Farm,  Venise's Blog

Sheep Shearing Adventure

This last weekend Deyton, Farmer Ross and I went to  the Bless Ewe Sheep Company farm to learn all about shearing sheep. This was my second time watching the sheep get hair cuts and Ross and Deytons first. Last year Belinda and I went for our first ever sheep shearing adventure and we had a great time meeting Stewie the famous lamb and learning all about sheep and their fleece.  Sheep shearing day is the equivalent of harvest day for farmers. It is the culmination of all the hard work they put in throughout the year and because the fleece is sold, it is also pay day! Despite the very rainy and windy weather, everyone was in great spirits and ready to lend a hand when needed.

The shearing took place in the Small Blessings Farm‘s old white barn which is one of my most favorite barns in the area. The shearer was a man named Pierre, a modern day shepherd, who shears sheep professionally and runs a herd of his own sheep in Concrete, Washington. He is amazing to watch as he isn’t a very big guy, yet he easily moves the sheep and works quickly to ensure the best experience for the animals.

We learned a lot about the process of shearing sheep and how to properly care for the fleece. The shearing is typically done twice a year, six months apart. Most of these sheep were pregnant and due to lamb very soon. Shearing before lambing helps keep the lambing process as clean as possible. We also give our goats a kidding clip right before they are due to kid so that kidding and milking is cleaner. It’s a before baby mama makeover farm style! Below are pictures from our adventure.  Belinda and I have signed up for a barn duty shift during the lambing season so next we will learn all about lambing and there will undoubtedly be  lots of adorable lamb pictures to share so make sure you are following us!

 

 

Before SHeep Herd
The “Before” picture

 

Sheep shear
The shearer, Pierre, lays the sheep on their backs to calm them and starts shearing on their belly.

 

 

Shearing SHeep
When on their backs the sheep lay very still which is helpful because the clippers have to be very sharp to cut through the thick fleece.

 

fleece removed
The fleece is removed in one big piece and is very pretty as it falls away from the body.

 

Fleece
The fleece is very thick and pretty clean on the underside.

 

skirting fleece
After the fleece is removed, it is layed on a table and is skirted. Skirting involves removing the poop, damaged fleece and vegetable matter.

 

up close fleece
So fluffy!

 

finished bags
After the fleece is skirted it is rolled up- and put in bags labeled with each sheep’s name so that it can be sold to home spinners and crafters.

 

naked lamb
The “after” picture!

 

Venise and Deyton Shearing Sheep
Dyeton slept through most of her first sheep shearing adventure 🙂

 

The "garden" behind the garden to glass cocktails, Venise is the resident farmer of the Simple Goodness Farm, older sister and goat lover.

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