wimpy NZ kind of sheep. But they also don't die if you look at them sideways, so it's a fair tradeoff.

We're up to 22 head now so there's no way I'm doing that myself! The shearer is scheduled for the 25th.

Nice work!

Danielle said...

Deb, we do have a sheep stand, and I was considering that. Of course it was buried at that moment, but I may try it for Candace next year. She doesn't seem to mind standing still so much, as long as she's standing.

Christy, that'll be nice to have somewhere to take them. Will you also take them back for breeding? I was able to take mine back this year for breeding, but I'd like to get a ram for the farm.

Woody, you're silly. ;) That one photo of me with Candace at the end looks like I'm about to snap her neck or something, and I can tell ya, Jim really wanted to once or twice in there.

Madeline, you know we can't wait to show you around the farm!

Jenny, that's what's so funny about the three sheep taking so much out of me. If I were a professional shearer, I wouldn't likely come out for just three. I can't even imagine doing 22!

Country Girl said...

Wow, what a work out. What a difference from the before and after.

Sunflower Hill Farm said...

Hi, Danielle. I have a farm in SW WI and, you and I have much in common! I'm not sure how I found your blog, but have really enjoyed reading. We have pigs, chickens, turkeys, sheep, llamas, goats, bees and a milking cow! You are one step ahead of us with the cow and I have a question. As you know, most people have NO understanding of handmilking or owning a family cow. ours calved last week and we are "fortunate" enough to leave her calf (bull) with her, she doesn't kick or anything. However, we're only getting about 2 gallons of milk per day from her (I know, to most that sounds like a lot but...). Questions: what are you feeding your girl? When you separated the baby, do you get a lot more milk? How hard was that? Any suggestions you have are greatly appreciated. You can read my blog (if you'd like to)
sunflowerhillfarm.blogspot.com

we're an unschooling family with 4 sons.

Thanks in advance!
Jodi

Oh, and I have done the shearing and it is KILLER.....Our shearer is coming on Sat and for $4 a head, voila, my back and body isn't killing me!

underthebigbluesky said...

Impressive! I ache just reading.