Even though it’s only early March, shearing time came early this year because the sheep needed to be shorn before lambing. We missed Martha, but the other ewes will be cleaner and easier to observe as they get ready to lamb.
I’ve included some pictures below, but here are some updates about the current sheep:
- Agnes has the same beautiful fleece as last year, but terribly dirty! I took off her sheep coat when it started looking tight, but I didn’t have a large enough replacement coat. Lesson learned! Agnes has a tight crimp and gorgeous, square structure. Shearing also revealed that Agnes is quite chubby. Too much grain, Agnes
- Valentine’ wool is much like Agnes’s, but with the protection of sheep coats it stayed pristinely beautiful. I’ve sold most of Valentine’s fleece. She is also chubby and plainly pregnant.
- Peggy is in good condition, perfect for her stage in pregnancy. Even though she won’t tolerate a coat, her fleece stays cleaner than the others because it is relatively open and a little coarser. The shearing left Peggy with funny eyebrows. I love her pretty gray face and I’m hoping she’ll make this the third year of having twin ewes.
- Martha really got the hang of parenting this year and her little ewe is growing well. Martha is on the lean side, so I’m hoping we can fatten her up a little without making Valentine and Agnes any larger. Martha’s fleece is much better this year than it was last year, when the fleece suffered a great deal of vegetable matter damage and some fleece rot. Better housing this year made her fleece better.
- Cinder the ram’s fleece is as Vegetable-Matter contaminated as I observed when I traded Earl for him in November. I am gradually cleaning it. At Hampton’s Fiber Mill, mill owner Michael Hampton expressed admiration for his gorgeous, solid-grey fleece.
- Timberdoodle and Bobolink are on the lean side. They’ll get some grain as soon as I can supply Jenny. Bobolink has a long, gorgeous chocolate-brown fleece that was perfectly protected by the coat. Timberdoodle’s fleece is very short and incredibly soft. I’m not sure if Timberdoodle’s fleece is what I want in the future, so I’ll see how she does in the coming year.
- Meadowlark made an amazing fleece. With all the attention she enjoys from the two boys taking care of her, she’s lap-sheep friendly. I’m so glad that I chose to keep her at the last minute.