Shearing Day

Shearing Day

Sunday was shearing day. It is a very busy day as you can imagine. We had a friend come help but most of the setup work was done by my son.  This system is set up in the area we put the lambing pens in the spring.  This is a shoot system from the holding and crowding pens to where they get sheared. There is a gate part way to stop them from going backwards. On one side is a big pen for the ram lambs to be separated for weening. It will be a noisy night.


Here are some shots of the sheep being sheared. We have a wonderful shearer. He is calm and gentle.


This is a picture to show the difference between the outside sun-bleached wool and the cut side of the wool

I only kept 4 fleeces. These are 2 of them. I couldn’t resist the white one. I have to have a proper look at them yet I hope there isn’t too much hay chaff in them.



This is my Lincolns fleece. It looks matted to me but I will try washing it and see what happens.


This is a bad sheep complaining, between nibbling. She ran around and instead of going out the open gate to the barnyard she flipped open the wooden gate and ran out the opposite side of the shearing floor. She then complained that she was by herself for the remainder of shearing. We opened the gate to let her back in but she just stood there and yelled.

I tried to get a picture of naked sheep. when I went feed Storm they were all in the barn, too dark for pictures. I went back an hour later they are all in the old garden, great. I got one picture before they turned tail and ran for the gait to the field. This is the story of my life trying to take pictures of sheep. You have to sneak up on them or they at very least will all turn away and show you their tails and at worst decide you are a coyote taking pictures for a future dinner party.


This is 4 half bags of wool ready to go to the wool co-op. I get half bags because I am the bag stuffer and the big bags are a pain if you don’t have a stand and are bad at climbing ladders to stuff fleeces in. they are much easier to manage and transport too.



For those wondering how Storm is doing. here he is He is in the barn and is eating grass (cut for him daily) and grain and still gets 2 bottles a day. In the close-up shot, you can see milk all over his face from bumping the bottle and sprayed milk all over his face and the other one is just to show you how much he has grown.



I took lots of pictures but my iPhone kept switching to live and so it kept taking 3-second videos instead of pictures. If anyone knows how to permanently turn that feature off I would love to know it. What a frustrating feature. If I wanted a video I would switch to video. I don’t know how to grab one shot out of a video. It is probably simple but… And that’s my rant for today. 🙂



16 thoughts on “Shearing Day

  1. What an eye-opener into the life of a shepherdess! 🙂 People assume sheep are stupid but I think they are a bit like people, some are quite wily and will surprise you if you underestimate them, like your lady who managed to “escape”. I’m always fascinated by how my neighbour’s sheep seem to follow him around, we can tell when he is nearby because they all flock towards the gate. It is very cute to watch 🙂
    We are just heading towards spring here, so there are lots of new born lambs all over the paddocks. Glad to see Storm is doing well and is a bit spoilt, being fed grass clippings rather than mowing the lawn himself!

    1. Sheep are a lot like people they like to be together but there are always a few outliers. They will form little groups but work as a group most of the time.
      I love seeing lambs out running around. They always look like they are having a great time. Storm is spoiled but with no attachment to the flock yet he would get left behind. Having one bottle lamb it is harder to get them back to the flock.

  2. This post is a lovely glimpse into your busy life Ann. Storm really is doing well and he has the sweetest face.

    The sheep shearer must spend a fortune on chiropractic repair to his back 🙂 Why does he have tape on his trouser legs below his knees?

    Are you going to share photos of the work you will have to do on the two fleeces you’ve kept?

    Your farm looks lovely.

    1. He is doing well. he is in fine voice always wanting you to believe he hasn’t been fed. I notice he bends form the hips and not the waist and that is supposed to be better if you work bent over. I have never heard him complain about his back. I think they are special shearing pants. the leg folds under his foot and he wears felt looking slipper type shoes. I think the tape stops them falling down, but I didn’t ask. 😉
      I will show you but there are a dozen other things to do before I get to them.

