Thursday, April 21, 2016

Shearing Day Two At Leyden Glen Farm 2016

Big day yesterday here at the farm. Our shearers Kevin Ford and Gwen Hinman came to finish up shearing for this year. Rachel and her boyfriend Matt helped. I didn't think about taking photos until late in the day so don't have any of wool packing or of Rachel and Matt. 
Kevin and Gwen sheared 101 sheep so now we have a count of our adult animals - 234 total including about 6 to 8 rams for breeding. We never really know how many sheep there are until shearing. The wool is all skirted and packed and now I have to find someone to buy it. 

Gwen brought her sweet little dog Lyle with her. He is an Icelandic Sheepdog and the sweetest thing. I fell in love with him and by the end of shearing, I was talking myself into getting myself one. By the end of the day, I decided that best I get the two Great Pyrenees established before thinking about another dog!

Lyle was so mellow. He was next to Gwen almost the whole day and as each sheep was finished, the sheep would fly over Lyle. I got this action shot albeit a bit blurry. 

Here is a short 15 second video of the shearing. 

Here are some other photos from the day. 

Kevin wore his shearing shirt from his trip to shear in Norway. 

Here is his tool box and his clicker to count the sheep. We pay by the animal. 

Here are some close-ups of Kevin shearing. He is so gentle with the sheep. 

Gwen is just as gentle although she uses electric shears. 

All day long, the lambs (who do not get sheared) were curious about what was going on in the barn. I had to keep shushing them away. 

Kate did great this year, watching every move. She is improving every day and hopefully by the end of the summer she will be a real help. 

We are very relieved shearing is all over for another year. The grass is starting to grow. Today it is supposed to be 75 and the leaves are beginning to leaf out. The sheep go out to graze everyday but it is still quite brown out there and they are being supplemented with hay. 

The Amherst Farmers Market starts this Saturday and the Northampton Tuesday Market next Saturday. We're back at, it seems. It's a grind that goes until November. But then everyone has a grind. We look forward to seeing our customers and meeting new ones. 


dot said...

It fascinates me that Kevin can shear
the sheep by hand with the blade. If I tried that the poor sheep would look like a car accident!!

Auntie Shan said...

Love KEVIN's Jersey! - It's probably like wearing a "STONES"-Concert shirt! Whatever, he certainly *ROCKS* IT!!


Vermont Grand View Farm said...

These are such awesome photos Kristin. Sheep shearers are very special people. Gwen's father, David, used to shear for us. After he died, Gwen added our farm to her list. We love Gwen just as much as we loved her dad. Thanks for sharing your shearing day with us!

Anonymous said...

Advice from an old farm widow: Gwen, your back is going to really be painful when you're over 70. Kevin probably already knows that.
What special people (and dog) these are! I don't imagine it's all that easy these days to find sheep shearers.
Thanks, Kristin for sharing this with us. I am a knitter who loves natural fibers but I also know the effort/process that provides the finished skein. Keep up the good work! Roxanne

Val said...

Lovely post ....very enjoyable...thank you!

LannieK said...

Thanks for sharing this - just amazing!