Shearing 2016

My parents came to visit for a few days and we got everyone in the flock sheared with the exception of Etta, who refused to be caught. We’ll have to sneak up on her sometime in the next week or two and hope we can grab her! Everyone else was well enough behaved and aside from a couple of early prison breaks (mostly due to careless shepherds not securing the pen well enough) and a few unwelcome visits from a loose neighborhood dog everything went very smoothly. Now we have big pile of bags of wool to sort through and decide how we will have it processed this year!

It won’t be too long before we start lambing season. We could have kids any day now and the first lambs could arrive as early as the first of April!



More Shearing




Schnitzel and the hens napped in the stall beside us while we worked


Francine has a HUGE fleece. We took it off all in one piece so we can use it to make a felted rug.


So much smaller now- and squirmy!

Today we planned to finish shearing the flock. In the end, we weren’t able to catch Etta so she will have to be shorn later this week. Everyone else is done though! Francine being re-introduced to the flock:

More Photos HERE

Shearing Day

This weekend my parents, Jan and Spence, came all the way from NC to help shear the sheep and do a bit of yard work. Today Mom and I got five sheep sheared while Dad did a bunch of odd-jobs on the farm. I’m so fortunate to have parents willing to spend their “vacation” time getting their hands dirty on the farm. Their help is always appreciated, but even more so this year since Chris has been spending all his free time studying for his Boards and I’ve been trying not to distract him with farm work.

First Elizabeth’s twin wether lambs- Leonid and Larry.







Then Kaylee’s lamb Logan – the first second generation lamb we’ve shorn (the other one, Liisu, will be shorn later).



We ended the day with the first two lambs born on our farm, now 2 years old, Kelly and Kaylee.





I know it looks like we only sheared two sheep today- a white on and a brown one- but I promise there were five, just in matching sets!

In addition to having their wool shorn, everyone got an oral dose of dewormer, a vaccination injection and a hoof trimming.

I’m REALLY pleased with all the lamb fleeces but especially with Logan’s which was incredibly soft and crimpy. Since he is the first 2nd generation Square Peg Farm sheep we’ve shorn I’m really excited that his fleece is so nice. It is an indication that my breeding program is headed in the right direction. While he isn’t technically part of the breeding program (he is neutered) it gives me hope that next year we can breed his mother and her twin sister and – hopefully- end up with at least one ewe with a lovely fleece like his who can then continue to pass on those traits.

Tomorrow we hope to get the last three sheep on the farm shorn. That will still leave two members of the flock to be shorn, though, since Liisu and Leeloo are living at my parents’ farm in NC right now. They will be shorn next weekend along with my parents’ llamas.

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Shearing Begins!

2015-03-22 15.40.40We had a beautiful weekend so I took advantage of the nice weather to start shearing. Well, mostly I spent my time cleaning out the barn to prepare for shearing. After all the cold, snowy weather the barn had gotten really nasty. When it snows the flock spend more time in the barn making a mess, and then when the snow melts the barn floods and the mess turns into an even bigger mess. Yuck! The bright side is that the garden now has several heaping wheelbarrow loads of llama poo/ half composted hay/etc spread on top!

2015-03-22 16.00.20

I ended up only having time to get one sheep shorn and I started with Elizabeth- both my easiest and my most difficult sheep. Elizabeth is normally very easy to handle- she loves attention and is usually easy to handle BUT she is terrible on the shearing and hoof trimming stand! I think that the problem is that she doesn’t have any fear of humans and is used to being around people because she wants to be, so when she finds herself in an uncomfortable situation she has no patience for it whatsoever! I got both shearing and hoof trimming done, though, and now I have a beautiful bag full of lovely, soft white wool. I can’t wait till I have some more bags to join it! DSC_0272DSC_0279



In the past, shearing day has always been very stressful for us. When we hire someone to shear the sheep we have to sit back and watch while someone else cuts slices into the skin of our flock. When we do it ourselves, we stress out about hurting them ourselves and then fail to actually get the shearing done because we are so anxious about it. The sheep themselves don’t seem terribly bothered when they get cut but it makes us sick and is so hard to avoid – their skin is so thin and the shears cut through any little wrinkle.

This year, shearing was delayed due to the heavy, extended winter. And this gave us plenty of time to think about how we wanted to approach shearing season this year. We knew that we didn’t want to hire someone this year. But we were also dreading the physical and emotional struggle of shearing them ourselves in the traditional manner. So we decided to try using non-electric hand clippers on a stand. Its slow but we actually enjoy the process and are happy with the results. We don’t harvest quite as much wool but we are okay with that. In fact, we kind of like leaving a bit more wool on the sheep – it helps them adjust to the sudden change in temperature. Plus it is something that two people can do at once- one on each side of the sheep- so Chris and I are able to work together. And best of all no one- not us nor the sheep- is stressed out! So far we have only shorn Elizabeth and Francine but hope to get the rest of the flock done this weekend.