Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Day one of shearing

We shear twice a year, mainly since we lamb out in March/April and we want the wool to be short, than have a years growth so the lambs will not have an issue. I suppose we could crutch the ewes but the cost is the same, so we opted for a full shear. Normally the fall shearing in the first weekend in Oct but since I am gone for a good portion of Oct for trials, we moved it up two weeks. Tim Sorg, our shearer arrived on time and got set up. Kathleen and Monique also were part of the shearing crew. We decided to forgo the hoof trimming and vaccinations for a few weeks since we were all injured in one way shape or form. However, the dogs, Emma and Lucy were just fine and more than happy to step up to the plate and work. Monique and Lucy brought the flock from the far pasture and we went to work. Tim sheared, Kathleen was the wool tosser and Monique and I were the worming committee. Monique had to leave at midday and missed the homemade shrimp fettuccine and Getty had made. It was a very tasty lunch and we watched some football. Tess and Rainey planted themselves with Getty and rooted for fumbles, turnovers and touchdowns.

Finally around 4ish or so, we got done with shearing 53 sheep. Kathleen and Emma took the flock back to my far field. About ten of this years lambs will go away as locker lambs so I hope to carry over about40- 45 or so ewes and rams for thee winter. That is a good manageable number. Next year, I plan to sell most of my ewes that are 7 yrs to perhaps a person who wants a good starter Clun Forest flock,. Those lines are the old lines from Oregon and great mothers, easy keepers and no health issues. They have great feet which have not been a problem in our marshy area. As a personal preferences, I like ewes with upright ears and dark faces. I look to sell about 15 of them next year and keep their lambs as replacement.

Emma resting under the chair
Additionally, I have about six Katahdin ewes that are nice and stout and will keep two of their ewe lambs next year. My goal is no more that 45 sheep. I have had up to 85 or so and that was a lot more work than I wanted, with a full time job.

Emma taking a midday nap

After Tim had left, Kathleen and I decided to go out for dinner. We were both totally beat from the long day. A change of clothing was in order and soon we headed off to the fall city Grill. This is not to be confused with the Fall City Roadhouse, which as the most horrible service and food on the west coast. The Fall City Grill is a small café and has been around for years.

The Saturday night special was Prime rib, baked potato, corn and soup or salad. We both ordered it and Kathleen got the soup and I got the salad. The prime rib was very seasoned and served medium rare. It was a good meal and we were stuffed. As we lounged about, they came by with a dessert tray. I was tempted and broke down and got their signature dark cake with caramel sauce. I thought it was a dark chocolate cake but it is a date cake. It was rich and wonderful. The homemade hot caramel sauce on the side and whipped cram on the top made it a 5 star dessert. Kathleen and I ate it in seconds, smacking our lips, wondering where we found the room for it in our already full stomachs, but we did. The dessert is a ‘you must have dessert’ and I know that I will be ordering it again.

Soon, we left the warm and cozy café and made our way back to the farm. As we past my far field, we could see the freshly shorn sheep in the moonlight with Emma the Arab hovering nearby. When we put the flock back in the pasture, she rushed up to check on her charges. We had left her behind to bring the sheep back to the farm. She snorted and sniffed everyone, as if wondering what happened to their wool. The clustered about her and once she was satisfied, they all wandered off. She is a good guardian of the flock and we continued out drive to the farm, knowing the flock was safe under her guidance and that I would repeat this shearing process the next day with Nayab’s sheep.

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