Sunday, March 25, 2012

Harvesting by hand

Today was the day I was determined to roo Blake. As easy as it was to pull off his mid-side sample for micron testing, I was surprised by how much work it was to harvest his fleece. I learned quickly to pull on small sections, and not too close to the skin - his new growth is surprisingly long already!

Interesting how he is chocolate brown at the withers under that oatmeal-colored fleece.

My rooed - not to be confused with rude - ram, who certainly thought I was being rude when I rooed him! He made it clear that having his fleece pulled was NOT comfortable, but he did appreciate the rub-down I gave him at the end, wagging his tail in appreciation. I like this boy. I like this boy a lot.

That's it for now from . . .

17 comments:

Tombstone Livestock said...

hmmm now that's one you don't have to pay someone to shear him. Good job.

Michelle said...

That's right - and even though the shearer could do it much faster, this way there are no second cuts (or nicks). I'm going to check the others to see if anyone else could be rooed - but not today. I have GOT to get taxes squared away!

thecrazysheeplady said...

So would you do that again next year or go back to shearing?

Michelle said...

That will depend on the customer. I'll be waiting for feedback from the buyer of Blake's fleece; she bought his sheared fleece last year. Personally, I'd rather have rooed fleece....

Mary Ann said...

Oh my gosh, now I've learned something else... and he looks so handsome with his shorter fleece!

fiberjoy said...

His undercoat is lovely - he'll stay nice and warm in it. How long did it take for you to pull his fleece?

Contrary to my usual practice of Sunday rest I spent hours on bookwork and have laid to rest the bulk of the monkey riding on my shoulders. A few more hours and I should be ready to start entering figures into the tax software. Hope you've made good headway today too!

Cloverleaf Art and Fibre said...

That's great -- you were able to do such a thorough job on him. We haven't ever managed to get the entire fleece off in one session. The objections from the sheep seemed to get more sincere as we got closer to the rear end. - Margaret

Lori Skoog said...

Ahah! I wondered what roo meant. Nice job, beautiful ram.

Michelle said...

I'm not sure, Wanda; my watch isn't working. And no, I haven't made good headway. :-/

Michelle said...

Blake objected most to his "armpits" and flanks being rooed, but I am nothing if not persistent. It was clear that shearing would produce a sub-par product, clipping below the rise and leaving a tender line in the fleece, so I was "in for a penny, in for a pound."

Michelle said...

Lori, check out the Shetland Museum archives to see historic photos of Shetland sheep being rooed here: http://photos.shetland-museum.org.uk/index.php?a=wordsearch&s=gallery&w=rooing+sheep&go=Go

Sharon said...

Holy moley, I've heard about it but seen it done. That's very impressive!

Denise said...

very cool. wish my guys rooed more. I am usually able to hand harvest some wool from their heads and necks, but that's about it.

Denise said...

very cool. I wish my guys rooed more. I can usually hand harvest some around their heads, but that's about it.

shelly hancock said...

I like how rooing leaves the sheep that bit of new coat, and that there are no worries of getting nicked.

Kelly Bartels said...

Looking good Michelle....it's rather addictive isn't it? I've done 6 of mine so far. Had a white ram head to a new home on Saturday and it took about 15 minutes to relieve him of his fleece, peeled off like an orange. But....he didn't have a lot of new growth and it was easier than when I did Bug who had significant new growth. I heard from a UK breeder that I correspond with that there seems to be a tendency towards...."the finer the fleece, the earlier the rise". I thought that was interesting.

Mom L said...

He is definitely beautiful!!!

Nancy in Iowa