Sunday, 22 June 2008

Not a good day for shearing

We got the ewes and lambs into the barn, the rams and weathers in a pen at the side of the barn, the fleece wrapping table ready. We also took the opportunity to weigh the lambs as we put them outside the barn so that they were not in the way when Tim catches the ewes for Andrew the shearer.
Andrew arrived just after 10.00 and made a start. Brazil's fleece came off reasonable easily, but when he came to shear Damelza, it was a different story, her fleece had not "risen". This is where the sheep's fleece has grown and there is a distinctive gap between the sheep's skin and the lanolin in the fleece, this is where the shearer's cutters cut through the fleece. If the fleece has not "risen" the cutters get clogged up with the lanolin and it becomes very difficult to cut the fleece cleanly and not cut the sheep.
So after a check of the other ewes we made the decision to delay the shearing for a month, by which time the ewes should have put some weight on and the fleece should be well and truly risen.
So this means that I will have no sheep fleeces to take to Woolfest this year, but looking at some of the fleeces even if we had sheared the sheep I don't think I would take many of them. The girls have certainly put everything into feeding their lambs.

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