Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shearing Party

Every year around this time we have our sheep sheared, before lambing season begins. To our surprise we had some sheep that had their lambs while they still had all their wool, not ideal. It makes it harder for the lambs to nurse, and sometimes they suck on the wool, which can give them "wool balls".
This year we had a little sheep shearing party. My mom and sister were here, as well as some others who were able to come at the last minute. For as many years as we have seen it done, it is still so interesting to watch.
Our sheep shearer is amazingly fast and is very good at what he does. He is also full of interesting facts, and just fun to talk to. With all the knowledge he has on sheep, we try to get him to predict the due dates of our ewes, even thought we do have a rough idea of when they are due. Most of the time he is pretty accurate.
People always ask us what we do with all the wool. Well, many times we have just sold it back to the shearer, but there have been years where we did some fun things with the wool. We had a wool mattress pad cover made for our bed and two pillows. Another time we had the wool cleaned , carded, and rolled into batts. I have made pillows and quilts with that wool, and plan to make quilts for my children some day, as I still have a lot of it left.
I have to say that I really enjoy having sheep. As a child, growing up in the city, I hated animals. I was afraid of everything that moved! To this day, I am still afraid of dogs. My dog is the only dog I am not afraid of, and to my own surprise, I actually really love him. :) But sheep are never vicious and mean like a dog can be. They are dumb and can drive you crazy with their skittish behavior, but they are easy to be around, especially for children. They also taste great! :) It's probably hard for you to believe that I can say that about an animal that I like, but when you raise an animal for the purpose of food, and you take good care of it, giving it a good life, it's not hard to butcher it and eat it. :) It's all part of farm life. :)

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