It was shearing day for the Suffolk sheep.
The sheep get sheared early for a few reasons:
The wool gets a stress or break point when the sheep lamb, The sheep also don't recognize that it is cold if they still have their coats, and this way they snuggle with the new lambs and keep them warm. It also makes it easier for the lambs to find the milk on mom if there isn't as much wool. This is also the time the sheep get their shots and things to take care of them through out the year.
Shearing does not hurt the sheep. They get back scratches while waiting and right after they get to eat.
Here is one sheep being sheared
This is the fleece from that sheep
Here it is being skirted. That is where they remove the "yucky" stuff from the fleece
After skirting it is folded and carried
to the big bag of wool that is sent out to the mill for processing.
As that is happening the next sheep gets it's wool cut and the process goes on.
While this was happening, I was in the shop spinning.
I was spinning on my Pinkie and one of the daughters was spinning on the Ashford Country wheel.
I was spinning Polypay roving. The Polypay will get sheared on February 27th this year.
As a thank you I was able to choose wool to spin later.
Now, my thank you to Lona and Mike of Shady Side Farm for allowing me to participate in this wonderful fibery day. You can find more info about the farm or on the next shearing day here.