Wow. 2010 shearing has come and gone.
I am not ready for the lambing that is about to begin next week! We had a beautiful day for shearing this past Saturday, and Emily got those pregnant and yearling ewes sorted out very quickly. I don’t know how she does it, and makes it look so easy, too.
Our good friends Marie, Pam, Crystal and Chloe came to help out and we had a wonderful time. The wind was a bit brisk, but the sun kep us company all day and when we finished we had 14 gorgeous fleeces, each in their respective sheets, ready to move on to processing. So of course, now they are residing in the back of my Subaru Forester… just until I get them organized :*)
Pam was at the ready with the broom to sweep away most of the yucky bits of fleece that we don’t want to get mixed in with the intact fleece blanket. This is a huge help, and saves a lot of time when we throw the fleece onto the skirting table to get the dirty and poopy parts off before rolling and wrapping it in a sheet to keep it clean.
The last ewe to be shorn was Persimmon, prolapsed-ewe extraordinaire. We really were hesitant to take off the prolapse harness and have Emily sit her on her butt end as that puts so much pressure on her vulva that it might have invited the prolapse to pop out again.
So we asked Emily if she would mind shearing her standing, and she was happy to do it that way, thank goodness! Marie and Pam maneuvered her into position along one of the green panels and Emily took her fleece off in pieces, rather than as an intact whole. Sometimes you really don’t want to do that, but I was more concerned in getting her ready for the lambs as she is the first up on the hit parade. I hate the thought of having to have her shorn later on. It’s just one more thing to try and fit into the schedule. And she was a champ!
After taking the shearing floor apart (thanks, Marie!) we opened up the greenhouse so the ewes had the whole place pretty much to themselves, we spread out some feeders and finally gave them their days’ feed. They were very aggrieved at having been on a starvation diet that day (to prevent them from having a rumen backup- bloat -while they are being held in so many different positions during shearing) and when we brought out the hay, we needed to step back quickly. You can be run over and left for dead if you find yourself between a hungry ewe and her feed! We were feeling a little bit that way as well, so we were able to go in, relax and have a nice meal together. It was a lovely day. The rams have to have their own shearing day in March sometime. I can’t even think that far ahead right now!