The all important phone call was made now that I'm home from a trip to Jekyll Island ...... yes, our sheep shearer Don is coming to Wild Rose Farm on Saturday. The preparation started this evening. The barn was rearranged to accomodate all of the ewes until Saturday. We are expecting thunderstorms overnight and during the day on Friday. The ewes have to be dry when they are sheared, so they are brought in under cover the night before shearing. They're in a day early this time because of the heavy rain coming. On Friday night before shearing, hay and water will be withheld so that the sheep aren't being rolled around on full stomachs during the shearing process. They are already carrying lambs, so we don't want to put extra stress on them and risk a prolapse. There are several advantages to shearing before lambing. It's easier to see the stages of labor without the wool cover. The ewes are cleaner and the lambs can get in to the udders to nurse more readily ..... no hanging dung tags or locks of wool to confuse them when they get up to nurse for the first time. Finally, the ewes take up less room in the barn once 3 inches of wool are removed from each side!
Check back for pictures!