Monday, March 18, 2013

Shearing day

Shearing happened early at the Womerlippi Farm this year, in part to avoid a case of fly strike which we had last year and the year before, but also because of last year's early warm spell, which had us almost to 80 degrees F in March.

Of course, this decision ensured that the night after we sheared, the temperature would be forecast to drop to 6 degrees F, and so we had to put a heat lamp in the barn and give everyone extra hay and oats to compensate.

Here's our top-flight shearer, Edi, hard at work.

Here are the poor scared wee sheepies all captured neatly and waiting for their turn. One benefit of shearing before lambing is that the extraneous noise level in the barn is much reduced if you don't have to separate mothers and babies.

Edi has all the good sheep control moves down, and is very careful.

I think this is Tillie, but it's hard to tell!

Here's Aimee with a shot of tetanus vaccine ready to go. All the sheep have now had their annual booster shots.


And here they are after a good half-day's work for the farmers and a couple hours for the shearer. 

We're confident we will avoid fly strike and have an easier time lambing thanks to the early shearing decision, but our older Head Ewe Tillie was still a little cold last night. We put a heat lamp in the barn for them and the extra feed, but she was still shivering. As Head Shepherd, and the Womerlippi farmer responsible for the decision, this was clearly my problem and so I decided to put a sweater on her. Aimee thought this was rather foolish, but was pleased enough with the effect that she posted it to her Facebook page for everyone to see.

The sweater we decided to use was one of my rejects from my various attempts to learn to use a knitting machine.  

It just happened to be green for St. Patrick's day.

I think she looks quite stylish, don't you?

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