Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Next Year We Will Shear Our Own Sheep!

And goats and llama. Actually anything that needs to be shorn, we will do it ourselves.  I understand that Icelandic sheep aren’t your ordinary sheep. I also understand that there are people who have never seen an Icelandic sheep. However, if you can’t shear my sheep without #1 cutting them and making them bleed, #2 make them look like a blind, angry, leprechaun on crack sheared them, then don’t. I know Icelandic sheep are not your everyday docile sheep. They have the instinct to run away from the unknown like no other sheep that I have seen. It is a survival instinct that they have. They will not lie on their back while the shearer works. They will bolt at the first chance. Don’t get mad at my sheep. It really pisses me off. Just tell me “I don’t want to shear your stupid  and unruly sheep, or I hate your sheep and never want to see them again”.  Any of the above will work.

The goats were first, not too bad. They are easier to get along with.


They behaved themselves, much better than I expected.


Then it was the sheeps’ turn. He started with Emily.




This is Emily after the debacle. She is embarrassed. She said that he was a “mad man”.


I know that I am new to this shepherding thing. I also know that the sheep aren’t suppose to look like they have mange.


I am so sorry Cierra. Please forgive me.


Esther had a lot to say about the situation. Loosely translated from Icelandic sheep to human: “If you ever want to see your children you will never allow that human in my pasture or barn ever again. I will dismember you and bury you under the apple trees”.  After that she gave an evil laugh and smiled at the camera. I am truly afraid.


Fuzzy was so upset that she is hiding in the shelter behind the hay rack.


Never again! We will be purchasing the shearers and commence on doing this ourselves. The sheep, goats and llama voted. All were in favor of the farm mama’s doing the shearing. There you go, Democracy in action.

I have one last question. What do we do with 12 bags of wool that has been chopped beyond recognition? Sheezzz….

Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm



Lisa T. said...

Oh. Yikes. The only thing I have to ask is...Did HE leave with all of his body parts intact?

Fleecenik Farm said...

Oh no! Are there too many second cuts?

My husband took a shearing class from the cooperative extension a couple of years ago. It is really cheap.35$. It is held in Falmouth in the spring. Maine sheep breeders Association might also have a list of shearers or offer classes.

Sometimes, they will get nicked with shearing. It happens. But did he put blue coat or peroxide on the wound?

As for the wool, you can felt it. We have some old fleece from a few years ago. A friend takes some of her fleece, puts it in a kiddy pool with hot soapy water and squishes it like grapes until it felts , round into a rug. Sounds like fun.

Terri said...

So funny!!! Life with sheep--never a dull moment!

Kelly or Alex said...

I know the sheep do get nicked and bleed sometimes. I felt sorry for Baby. He was almost wethered again if that is possible. There were so many second and third cuts that the wool is useless. I do like the idea of felting it into a round rug. What a great idea.

Terri said...

p.s. don't worry about second cuts with the winter's fleece. It is only suitable for felting. I hate to say this, but you will want to be sure to roo or trim the rest of the winter's fleece off of the sheep. Otherwise, your precious fall fleeces will have matted ends--not good!

leaningapplemama said...

wow. that is crazy. i can't believe that your sheep ended up like that. i know sheep don't enjoy it but...was your shearer experienced? we live near ellsworth maine and had an amazing shearer come up from new hampshire to shear our goats and our neighbors sheep. and none of the flocks looked like that?! maybe some people have the knack and others don't!! what a bummer about all that *ruined* wool. i hope you figure it out:)

katiegirl said...

Oh man. Somehow I missed this! Was that shearer brand new to shearing? Holy cow. No self-respecting good shearer would ever leave them looking like that! I'm sorry about the wool. Maybe you can separate the good parts from the bad and sell small amounts on ebay? Some people like buying small amounts for crafts. Also, you can wash it and use it for stuffing dolls or pillows. What a bummer!

Patty Ruprecht said...

Hi Kelly and Alex! I was just avoiding cleaning to I checked in on your blog to see if you'd lambed ... and I saw these pics! Yikes. It's not the Icelandics - it's the shearer. Shearing is grueling, though, so you're better off finding someone else than trying to learn yourself (unless you are really, really motivated). One piece of advice, though (and you may have done this): Make sure they have an empty stomach when shearing. Keep them off feed for at least 12 hours before shearing. Truly, it makes all the difference in the world. And definitely get that stuff off them now so that the fall fleece (which is the premium fleece) is not ruined. Good luck! Patty