I’ve been trying to write this post for a couple of days now and my website hasn’t been cooperating…but looks like it’s finally allowing me to upload and post! So, sorry for the delay – I’d love to share with you my wonderful weekend spent at Hard Earth Farm shearing sheep!! Let me preface this by saying that I have ZERO experience with sheep. Or shearing. So, when Pam asked if I would come help out, I jumped at the chance!
Both of her kids were there to help out, along with on of their friends. It was great to meet them all and spend time getting to know them better. I was really impressed with how wonderful they were with all the animals. They worked hard all weekend and seemed to really enjoy themselves. It really made me wish my own kids had the opportunity to spend time on a farm – there are so many life lessons to be learned.
With 43 sheep needing sheared, there was plenty for everyone to do. The kids were in charge of giving the sheep their dewormer and cleaning up their ears before bringing them over to the shearing area. It isn’t necessary to do those things in conjunction with shearing, but it was a window of opportunity when all the sheep were corralled and accounted for.
As you can see, not all sheep were cooperative about moving to the shearing area. I think the sound of the shearing machine had them a bit spooked. The kids got them there however they needed to – carrying, riding, pushing, pulling. They were such troopers (the kids that is)
My job was to get a picture of each of the sheep (to show it’s fleece prior to shearing), and bag and tag the fleece when it came off the sheep. Pam knows I’m a bit camera happy, so this was a good job for me. I think I got off pretty easy.
Jonathon was a master at shearing. It would take 2 or 3 of the kids to get the sheep to him, then he seemed to know exactly how to handle them from there. He would grab, twist, turn, push just the right spot and the sheep would seem to melt in his hands.
I was completely mesmerized at how he sheared them. He would shear off under the belly where the sheep would get dirty and matted, and that would get tossed to the scrap pile. Then the entire remainder of the sheep would be sheared in ONE PIECE! The sheep all seemed to love it – I can only imagine how great it feels to have all that wool off your body!
After he sheared them, he trimmed their hooves and sent them on their merry way.
It really didn’t take as long as I thought it would. We had a great little assembly line going and there were very few hiccups along the way. I couldn’t believe how different all the sheep looked when they were done! You could actually see the spots on them! And some that looked white were actually all black underneath!! Just went I was learning all their names too – now I have to start all over! These guys remind me of baby cows out in the pasture now…
Here’s a before shot of 4-horns from last week. She looks so majestic with her horns!
And here she is after. Would you have guessed she had all those spots?!?! It’s crazy!
As always, I’m so grateful for the friendship I have with Pam. She’s been a wonderful mentor, and I’m always learning something new at her farm!
Plus I got to play with the baby goats when we were done!! Bonus!!