This spring sheep joined our farm. Avril has been wanting sheep for awhile and I have wanted a fiber animal as well. Years ago we went to the Shepherd’s Harvest Festival and the Lincoln Longwool sheep caught my eye. So when we were ready to add sheep to our farm we searched high and low for our preferred sheep and 4 little (not so little) ewe lambs joined our farm. They are all January or early February lambs and when the weather started turning really warm they already had quite a coat on them.
We knew it was time to shear them, though finding someone to come out for 4 sheep proved a little difficult. We also enjoy doing things ourselves and so ordered a shearer and planned to do the job ourselves.
We were warned that the hardest part was not learning the proper strokes to produce a high quality fleece in one piece but the hardest part was controlling the sheep. We were not warned about how sharp even the electronic clippers were. I have wounds to match the sheep but I am actually glad to have such a ready reminder to be careful. I also have a great gauge as to how they should be healing up.
After fumbling through 2 sheep we asked a friend from 4H to come out and help. Jane does her own sheep though she does them standing up which is decidedly safer and more comfortable for everyone but doesn’t give the preferred one piece fleece. Oh well, we will learn. And the sheep are much more comfortable.
Bringing the sheep home. We thought they would be much smaller and since we were going a long distance we did not bring the trailer. So it was pretty crowded in our suburban. 4 sheep, 6 children and 2 adults. The sheep were the quietest.
Jane shearing. Notice how beautiful the under fleece is.
All done. Some of the shearing jobs were rougher then others. The sheep are not used to the process either.
I have sent the fleeces off the the mill. I wasn’t sure how usable they would be but they think we can at least get a sport weight yarn out of it. At the very least we should get some roving. I am very excited to see the finished product.