  3. Storm is looking great, I love the expression on his milky face.
    Seeing the “naked” sheep running away immediately made me think of a track from a Barbara Streisand LP (there’s a blast from the past). She’s singing a duet with herself and at the end of the song one of the voices says “I’m gettin’ outa here” and the other self says “me too”. Its a quip which has become part of our family’s sayings. I can just see the sheep saying it to each other.
    Do you know what happens to the fleeces you send to the Co-operative? I suppose that with your sheep being specific breeds rather than mules they might fetch a reasonable price. I heard recently that shepherds here are lucky if they get 60p for a fleece. They now only shear for the sheep’s benefit, not to make any money. It’s such a waste and it’s no wonder so many farmers are going out of business.
    I’d better get off my soap box before I really start ranting.
    Do keep us up to date with Storm’s progress. He’s such a lovely chap.

    1. He is a real cutie. I will keep you up to date.
      I don’t think I Know the song. I will have to look it up.
      I only have the one pure breed sheep and I kept her fleece. They are mostly black sheep because I like black sheep, but it will get discounted for that. Despite the natural movement people want dyed wool. The wool is classed as carpet wool so it won’t even pay for the shearing. It does have a lot of hay chaff in it so it’s hard to get clean. Every year I think I should put coats on some of them but it’s a big job and they have to be changed as the wool grows. It’s a soap box most small farmers will happily share with you.

  4. How lovely is Storm looking! I’m glad he’s up to silliness (means he’ll be a healthy, cheeky lad when he grows up.)

    Loved seeing the shearing process, it must be a fairly stressful day for the sheep and you, what with all the planning and bleating. That one sheep who decided to get away from the others must have a Goth attitude 😀

    1. He is good at being silly, and your right it means he is healthy and happy. It is stressful they don’t really like the routine to change. I think they feel good after it’s all done, most of them are cooperative. A calm shearer is real asset.

  5. What a busy time Ann. The sheep certainly don’t shear themselves. Good to see individuality among the flock.

    Storm has come on in leaps and bounds. A real beauty.

    1. self shearing sheep sound like a great idea. oh yes sheep ma look the same and work well as a flock but there are definitely lots of personalities too

  6. I always love these posts that show farm life. The sheep are funny creatures, aren’t they? It’s fun to hear about their antics. Storm is a adorable and the milk face made me laugh. I hope the fleeces that you kept are good ones.

    1. Lambs are so funny with bottles. they bump them with their nose like they bump their moms to get her to let her milk down. the result is always milk squirting our of the nipple. It has been me with the milk face more than once. I hope they are too. I will be happy if there isn’t to much chaff in them.

  7. Love the pictures of Storm, glad to learn of his progress. We talked about coating him, but I have to agree with you that along with all the other obligations you have, changing the coat of a rambunctious lamb is out of the question.
    Every time I see a shearer, all I can say is Oww, oww and oww again. Doing that all day for days on end MUST be murder on their backs.
    Don’t give up on the Lincoln fleece, even if it is a bit matted. I have a set, well two sets, of wool combs that might salvage the fleece. One is really powerful and does a great job on heavy cotswold fleece, so it will clean up the Lincoln, but I have a gentler set that might work better. We’ll talk more once you’ve washed the fleece – in your spare time.

    1. Storm is coming along well. I am sure its all practice but its the bent knees that make me think oww. I hope to get to unpack my studio and wash the fleeces in the next week or 2. I need some proper felting time.

  8. I feel your pain with the live feature! Your fleeces look fascinating – I’ve been using some raw locks but the trend for felting a whole fleece into a rug appeals. Not sure if I’m fit enough! Your sheepies are so cute and I loved the whole post.

    1. I figured it out how to turn of the live photos. In the camera setting you go to preserve settings and then at the bottom turn on the live photo and it will preserve the setting rather than resetting it to on every time. Seems backward but it is working.
      I am hoping to use one of the fleeces for a rug. I got a kids plastic pool to do it in so I can stomp on it to felt it.
      Thanks, the sheep are great. I really like them, even their antics.

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