Sunday, September 03, 2006


Dream and Rosie stand tied to the handles on the Jeep, awaiting their baths...Next weekend, we'll be showing several of our sheep at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, Midwest Shetland Sheep Breeders' Association (MSSBA) show. For the first time, I've decided to bathe some of the sheep before the show. I'm doing it a week in advance so that the coat has time to regain it's normal lock structure ~ but, hopefully, not so far in advance that they just end up dirty again...

I soaked each of the girls down with the wand, attachment I use to water my hanging baskets. It worked slick! You can see how much they LOVED getting rinsed off.

Notice how dirty the water running off of Rosie is. After soaking them thoroughly, I used my watering can to sprinkle water with "wool wash" added to it, over the wet ewe lambs. I let that soak in for about 10 minutes while I washed their faces and legs with a wash cloth, with baby shampoo on it.

A final rinse and they're done! You can see that Dream was thrilled. ;-)

The girls 'jump started' the drying process by shaking enthusiastically. Then we went for a walk down the road...

It's amazing how much water those fleeces hold onto! The girls are still damp 4 hours later...

I'm not sure if I did it "right". Nobody admits to bathing their Shetlands before a show. Yet, I know for a fact that MANY breeders do. And I think they look nice. So, I decided to try it this year too. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Dream says......."It's been a rough weekend "!!


  1. So...How long DOES it take a Shetland to dry? ;-) And, where are you going to keep them that they will STAY clean?

    And, how many cookies did it take?
    (I gotta find out what brand of animal cookies you use!)

  2. We are so envious of all of you Shetland people in the Midwest area. You have really neat shows and events to go to. (sniff, sniff)
    There's nothing even close here in AZ. (sniff, sniff)

  3. Yeah, it was the "how are you going to keep them clean" question that was on the tip of my tongue.

    I'm not jealous of the cool shows -I'm jealous of ALL THAT GREEN GRASS!

    Dream, you look lovely, I'm surprised mom didn't get out the blow dryer LOL.

    XOX Tina

  4. We went to the Michigan state fair on Friday. They have certain breeds on certain days. Friday we saw Lincolns and merinos. The Lincolns looked gorgeous in their curls, but the merinos looked dirty. Neatly shaped, but with dirty clotty things at the ends of the wool. I know merino is a very lanoliny wool, so maybe this is impossible to avoid without shaving them right down, but much less photogenic..... The rams have cool horns, though.

    Your girls are so pretty. I'm sure all the other girls will be jealous!

    -- Vicki in Michigan

  5. OK you guys....

    Dream and Rosie are still damp today (Monday, 9/4)!

    I have no idea how I'll keep them clean. In fact, I'm not even going to TRY! I decided that, no matter what, they're cleaner than they were and they've only got 3 more days to get dirty, compared to the 5 months of dirt that was built up on them. ;-)

    When giving baths (or other unpleasant experiences) I give LOTS of animal crackers. I think I can honestly say that it was not in the least bit a traumatic experience for any of the sheep.

    Ya know, Kat ~ when I got my first sheep, there were no Shetland shows (or meetings or anything fun) around here either. So I helped start MSSBA ~ we connected with the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival and offered to put on a Shetland show and they were thrilled to have us join them. A couple years later, I started MSSBO (Minnesota breeders) because MSSBA was getting so big and I like smaller, more intimate, groups. other words...MAKE IT HAPPEN! I have a feeling it won't take you long. ;-)

    I agree ~ we are truly blessed when it comes to pasture!

    Vicki ~ I LOVE your pictures from the State Fair!

    Thank you to you all for your comments! It makes me feel appreciated to know that people read my blog and enjoy my animals...

  6. Hey, I know another breeder who admits to bathing her sheep! Marybeth Bullington was one of the breeders exhibiting at the Oregon State Fair, and she hosed off her sheep before the show in order to get rid of some of the dust and grit. Unfortunately, she didn't do it a week in advance like you did, and they weren't absolutely dry. It may have affected the perceived quality of her fleeces, as the judge didn't place her sheep as high most of the time as he did another breeder. I like your rinse-wool wash-rinse idea, though!



Blog Widget by LinkWithin