There was a sheep shearing at Ironwood Farm this weekend, for the first time in a decade…and while the shearer and the location were the same, the sheep were mostly new to the experience (as was I).
On Saturday morning the shearer called to say he would be by first thing Sunday to shear our small flock – so, while it was fortunate that Rupert had put in a lot of time to preparing a spot with suitable light and electricity the week before, it meant figuring out how to get the girls into the big barn from their usual spot. A few carefully-placed wagons and some makeshift fences, and the job was relatively easy – fortunately they had been kept in the barn most of the day before because Rupert was away and they were calling for a chance of thunder showers. Dry sheep are important to a successful and happy shearing.
Sunday was also my birthday, so Rupert was up early to prepare a cake for the oven – put in to bake just as the shearer drove in the driveway! Rupert had been around for the last shearing and enjoyed having a set up with shadows of the previous ovine era.
As Val is a real professional, the job was quick and clean, and over before I could even really get any pictures – in the end he decided we should shear everyone (except Mutton, as she won’t be around long enough to worry about an extra-thick coat)…even Luke the Ram was marched up to the barn and flipped to his rear end (thankfully he’ll let me just pick up his foot to trim his feet – it’s unlikely I’d have much success throwing that sheep!).
It’s amazing how much they will “cooperate” when they’re sitting on their rear end.
Although the piles of fleece are inspiring and exciting, they are also quite overwhelming…I’m looking forward to all of the various experiments, but am happy that they can also wait on the shelf (or the barn floor) for a while.
The ewes were quite happy to be released into the pasture after 2 days of being in the barn. They jumped and skipped and looked to be enjoying their sleek new figures. Now I just have to get used to having mature-looking ewes rather than those sweet fuzzy lambs…and I’m sure I’ll stop thinking they look like goats soon.