Good bye city life! Our family designed and built an industrial but old fashioned farmhouse on nine acres. Now we are building our homestead ~ or is it building us? Grab your boots and join us on our journey to country living.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our First Shearing Day

was yesterday.  It was exciting, interesting, and fun.  Mostly though it was a learning experience.
As you can imagine, we had friends and family here to watch.


Our shearer, Frank Schwartz, set up his equipment in the goat shed (hawk hut, right now) and we brought them in one at a time.  Tiny was first.  She set a good example for the others to follow.


It's funny how they give up and just lay there after putting up a fight to come in.


Frank shaved off the fleeces in one piece. 
There is an art to this, I'm thinking.  He told us that he went to
shearing school in New Zealand and used to, when he did this
full time, shear close to 20,000 sheep a year.


The wool seemed to grow as it came off of the sheep!  We couldn't believe how much of it there was.


Look how black that black is! 


We separated the fleeces in bags and labeled them by the sheep's name.  A few of them, he said were really nice and would be good for spinning.  I'm glad because I have my first lesson on Tuesday and am taking some for her to see.

Tiny was walking out the door and turned to ask,
"Do I have to go out there? They are going to make fun of me."

As they each came out, they surrounded and sniffed the one just sheared as if to say, "Who are you?" or "What happened to your coat?"  It was funny!


The girls look a lot different now!  You can really see their pregnant bellies.  It's hard to believe that we will have lambs in one month.  Just another step in our adventure!



Today we are going to skirt the fleeces and then have a crab & shrimp boil for New Year's.  Should be a fun way to spend our 23rd anniversary.

Ziggy wishes you a Happy New Year and a blessed 2012!

19 comments:

  1. Awesome photos, Kim! Your sheep are even more beautiful with freshly shorn bodies...look at those fantastic spots and Ziggy's black socks! Hope you have a fantastic anniversary (wow, 23 years?!)!

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  2. Congratulations on a successful first shearing day. Are you taking the fleeces to get washed and carded or are you going to do that yourself? I recently started to learn to spin, but went with an electric spinning wheel, it doesn't require as much coordination. Learning to spin has helped me to afford yarn that I normally wouldn't have spent the money on, such as camel and alpaca, which is so expensive. We are getting 3 angora rabbits in a few weeks that will be a source for angora/merino wool. My next project will be to learn to dye the fibers myself. Happy new year.

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  3. i hope the girls don't get too cold now! glad it went well! sounds like you have an expert shearer!

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  4. FUN!!! We cannot shear again until May, but we've got alpacas and we live in Maine... it's a wee bit too cold here for shearing now. We just got the yarn back from their most recent fleeces, glad I had it professionally spun, I've only got a drop spindle for now and over 30 pounds of yarn is too much to spin on that. Looking forward to hearing about your first spinning class!

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  5. ahhh...too cute!!!!! :)

    happy new year friends!!

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  6. Happy Anniversary and congrats on your first sheering! It was amazing to see the wool 'grow' - wow!
    They look so pretty, all shorn and clean!
    Next... I can't wait to see lamb pictures!

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  7. Happy Anniversary! Today is my parents' 40th, also.

    Okay, we've not had sheep yet, but I thought they were sheared in warmer weather...hope we have a mild January this year!

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  8. Wonderful photos... these sheep look fabulous.

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  9. now instead of saying Baaaa...they are saying Brrrr.
    I keep trying to talk my hubby into getting a few goats.
    I think the pygmay ones are adorable. But the coyotes would get them here I I didn't keep them penned up.

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  10. This is so exciting. Loved seeing the pictures!

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  11. I have a friend in Eastern Washington that raises Rambouillet Sheep. She shears, cleans, cards, dyes the wool, spins and makes beautiful things.
    Your sheep are beautiful. We love your pictures of our farm.

    Five of my grandchildren are or were (graduated) homeschooled and also four of my nieces and nephews.

    Have a Blessed New year! We look forward to keeping up with your blog in 2012.
    ~Betty and Joe

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  12. Sounds like you had an excellent first experience! Finding a good shearer is crucial, and sometimes difficult, so hurray for you, your shearer, some good fleeces, and beautiful sheep!

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  13. I love your photos and narration! Good luck on your spinning lesson. You instructor is going to be thrilled to see such newly shorn fleece.

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  14. Congrats on your first shearing! I'm glad you had an expert to come in and do it all for you! Amazing! I guess he's had lots of practice, ha ;-) OH...and they're so cute in all their skinniness! Growing up we had a komondor sheepdog that we'd "shear" every summer...she would go from big and scary to tiny and funny looking!

    Happy New Year!!!

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  15. Fantastic. Can't wait to see your results from your own spinning and fleece! Boy, I wish I could just shed the pounds like that :)

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  16. Happy Anniversary to you guys! Hope that you all enjoyed your day and time together.

    Love your sheep shearing experience and how fun that your going to learn to spin the wool. I would love to do that. I am sure that you will be sharing your experience and I can't wait to read about it.

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  17. great day of shearing! Not too cold? Is it ever too cold there for shearing? I'd think it would have to be deep into spring here first. Hope your class goes well.
    My friend dreams of sheep, but I just dream of visiting her sheep and knitting her wool!!

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  18. Oooo, I could knit so many warm things with that wool! :) Happy New Year, Kim!

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  19. The sheep look great. I am doing an apprenticeship at a fiber farm and considering some of her Jacobs. But I'm in the very beginning stages so I'll be following your blog to learn. Thanks!
    Stevie @ ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

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