It's been busy around the farm. We spent the past couple days shearing the sheep. We didn't exactly shear them - three blade shearers did. Our part was to get the sheep all ready and assist. It took The Farmer about a week (yes an entire week) to gather the sheep to the central location from the various grazing pastures they have been in since May. Once they were all in our wintering over location, the sheep were gathered into the greenhouse barn. They were sorted - we don't shear the lambs - only the ewes and rams.
Kevin Ford has sheared our sheep for almost 30 years. Isn't that amazing? Kevin is a blade shearer and has been in many international sheep shearing competitions. Besides that he is a super nice man. This year he brought two friends with him. Jeff Burchstead came from Maine. Doug Rathke came from Minnesota. Both Doug and Jeff wanted to spend time with Kevin practicing their blade shearing techniques. Normally they shear with electric shears.
Here they are after finishing up. From left to right - Jeff, Doug, and Kevin
It was a busy couple days. We had help from our friend Terri Kerner and a new farm helper Andrea. Sorry that I don't have more photos of them. The Farmer, Terri and Andrea caught sheep to pass off to the shearers. Terri, Andrea and I picked up wool, skirted it, bagged it and cleaned up the plywood for the shearers.
In the past we have sheared in the summer. This year we switched it up so that the sheep have less wool on them at lambing time in January. The blade shearers leave a bit of wool on the animals so that they can stay warm. It grows back remarkably fast.
I am really glad it is over for another year. The ewes and rams look in good condition going into the winter - well-fed and happy.
Enjoy the photos. I'm sorry I won't have a lot of time to field questions - I am getting ready for our Open House and my family arrives for Thanksgiving next week. Busy time of year for all!
|Ewes waiting to be shorn|
|Jeff shearing a ram|
|Doug with a ewe patiently waiting|
|Kevin Ford - the pro|
|Jeff with The Farmer and Terri in the background|
|The line-up of 3 blade shearers - Jeff, Doug and Kevin|
|The Farmer watching|
|On top of ye olde manure pile|
|After their haircuts - happy to be lighter and picking around for grass|