Back in April, I went to a small but lovely sheep farm on its shearing day. Shepherdess Alice is an amazing woman, lemme tell ya! She's got a great (and growing) flock of Shetlands and Icelandic and a pretty bunch of Finn sheep too, along with the money sheep (meat). I'm going to let the photos do the talking now...
First you have to herd the sheep (walk slowly with your arms out.) into a smaller and smaller pen, and as you shear, the big guy helping just picks up a sheep out of the waiting pen and plops her on the shearing table.
Shearing tables are awesome. Much less bending over, and the sheep can just stand there resting its head in the holder (it looks scary, but is not.)
This is Flynn, the Finn, the first bottle baby of the season, I can't remember if Alice had any more, but he is SO cute. She's kept him as a wether, and his fleece will be coming down to me in the fall after shearing!! YAY!
This is Harriet, the Icelandic. This was her first shearing, and she was somewhat of a rescue, which is why she is SO small. Icelandic sheep are small anyways, but she is just teeny-weeny!
See, wasn't kidding!!
Alice gets to look out her kitchen window to this... but usually with all the sheep on it too. Prett, no? I was so lucky to get up to the Shenandoah Valley again, I miss that place! And I had a great time too! All said, I came back with half of Harriet's fleece (which I just finished setting the twist on this week, photos soonish I hope), and a whole Shetland. The Shetland missed out on a photo shoot because when we put her on the table, she LAID DOWN. Would NOT GET UP. So I had to be a little more involved with that shearing, making sure she didn't try to get up and jump, or roll off. We named that yearling Noodle, and her fleece came home with me. I've washed, but not carded Noodle yet, but all that oatmeal-grey goodness is calling my name, so it will be next.