Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sheep Shearing - The Gotlands Get A Hair Chop

Back at the end of June, Larry and I purchased our first small flock of Gotland sheep.  It's been an interesting adventure I must say.  Just after they arrived Larry began attempting to set up a date and time for a sheep shearer to visit us in the fall and shear our small flock of 4.  When the sheep arrived they had a fleece of about 3 inches long (maybe).  By the end of September it was about 4 inches long and I was pretty sure it wasn't going to be a good idea to wait until spring to have them sheared, Gotland fleece can grow 12 inches per year.  It seems to be a bit difficult to find someone around the Southern IL area in the fall to shear sheep.  When your sheep need a hair cut there's really no time to wait.  If you wait the fleece becomes felted or matted and I didn't want to waste these lovely locks!

Larry purchased some super sharp hand shears and we gave the sheep a hair chop!  I would like to purchase electric clippers if we aren't able to find someone to shear for us but not really sure what brand would work best for just a small flock.  If anyone has any suggestions please share with us :)

We began with the young ram, we tipped him and cut his fleece bending over him, that was back breaking so we decided we needed a new strategy on the next three ewes.

Our Gotland sheep are super sweet, friendly and easy to work with.  So on the next ewe, I sat on a five gallon bucket, put a harness on the sheep and let her stand while she was sheared.  We thought at first that we would need to tie her she just stood there while I sheared, if you can call this shearing...

This is Kajsa, she is so sweet and loves the attention.  After her hair cut the other ewes kind of pushed her around and butted heads with her, almost like they didn't recognize her.  Not sure if that was normal...

This is little Lindi, yes I know it's not a nice slick shearing job but it was the best that a first timer can do with a pair of scissors and fleece will grow back again.

I don't think they look too terrible, it's a little choppy but when you don't have time to wait on someone else to do it for you, this works just fine.

I'm super excited to make something from their beautiful fleece.  Now let's learn to spin some yarn...
Have a Blessed Day!!