Monday, March 9, 2009

First sheep shearing experience

Saturday morning I headed over to Camas Washington and Greener Pastures Farm for some Icelandic sheep shearing.

I had made contact with Ronda a few weeks ago and learned that they would be shearing on the 7th and she was selling the fleeces for $10 each. She also shared that one of the ewes mother's was an OFFF winner and a gorgeous black - sold!

Shelia picked me up on her way into town and we headed over to Kathleen's to make use of her mom-van. We then headed into Portland to pick-up Duffy to make our vanload complete.

We arrived at Greener Pastures to find that Bobbie & Toolman as well as Sari & her daughter Simi had arrived along with Pam. Toomlan was acting as Bobbie's cameraman for the event. He doesn't mind a bunch of women though! We did have a bit of a wait while we waited for Ronda's husband Jon and Eddie the Australian Shearer to arrive.

We went out and took a look at the rams that Ronda has - some Soay and Icelandic and her new breed Cascade Farms then went in to look at the girls to be sheared. I have a collage of the photos: Top row - ewes in pen, rams, toothy ewe; Middle row - Annie (black ewe), Annie & friends, Annie being sheared; Bottom row - Annie being sheared some more and the haul.

I made three videos of the shearing process but only put the smallest one up at YouTube for your viewing pleasure. It started near the beginning of the shearing when I realized it was the ewe that Ronda said had 'spots' and reminded her of a dalmatian:

Once one of the sheep were sheared we started picking off the veggie stuff, very little really, the nasty bits and giving it a shake to get off the second cuts. Someone would then get a chance, if they hadn't already of claiming the fleece as theirs. It would then be rolled up and bagged with the ewe's info card inside along with the claimee's name. There were 14 ewes sheared, we went home with all but 3 fleeces.

A neighbor where the shearing had started that morning, PJ Landis came down with a couple of alpaca fleeces and a few shetlands. Shelia went home with a shetland lamb fleece and I picked up $5 worth of a white-cream fleece. PJ was helping with the loading of the bag and I got a little bit more of the 'nasty bits' than I would have liked in my bag, but for the amount I got I'm not going to complain. The fleeces:

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