Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting Ready

It's that time of year - that time when we get ready for the 100 plus lambs that will be born during a 3 to 4 week period.  It's make or break time for this shepherd.  Those are the lambs that provide income to purchase the feed for next year, some will be held for replacements - the best of the genetics for future generations.  Here are some of our girls, waiting their turn to be shorn.  Shearing the ewes before lambing (1) allows the lambs to find the udder more easily (2) keeps the ewes' wool cleaner as young lambs climb on their mothers and (3) makes for more space in the barn.

Manuel Santana from Albany, OR shears for me.  He is very good at what he does and is never rough with the sheep.  I should add that he is a wrestling coach and he knows how to turn a sheep into a pretzel.  Given that some of my mature ewes weigh around 240 pounds when they are not pregnant, I find that rather impressive!


  1. Good luck with the lambing! I know you will be very busy. I shear my own angora goats and am still trying to find that comfort level. I am still very tentative, and have great respect for shearers that can make what is very hard work look so effortless.

  2. When I shear, it takes about 20 minutes a sheep and I can do about 3 before I am exhausted. Manuel on the other hand can shear a ewe in 3 to 4 minutes.....we sheared 58 ewes and one wether on Sunday and I shudder to think how long that would have taken me!