Naked sheep

Sienna's wool

I think we may be the worst shepherds ever. Just before some really frigid weather hit along with a freak October snowstorm, we finally sheared the sheep! Sorry, sheepies! Cold enough for ya? Actually, we didn’t shear anyone. The work was done last week by Colin Bridge-Koenigsberg, the son of CSAers Ted Bridge-Koenigsberg and Leslie McConnell. Colin is seventeen, a veteran 4-Her, and his family has raised sheep for 20 years. He did the deed right out in our back pasture, bringing along a generator to power his shears.

Colin works on Sienna while Somebody and Logan look on with curiosity/concern.

Colin at work

Now, that first day, he got the gals, Sienna and Savannah. After watching all this, along with some earlier jumpiness as a result of our neighbor’s target shooting, Logan the ram was having none of it. Though I made the sheep’s electric fenced enclosure much smaller for the occassion, the wily Logan evaded capture and eventually jumped the fence in defiance. Colin decided to return a few days later after the big fella had calmed down. Though we were able to catch Logan easily enough the second time around, he still put up a helluva fight. The procedure is that you get the to-be-shorn sheep on his or her butt, and after a few fits and starts most sheep realize that they’re powerless and relax into the situation. Not Logan. It took both Colin and I numerous tries to get him, hold him, and shear him, and he fought the whole way along, knocking the wind out of Colin a couple of times and spraining my wrist as I tried to hold him steady. Whew! Eventually, the deed was done, thank goodness…I’m not looking forward to doing THAT again.

The Big Guy, finally coatless.

Our (mostly) shorn flock. Logan, freshly shorn and pissed off, watches from a distance.

You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned Somebody. The little ram lamb wasn’t shorn because his date with destiny was so close. That day was today, actually…I dropped him off this morning at the Windham Butcher Shop. It’s a little sad…he was small and weak and probably sick with worms, but very cute and friendly. We’ll miss him, and soon we’ll, er, eat him. Such is life on the farm. In a video I posted a couple days ago, you see the sheep out and about as a result of the snowstorm. The snow made their electric fencing out in the pasture useless, and the sheep went right over the top of it in an effort to find food (“where did our grass go?”, I’m sure they wondered). So, we scrambled around, Sonya herding sheep, me rushing out for supplies, and both of us quickly putting together the sheeps’ permanent winter quarters, complete with a shelter shed, up close to the house. They seem pretty happy in there, and we are expecting a load of feed hay from Morgan Hill Farm in New Gloucester to be delivered tomorrow. Bring on the winter…at least sheep-wise, we’re ready.

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2 Responses to Naked sheep

  1. Julie says:

    Have you used diatomaceous earth for worming? My parents regularly include it in the sheep’s feed. keeps the parasites cleaned out. food grade availbale at Paris Farmers Union, I believe…also good for cats, dogs and humans :)

  2. John says:

    Good tip! Never tried it w/ animals. We have used it in the past around the outside of the house to deal w/ carpenter ants.

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