So I have two naked sheep running around producing Naked~Nure, now if that is not one of my very favorite play on words ever, I don't know what is! The babies did not need to get shorn this year as they did not have enough growth, actually it was a close call, but I decided to err on the side of caution. I am very glad I did because it has been quite chilly since I took the shirts off their backs, so to speak!
I was supposed to drop the sheep off inside my trailer at the ranch where the shearing was to be done the night before, and that of course did not happen. Between my being hesitant to have them in the trailer for twenty-four hours and the fact that our B&B guests were really late, I got them there the morning of the shearing. I knew I had given them plenty of time to settle back down after their ride as the shearer was not to come until the afternoon. The arrangement was made for them to give me a call when it was almost "our" turn.
I took a lot of photos, but no video, and I wish I had, because the sounds were outrageous! I thought it would be good training for Princess and Crash to have a ride in the trailer with their parents and to see how the process is done. Well, I hadn't counted on how loud three nervous sheep can be when they think the other one is being viciously attacked! Surprisingly enough, the sheep that is being worked on is very quiet and pretty calm. So, from here I'll pretty much let the pics speak for themselves, with a bit of commentary thrown in by me....I can't help myself...
To shear a sheep, or for that matter, any "maintenance" on a full grown sheep you just set them on their rump. It reminds me of grabbing a cat by the back of the neck, it sort of freezes. It helps if you're plenty strong to tip the sheep in the first place. Hmmm... maybe this is where all that talk of cow tipping started!
She started right down the center line...
Princess, Crash and Paco all making sure Esther is not being killed! (Notice the devoted son got a bit sidetracked by the bag of grain...)
The beginnings of a Fleece.
Look at that beautiful wool!
To restrain Esther when she got nervous, they simply held on to her legs so she couldn't kick and covered her head to minimize the stressors. I kept trying to jump in and help, but they didn't want the newbie...Plus who would've taken all these great pics?
Roll over Esther, roll over!
Now Paco gets tipsy, I mean tipped!!!
Start all over again, at the center line and out...
I am downloading these in the order I took them. Now it is Esther's turn to worry that we are killing Paco! At least she has sense enough to keep the children in a safe corner-ha!
I'm pretty sure my ram had a head when I brought him...doesn't this look terrible? Again, this is actually the least stressful way to shear them. The owner of the ranch that I got these guys is gently holding his head back and covering his eyes, to keep him from looking around and getting all freaked out.
You know, I am really disappointed because Paco's wool is spectacular! Literally some of the nicest wool I've ever seen. I had previously agreed to not keeping the wool (a little under false pretenses, so next year will be different...) But, to not even have a better picture of the wondrous fleece that came off this boy is a tad bit of a bummer. Black wool on sheep is not common, and his is a very high grade at that, this has determined the new goal for my breeding of the next few years. I have a wonderfully healthy wool herd that I pretty much fell into and I intend to keep the genes strong.
The wool is son nice, as a matter of fact the breeder offered to take both Princess and Esther off my hands. No cash involved, she wanted to do a trade...We'll see, but right now I've got a good thing going, and until I have to worry about a ram for Princess, I will keep this amazing creature. Even if we can't find which end is which!