Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Before and after

I recently mentioned that the pregnant ewes had been shorn and some of you asked why we would shear when it's not really warm weather yet (though it is today, hallelujah!). Looking back, I can hardly believe I ever went through a lambing season with the ewes in full fleece. Not only is it much messier with all that wool "back there", but it puts the rest of the fleece, a whole year's worth of work for the ewe (and for me) in danger of being trashed. There is nothing much cuter than seeing a lamb nestled up on its mother's back, but just imagine what all that climbing and jumping around does to mom's fleece. And it only makes sense that if it's really cold outside or rainy (or both), when the ewe is wearing basically the same amount of wool as the lambs, she is going to seek shelter. In full fleece, my ewes choose to bed down outside in a snow storm! One more reason is that it makes it so much easier for the lambs to find the milk bag, especially when they are just minutes old. Obviously there's much more space at the feeder with all that wool gone and, though they are not crazy about the process, the ewes are all glad for not having to fight for dinner!

Today is a glorious day with temperatures in the 70's and all those naked ewes are lazing about enjoying the sunshine. I hope there's the promise of warm, sunny days ahead wherever you are!


  1. Wow, that is fun to see. You have a lot going on around there!

  2. Don't you just love seeing everyone tucked into a warmly lit barn at night.

  3. Warm barns, sheep smell, throw in a Jersey cow or two, some chickens and I was in Heaven.