Shearing Day

We had our very first shearing day here at Unicorn Fluff.  I couldn't sleep the night before! I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve. Shearing day was the culmination of months of work, care and anticipation. Feed plans, coat changes and waiting waiting waiting.

The week before shearing the weather turned from Montana's false spring to a mix of snow and rain. Not ideal as you can't shear wet sheep. Wednesday we closed the girls in the sheep shack to help keep them dry. They were not thrilled.

Friday morning I headed out to go help with shearing at my mentors. And took note of their set up.  Todd headed home early to make some adjustments to our set up and I stayed to get some lessons in skirting fleece.

When the shearer was switching over to rams at Steitzhof,  I headed home to help get my girls moved and ready for the shearer. ;We decided it was easiest was to load them into their trailer and move them over to our shop. They went in easy enough but when we got to the shop they did not want to get out. Coco got out and when no one else did she got back in. The whole thing required pushing and pulling until Firecracker decided she would get out. Then it was a great idea!!!! Whew!


Once we got everyone settled we pulled coats off and oh boy!!!! Like Christmas I couldn't wait to get them all unwrapped.

Hank doing the unwrapping!

Our girls were a little feisty while being sheared. Coco who is a stinker about things like coat changes was actually the calmest on the shearing floor. They all have such different personalities.


They look so different once they are shorn but Coco was the big surprise. She is black and brown with her fleece but snow white underneath. 

The fleeces all tucked into the studio to wait for skirting.

Coco's fleece on the shearing table.

It was a really exciting day and at the end I was pooped! Samples of fleece were gathered and sent off to the Montana Wool lab. I'm curious to see the lab stats on our wool. 

Things I never thought of going in to our first shearing.

1. How to get the newly shorn fleece from the shearing floor to the skirting table. My exercise plan is going to have to include more crawling around on the floor, Thankfully, I had some good demo of this in the morning. 

2. Those buckets of fleece are heavy! Treleven's fleece was 11.5 pounds AFTER skirting. That girl builds an awesome fleece.

3. Getting the fleece onto the skirting table without getting it twisted is tricky. My mentors made it look easy but 2 out of my 4 took some untangling. 

4. Shearing is just the start of the work.  I had hours of work ahead getting them skirted and I will have weeks of washing and carding to get ready for spinning.

More about skirting, wool tests and processing coming soon. 




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