Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fleeced

Poor Annabelle was feeling fleeced. Without wool OR fat, she had nothing to keep her warm when the weather turned damp and chilly Tuesday. What could I do to help? Wait; maybe the large, warm dog coat from our Doberman years ago would fit her!
I didn't get a photo of her in just the dog coat; I put the sheep suit over it to add a bit more insulation and full coverage since the dog coat doesn't extend to her tail head or as far down her sides. But you can see its neck extension (on the rest of the coat the patterned fleece is next-to-skin) and the broad belly band. This arrangement has made her more comfortable – and provides some protection against pointy little lambie feet!

Next I moved my ram Blake and his companion Browning into Breezy's old make-shift stall so they could dry off and stay dry for shearing on Wednesday. This made it convenient to snip a side sample from Blake to send in for micron testing; I also got samples from Marta and Sarai. All three look and feel wonderfully, spinnably soft (albeit compressed from wearing coats) – and amazingly enough, no one has spoken for either Marta's or Sarai's fleeces yet! (Browning's is still available, too.)

My shearer doubled-booked himself, so our Wednesday morning appointment shifted to Wednesday afternoon. I was hoping that would give the weather time to get a little friendlier, but it was as wet and chilly later as it was earlier. And the 10-day forecast doesn't show any change! Oh well, it shouldn't bother any of the five fatties that got defleeced.  ;-)
Above, it's Bittersweet's turn (he's more of a hot chocolate color now). I didn't take any other photos, as I was doing my best to keep up with Troy and not make him wait. I was mostly successful, too, with Brian's help!

Three of my sheep – Sarai, Bramble and Bing – proved to be pretty "sticky" yet when Troy started on their bellies, so I opted to pull them from the shearing line-up in order to maximize fleece quality. I'll scissor-shear them later, and am grateful to have the bellies done!

Now I have three fleeces to skirt, invoice, and ship; two fleeces to skirt and advertise; three sheep to scissor-shear; and two ewes to lamb. Without all her wool, petite Marta doesn't even look pregnant, but for a little developing udder that gives her away. I suspect she will have another single like Bing – but a ewe lamb this time, right?

That's it for now from . . .

5 comments:

Nancy Kay said...

I'm glad Annabelle got a little extra covering for warmth! The wool looks beautiful. You've got lots of activity to keep you busy!

Tyche's Minder said...

Always interesting to see how you experienced shepherds do things. Thanks!

Mary Ann said...

I love the look on Marta's face! It's almost impossible to get a shearer to come here unless there is a big lineup worthy of setting up all the gear... so you are blessed!

Michelle said...

It's better than nothing, Nancy Kay, but she still shivers, poor thing. :-(

Minder, I don't have vast experience, but you're welcome to what I have!

Yes, Mary Ann, I know I am blessed. My farrier is my shearer, so I piggyback the shearing onto one of the horses' trimming appointments. He sheared for a living back when he was a young adult and doesn't want those skills advertised, but he and his wife have a flock and he shears them and a very few other flocks.

Leigh said...

Shearing is such a fun time and those fleeces look glorious. How nice to have a farrier/shearer all rolled up into one. Extra nice he's willing to do your shearing for you.