June 7, 2009

Shear Pleasure

We did it, we really did it! All the Shetlands are sheared now.
I can't thank you enough Deb and Tammy for the wonderful information and advice back in March to wait til late May or early June to shear the Shetlands.
This was the first weekend the better half was home long enough for us to attempt shearing after the "rise". Jim was a bit leery and actually expected the same challenges. Nope, nada, nothing of the sort! Everything worked like a charm. We are delighted as well as relieved it was not our equipment after all. This means we do not have to invest the extra $$ for a separate shearing head as we thought. The same equipment we use to shear the Angoras works perfectly for the Shetlands. Just has to be like Deb & Tammy said...before or after the sticky rise.

Here is Kelly in full fleece.

On the shearing table, the outer fleece appears almost orange from being sunbleached.
Here's Kelly sans fleece. Tiny fella really.
I would love to put a coat on him to see if he would stay jet black.
After Kelly came a short break then on to Aberdeen.
During the break we let the boys run around in the yard and offered animal crackers for treats. It's a great way to keep them calm.

Once on the shearing table he continued to get animal crackers (see the hand by his nose).

Off it comes with ease.
Some may be wondering why we don't shear like most with the boys on the ground, sitting on their rump, etc. It is just too hard on the old backs. We repurposed an old picnic table into a shearing stand. Works great. No bending, stooping or having to toss the boys around. We feel they don't feel so man handled or stressed out. Plus they can eat if they want to take their minds off of being sheared.
Shearing schedule is now April and October for the Angoras, Shetlands first week of June.


Sharrie said...

Looks like that worked out fine for you. Nice setup. Happy for you that it all turned out to be easier than you expected.

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

I would imagine, even though the job was easier, it still was a lot of work. Interesting for me, never have seen the job done in person! I love the black fleece.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

I can't begin to tell ya how much great advice (including yourself) I've gotten since I started blogging. Has been a great help.

Tammy said...

Great pictures of the process and I'm SO glad you got it done and it wasn't the nightmare the first two boys were. I'm sure you are feeling mighty relieved and the freshly sheared boys are feeling pretty frisky. Kelly looks awfully pretty under all that wool. If you don't mind to save a sample of his wool, I'd like to see how it turned out. He is from a UK type short crimpy fleece crossed on a long primitive/double coated so I'm curious.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome,great job;)

DayPhoto said...

I agree with you, a shearing table is so much better for everyone, including you!


ChristyACB said...

Wow, they look amazing! It would be interesting to see if his coat would stay that wonderful deep black, wouldn't it?