Sheep Shearing

This is the first year we had our sheep sheared. We only have 2 sheep - Baasil and Baarley. They are babydoll southdown sheep - very small wool sheep. Wool sheep need to be sheared, while hair sheep do not.

Al from Merciful Hearts Farm came out and did our shearing. He brought his own battery powered equipment, a mat to shear on (to keep the wool from collecting dirt and leaves) and tools like hoof trimmers. Al is just the nicest guy and I really enjoyed talking with him - but watching him shear the sheep was mesmerizing!

The sheep were put into the goat's kidding stall before Al arrived. This gave us a confined area to easily control them. Once Al arrived and set up his equipment, I would send one sheep through the stall door to Al's waiting hands and then I stayed in the doorway to keep the other sheep contained in the stall. (You wouldn't want a sheep running loose while you're waving a very sharp set of blades around!)

Once in Al's control, the sheep are put into an upright "sitting" position. Al explained that sheep shearing is all about controlling the muzzle of the animal and positioning yourself to keep them from struggling. The sheep seemed amazingly calm while he worked - almost catatonic. Several people asked me if they were drugged. I assure you, the sheep were not given any sedative except the gentle grip of an experienced shearer!

And now we have all this lovely wool! Plus the sheep will be much more comfortable without their fleece as the weather turns hot. Look out, naked sheep!