Winter shearing and Happy New Year!

Winter shearing and Happy New Year!

17th January, 2012: Happy New Year!  Here are pictures of the flock and winter shearing.  Gideon the shearer and I delayed this event, which is normally before Christmas, because the weather was horribly wet.  Sheep are fine with cold but much less happy with wet, particularly when shorn.  So I feed them extra rations and give them access to shelter anyway but the wet and wind were a bit much.  We seem to have struck lucky as it has scarcely rained since we did it.

Winter shearing and Happy New Year! The Natural Fibre Company

Here’s Harry watching Gideon arriving – the sheep stay indoors for around 24 hours before shearing to ensure they are dry and are not fed then either as shearing on full bellies can be very stressful and anyway they can eat all day afterwards …

Winter shearing and Happy New Year! The Natural Fibre Company

Here’s Harry and some of the others hoping I might feed them …

Winter shearing and Happy New Year! The Natural Fibre Company

we take the opportunity of doing pedicures at the same time … see she is just sitting there, not restrained and leaning against Gideon’s legs – he is wearing sheepskin overshoes to avoid slipping and/or treading on the odd leg.  See also the shearing blade neatly set out (Gideon is a perfectionist!).

Winter shearing and Happy New Year! The Natural Fibre Company

And here are some of the ewes with their new hair-cuts.  We only shear the Gotlands as they have long wool and need shearing twice a year to get a good coat off, so the Blue-faced Leciester ladies and gentleman escaped with just a quick trim around the backside – you can see the three ladies on the right of the picture and the four Gotlands in the midde.  You can also see the mud in the background!  This has now all been scraped up and tidied by Simon, the mini digger artist.

Winter shearing and Happy New Year! The Natural Fibre Company

… and finally, here is Harry again – in the centre with a mouthful of hay, along with David the Gotland ram to the right, Jupiter the Blue-faced Leicester ram in the foreground (not shorn) and Duncan the wether in the foreground, also eating.

Apart from my own sheep, we sheared two from Kay who had been staying with Sonny for a few weeks in hope of lambs, another two she brought along just to be sheared and four from down the road where they are living a life of luxurious retirement.  These last four are two wethers plus Beep who is David’s mother and Whitelamb the obstreperous Gotland cross who resists being caught for shearing with great determination, but luckily has a weakness for banana!  It seems to work for now anyway …