Saturday, March 6, 2010

Extreme makeover-nekked sheep edition.

 I left a message with my shearer last week and was waiting anxiously to hear back from him as to when he would be available to makeover my sheep...the girls were getting pretty shaggy and with only one month left until lambing I really needed to get them sheared and vaccinated. Plus they just take up so much room in the barn when they are all wooly!
Since there is only one shearer in the area, I am always at the mercy of his schedule and I was a bit nervous when I didn't hear back right away-I had visions of trying to hand-shear all of my sheep and was remembering the "Ande haircut debacle" of last year. Well, the stars must have been properly aligned because it worked out that he was free this afternoon. The weather has been a bit warmer too which sure made me feel better about getting the girls all nekked in the cold.
Just look at how much space they take up fully dressed.
See how many more sheep fit in the barn nekked??
Willow will demonstrate the shearing process.
Fully clothed Willow.
Willow in the hands of her stylist.
Nekked Willow. Incidentally, I was worried about what condition my pregnant girls would be in under all that fleece-it is very difficult to feel their structure through their thick wool.....but it doesn't look like any of them are in danger of starving anytime soon.
Some of the girls were much more nervous about getting a makeover.  Marie was in charge of dragging gently guiding the ewes to their hair appointment. Some of the girls were less excited about the process than others.

Cassie needed a bit more encouragement.
Marie reminded me at that point that I really need to work on halter training this spring...whatever.

I never get tired of watching the outer fleece peel away from the clippers, revealing clean, beautiful fleece underneath.

More before and after shots.
Edrea post-makeover.
And some of her shorn fleece.
Edrea's micron count from last fall was a bit higher than I would like to see (27.6) but her CV was 22.0 and her other numbers were decent....her fleece sure spins up beautifully.

Here is Luna before.

...and after.
Halley pre-makeover.
.....and after.
Yes, the "baby bumps" are much easier to see now that the girls are going 'el fresco'.

Here is a big "baby bump".......oh no, wait, that is my wether, Rocky...apparently he has been enjoying spending the winter in the ewes barn....and eating more than his share of grain! He would normally be out in the ram pasture, but I didn't keep any rams over the winter so he got to bunk with the girls.
Here are some more fleecy photos for my fiber addict friends. Enjoy!
Now to get all of this fiber down to my processor for spinning!


Nancy K. said...

WOW Corrine! First of all you have such a beautiful flock! Secondly, it looks like your shearer is a perfectionist! Those shorn sheep look awesome. Fat, but awesome! ;-)

And what beautiful fleeces you have! I am VERY impressed with what you have created. You should be proud!

Hidaway Farms Shetlands said...

They look lovely and sheared so nicely! What type of combs or blades are being used by your shearer? I would love for ours to be able to look like that!


Michelle said...

Lots to be jealous of -- the great job your shearer does, the lovely fleeces, all those spots.... :-)

IsobelleGoLightly said...

I don't know anything about sheep shearing but I was also going to compliment your shearer on the very neat job...nice arm muscles too...hee hee. I'm going to try that drop and drag trick when my lady wants to lead me next time! She won't be able to pick me up either!

Kara said...


tbsomeday said...

cassie was my favorite, lol :)
how long does it take your shearer to do one sheep?
do they fight like crazy or does he have a super grip on them?
since i was a dog groomer back in the day i figure i could probably shear a sheep....with the right tools
do the girls act all crazy and happy when their wool is gone?

LLA Creations Art Dolls said...

Looks like busy day and the sheep are in great shape after this winter - how about you?

Great pic's always love your posts!

Juliann said...

Those fleeces are incredible. I'm GREEN with envy! Seriously. :)

Oh yeah, your sheep look great, too!

~*Sarah*~ said...

oh, I'm sorry, did you say something? I was busy gawking at the fleece pictures.

yeahyeah, sheep look nice. back to the fleece...;)

Mom L said...

Wow! Your shearer is an artist. This takes me back to the TV mini-series, "The Thorn Birds", and the shearing action there! So fast, so precise, with beautiful results.

Nancy in Iowa

Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

What beautiful fleece!! and your sheep are so beautiful too, you do have a great shearer, your girls look very well groomed.

Linda said...

What a fun post! Your sheep are beautiful, woolly and nekked! Your shearer is definitely worth waiting for.

WeekendFarmer said...

Lovely pics. I feel we are still too early to shear. 2 of our ewes lambed and maybe we have 1-2 more. Not sure when we shoudl shear. Luna is so KEWT with the spots. I didn't know they had spots like that! Enjoyed reading your post.

Claire MW said...

Wow, Abi has her work cut out for her!

And the crimp....oooooooohhhh the crimp...I must stop drooling on my keyboard...

Becky Utecht said...

Thanks for sharing all the wonderful photos of your shearing day and the beautiful crimpy fleeces. Very nice!

Unknown said...

Beautiful fleeces. Good looking sheep. I envy you a professional shearer. I haven't found one yet. Fortunately, my two are rooing this year. They aren't enjoying the process, but we are working on them as the fleece loosens. My ewe looks a lot like a poodle just now -- nekked in the middle and poofy on both ends.

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