Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hand Shearing Zodiak & Zest...

It's that time of year again. Time for the annual hand shearing of my "swamp creatures". Zest and Zodiak almost always need to be re sheared during the summer as they have matted growth on the ends of their fleece from where they were sheared before the "rise". When the new fleece starts growing out, they truly do look like "swamp creatures"!If you click on this picture to enlarge it, you can see how the fleece along Zodiak's back is splitting off. You may notice how thrilled Zodiak is to be tied up so that I can hand shear her. "What are you looking at????"

Here you can see the smooth line between the fleece that I'm removing and the new coat, beneath it. I'm getting pretty darned GOOD at this!!

One down and one to go. You can see how thrilled Zodiak is to be finished. And ZEST is so anxious to have her turn that she's rubbing on the gate. Zest is an excellent example of what I mean when I say my girls look like SWAMP CREATURES! Isn't she gross????

Zest's beautiful daughter, "Bella Luna" keeps a close on on her mom... The clean area on Zest's back gives me a good place to start. The fleece comes off in large pieces but is fairly difficult to shear as the matted clumps really stick to the new growth. Zest does NOT like having her fleece hand sheared.

Fortunately, I'm getting fairly quick at it. I had both girls done in less than an hour. Don't they look better????

I have a little bit of "touching up" to do on Flash and Zaria but no one else that needs to be completely re sheared. I use the felted fleece that I removed as mulch, in my garden. It works great for keeping weeds down and holding in moisture!

DREAM says.... ..."Mom said I look beautiful and I don't even need a 'touch up!'. It's too bad those other girls aren't more like ME... "


  1. wow Nancy, I have a few that could use that too. I'm sure they won't stand that nicely but they'd look a lot better! Stop by anytime!! :)

  2. Grab a hand shear and get to work Garrett! It's really not hard and if you tie the sheep on a short lead, next to a fence or wall, you can pretty much force them to stand still....

  3. Wow! I am very impressed. Would you like to come and shear my llama??

  4. These are great photos, Nancy. And I can tell you've gotten better with practice! Ha, ha! :) If you need more practice, you're welcome to come here. No one is showing the "rise effect" but I can't believe how much fleece they've put on this summer! I was holding coats while my DH was exchanging sizes today. (He's been so great doing all these shepherd things while I can't) Some nice fleeces under those coats. :)

  5. Yes, the girls definitely look better "after." Glad I don't have to deal with that in any of my few sheep!

  6. Great job hand shearing the girls! I am VERY impressed! One of my first ewes, Cookie, matts like that and prolifically grows fleece. I have thought about shearing her twice a year before and now that I see the end result with yours, I am definitely going to give it a try this fall. Thanks!

  7. You have way more energy than me Nancy! I have 3 that need sheared, so come on down!



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