This summer was full of garden foil and folly, it was also one of change in the care of our sheep. Our wonderful sheep shearer from New Zealand did not visit our area this year, and we have dearly missed him. He never left a nick or cut when shearing, always treated them kindly, and would leave an inch of length to their coat so they would adjust to the summer heat.
In trying to replace him I discovered that to leave and inch of length to the wool, makes it a lot harder to shear, but he never complained. I could not find another sheep shearer who would do that, nor many who would deal with horned sheep. So...
... I am doing it myself, it was about time. Although I'm choosing a slightly different method, no electric shears for me. With research I found light weight, stubbed nose clippers from England, pure beauty at first sight (I just love these clippers!).
They were easy to use not requiring a lot of hand strength. I chose the easiest ewe to start with and went to work. When I was done it was not in one piece like our friend would do it, so I ended up with three pieces, but I did it, all on my own. The first one was a bit tricky, but thankfully it will only get better with each attempt.
I am not placing them on their back, just tying them up and going to work with them standing. I am so lucky this breed has no leg hair, nor any on their belly so just the back and around the neck and I am done. Because I am so late in the season I am leaving over an inch of wool so that they will be ready for winter.
To new skills!....
*Last time in Barn Stories: Fat Mama