Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Getting closer to THE day

Last night I went to our local sheep & wool growers association meeting. Another talk on sheep parasite control. My friend who has a sheep farm on the other side of Short Hills from us was there which reminded me that I wanted to borrow her book on blade shearing which another sheep farmer friend has not returned. Unfortunately that woman wasn't there last night so I went over to her farm today.

This woman raises Finn sheep and she is just at the end of her lambing season-- down to one ewe delivering a day. There were 1 day to 2 week old lambs everywhere! I asked how many and she said she lost count but around 200. What a racket they can make. Anyway, she said she gave the book away to someone and she was going to have to purchase another copy. So much for the step by step from the master blade shearer.

My friend feels guilty and just happens to have a few ewes that need a partial trim so she demonstrates. She ties the ewe to a fence and begins clipping with the ewe standing perfectly still. RIGHT! I can't imagine any of my 6 holding that still but who knows. I like her blade shears - smaller than mine. Then she says use a scissors or get a pair like hers and just start. Do 1/2 a sheep at a time or 1 a day or whatever works. O.K.. Karen, now I know we can do it.

My friend tells me again about her sheep deck chair (her "best thing since sliced bread") so later I go to the website and see a demo of a sheep lounging in the deck chair. Since they sell the replacement webbing I decide Karen and I can make one from pvc pipe. Then the girls can relax in style while I clip their stomach wool or legs or trim hooves or whatever. This sounds too good to be true.

I can't believe I am starting to get excited about shearing!


  1. Maybe a little anesthesia would help. Too bad we can't hypnotize animals.

  2. Which girl is going to be the lucky guinea pig?

  3. I hear they like Mozart. Maybe you should play some music while they are relaxing in their deck chairs. Do you have an ipod? Put the earplugs in and they won't hear a thing. They will be off into la la land in no time or maybe it is baa baa land in there case.

  4. Just make sure you take lots of pictures. I suppose all those little lambs you saw are not being raised for their wool. I think I am going to stop eating lamb.

  5. I think we should video this Susan. I'm excited. Yes we can!

  6. Today is Easter and yes I did cook lamb for dinner. So sorry. Going through Holy Week last week, there is a quote in one of the services I think either from the psalms or Isaiah about a lamb going to slaughter without making a sound. I have always wondered if that was true of all sheep and I wonder if sheep are silent when they are sheered as well. My cat Lewis hates for Randy to catch him and Randy has to chase him all over the house. But once he catches Lewis, Lewis goes limb, and starts purring. He really loves it, he just doesn't seem to remember from one time to the other. Maybe sheep are like that too. Maybe once you have them tied to a fence, they calm down and really enjoy it. Good luck.