Yesterday was another first for our little farm – shearing the sheep. I tried to shear the cat once a few years ago. I bought heavy duty animal clippers for the job but his fur is so thick they kept getting hot and I’d have to take a break while they cooled. The cat tolerated it remarkably well but his patience has limits, and after an afternoon of on and off shearing, we finished with a cat that was still only partly shorn. So I wasn’t even slightly tempted to try to do the sheep myself.
However finding a shearer these days isn’t easy either, but after putting out a plea on Facebook, I was finally able to find someone willing to do it. He lives 3 hours away – and it cost me to have him drive down for the job – but I was very impressed with the young man who showed up on time yesterday. His knowledge of sheep and goats in general, as well as his skills as a shearer, were unexpected.
I had the sheep corralled into a small pen before he got here:
The first “victim” was our ram:
An impressively large bag of fleece collected, even as he continued shearing. This is one of the ewes almost done (note bag of fleece behind her):
It is a relief to have this done – both for me and for the sheep. They spent the day out grazing after he left – something they haven’t been doing since daytime temperatures started to rise. Summer temperatures here are frequently in the triple digits so shearing was not optional and I’m glad it is one more farm task I can scratch off the to-do list.