Shearing Day

Diddley on stepping stones

So today was sheep (and goat) shearing day.  It is the biggest day of the year for me as a shepherd.  We worked hard getting everything ready, including placing down cottonwood stepping “stones” and bark in front of the barn.  Below are the photos of the sheep being sheared and the shearing crew at work.

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I managed not to get any photos of Tom or myself.  But here are the sheep after being sheared.

For once the weather was not horrible.  The black sheep went wild after being sheared, running and jumping.  Here they are with the lighter sheep looking on.

Now I have to get the wool dried, then skirted and evaluated.  If you would like some wool, let me know.

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The War Against Cottonwoods


has begun.  My husband, step-son and our neighbor/tree guy came yesterday and took down our cottonwoods.  Here is our tree guy climbing one of the trees.

Greg in tree

Here is the battlefield afterward AKA our backyard.


Here is the new view looking into the donkey pen.


looking into donkey pen_2

Here is the largest pile in the middle of the pen.

donkey pen

Here is the back of the donkey pen,

back of donkey pen

and here is the front of the pen.

front of donkey pen

We have a lot of work ahead of us clearing up the giant mess.  It will be a while before the donkeys have their pen back.  Plus there still is debris from the barn restoration that needs cleaning up.

barn metal debrisBut we do have cute goats to make us smile through all the work that lays ahead of us.

shorty with hay in horn

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Sheep Maintenance Day

was today.  This involves us catching each of our 29 sheep, moving them to the stand and hoisting them onto the stand, securing their head.  Then Tom trimmed their hooves.  This is usually my job but with my messed up finger he got to do it this time.  I assessed their body condition, fleece quality and conjunctiva color.  I gave them copper supplements as well.  Then we moved each one out of the barn and went to catch another.  

This is exhausting for all involved and hard on our backs.  We are now trying to recover.  Some fleeces looked better than I thought, others worse.  The sheep were a little thinner than I expected but no real surprises.  The hooves were better than expected with minor exceptions.  All the sheep had great color.  I am glad it is over.

This is the 29th sheep we did.  It is Logan, one of our ancient wethers.

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