A very busy day indeed! What excitement here on the farm. It was our very first shearing day. I was really looking forward to it, and it wasn't a disappointment. Ray Schweindefus, our shearer, arrived promptly at 9 am, and the fun began. It took a little while to get set up and ready to go, but once we had our plan, off we went!
First up....Oreo the Icelandic sheep. She had the shortest fleece. She behaved very well - an old pro at this!
We moved on to KitKat. I think she's a moorit?
Here's Bianca the Icelandic after her shearing. Ray predicted she would be the first to lamb.
Clover is our Icelandic sheep due April 27. She just doesn't look very pleased about this.
Wow! Who knew such a snazzy looking sheep was hiding under all that fleece!
I think she might have been the offspring of a sheep and a dalmatian!
This is sweet little Poppy. She is such a gentle girl and so well behaved. She is a Suffolk - Dorset - Rambouillet cross sheep. I just love her long tail. She looks so different sheared! What a cute girl she is!
This is Flurry the Icelandic. I think she's a moorit. She has a lovely caramel coloured face and she had a caramel coloured fleece, but she seems to have lost that color deeper down on her fleece, so maybe she has turned white now.
Here she is all finished up. She still has brown legs and a brown face.
We moved on to the two Animal Rescue League sheep: Petunia and Buttercup. Wow, they look fabulous! The skin problems they initially had, due to the burrs that were all over them, have all cleared up. They look terrific! Ray thinks they are a cross of Montedale and maybe Cotswold or Lincoln. He also said they're a bit overweight.
We sheared the 4 angora goats - Valentino, Isobelle, Cirrus and Meri. Here's a picture of Isobelle being clipped.
The girls did well but Valentino was a big challenge. Ray said he was the second hardest shearing job he'd ever done. Unfortunately, his fleece had matted and felted to him. It probably was not shorn last fall. It was so tough, the electric clippers could not get through it. Ray had to use his hand shears (like huge scissors) to get through some of it. Poor Val got some nicks and cuts because it was like cutting through plastic in some places. We will shear him again this fall to remove all the nasty bits, which should grow out over the summer, and then after that, the next fleece should be a good one. His fleece was lovely and crimpy, but it had the texture of a plastic dish scrubbing pad. I bet it was uncomfortable for him, so I think he's glad to be sheared.
Finally, we moved on to the llamas. It was hard to take pictures because they were not particularly pleased with the shearing process. However, here is Hazel in a moment of good behavior!
Meanwhile, I've been spinning some lovely "Nassau" hand-painted roving from Wooliebullie on Etsy. Love the colours!
Tonight we had a meeting for the Des Moines Area Community College committee that we participate in. That was after my evening class. I'm tired and verging on cranky, so it's off to bed for me. I hope all our newly shorn critters have a warm night!