Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sheep Shearing Fun

Last Saturday we threw a big graduation celebration for Journee, but before the party we had to shear the sheep.
This event is something we do twice a year since I have long wool sheep, and we had postponed the shearing for a few weeks because it kept raining on weekends. Saturday was the only day my shearer could do it, so shear sheep we did.

I was fortunate to have some friends bring their strong 19 year old son to help. He is working towards being a shearer himself and is always loaning himself to help. I was glad to have the extra muscle.

My shearer is a petite woman from the Atlanta area. She's good...really good, but she requires a helper to hold the animals down.

These are not small sheep. My Cotswold sheep weigh in about 150 lbs for ewes and my ram is about 200 lbs.

I brought him down the night before and kept him locked up in the dog kennel. I always bribe him out with a little bucket of grain and then fasten a lead rope around him. He can be a mean boy sometimes so you cannot turn your back on him.

Flipping him down is when you really need some muscle.

It was a smooth day of shearing and I have a ton of fleece ready for processing. I am also positive my sheep feel much better with these upper 80 degree days.

I lead the sheep back out to a front paddock for grazing and will bring them back up close in the fall for shearing and breeding. I am also considering investing in another breed of sheep, something with a smaller micron count and can be spun into a softer yarn. There are a couple different breeds I am looking into for that and we will see what is actually available.  In the meantime I will keep spinning my Cotswold, it does dye beautifully and spin nicely.

Of course house lamb was outside observing all of the shearing. It was not her time yet, but she will be getting sheared this fall. Poor lamb, she really does think she is a dog and not one of those farm animals called sheep.

Special thanks to Willow for all of the great pictures! I was not able to take photos due to helping round up sheep so she volunteered and did a fabulous job!


Now that sheep chores are done I am busy loading the cave up with cheeses. Yesterday I made 3 cheeses! Today I might spin some wool and chill out on the front porch.

Happy Wednesday Ya'll!


  1. Fun post to read and see! We've never had Cotswolds but their wool looks fun- we have Corriedales and in the past have had Merinos for a finer wool and some Finn crosses for a looser crimp wool. There's nothing like the feel of putting your hands in newly sheared wool! (plus your hands feel softer afterwards!)

  2. Your family and farm seem really amazing! Thanks for writing!

  3. We raise shetlands. We love the finer crimp and micron. It spins and dyes beautifully. I love the smaller size. They are a primitave breed so they work best on grass based/low matinence systems.


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