Thursday, September 5, 2013

OUT WITH THE OLD... Lamb Shearing

Today is the 5th of September, time to get the beds ready for Fall growing, sheer my lambs, and in general move from the Summer Season to the Fall Season.  I have really been spurred on to cleaning up the residual summer vegetables by the early crispness in the morning air. 
       The weather also is PERFECT for getting my spring lambs sheared....

This is the little ewe who was born this spring.  Her coat is not terrible long but she will be more comfortable if she get's a haircut and Next springs growth will be nice.
After her haircut you can see that she is actually black spotted not brown as it looks like in the previous picture.  Technically the Jacob breed is a "black sheep with white patterning".   This is a 4 horned ewe.  You can't see the other two horns because they are hidden by the hair near her ears. 
After the ewe and ram lambs were sheered, I put the sorted fleece in a tub with a squirt of mild soap....
...and fill it with the garden hose.  Then I leave it to let the sun gently warm up the water and remove the dirt and lanolin.  Then I will rinse it with cool water and lay it out on my drying rack to dry.  This method works the best for me.
As for the newly sheared?  They get moved into the older ram's moveable pen and spend a few minutes getting reacquainted before joining him on Lawn Mower Duty!  Notice how light the older ram is?  He was sheared in May.  The sun will bleach their coats.    

  There is always a bit that is second cuts or too dirty to deal with so that bit goes to the the Thornless Black Berries to help them compete with the Bermuda Grass on our farm.  The wool mulch breathes but chokes out the grass and the "dirt" from the fleece is full of minerals that will leach down feeding the plants.  Nothing get's wasted!