Sunday, April 29, 2007
Shearing and musing
We've started shearing!
This is Snowy, showing off her pouf. I like to shear on the stand. I feel it is easier on me and easier on the sheep than the more traditional "sit them on their butt and bend over them" method. Of course, it is no where near as fast. I am lucky to do 6 sheep in a day, even with the electric clippers, and this year I am using scissors. My dad built me a wonderful shearing table. It is currently a wonderful packing table and as soon as I have a building to shear in, I'll take it out to the farm to use the shear the sheep.
We are shearing late this year. Normally we shear in March and lamb in April. With the move though, I thought the sheep would be less stressed moving in fleece. And I didn't want to move heavily pregnant sheep. So we bred very late and planned on shearing in April and lambing in May.
I was very glad I had not sheared when we had a deep freeze here in Arkansas the second week in April. The sheep all stayed comfortable in their wooly coats.
The fleeces I have sheared so far are very nice. Silky, with a nice sheen and strong fibers, no stress breaks. I was worried, with the move. I'm going to shear everyone, and then skirt and bag fleeces. People who have sheep shares should get their fleece by the end of May. We have really cut back the flock, so I don't know if we'll have any fleeces for sale, but if we do, they be in our Common Threads ebay store by the end of May.
While I was shearing this afternoon, Shawn was nearby working on building a chicken tractor, so we can move the chicks out to the farm. We really need to get them out there and working on the tick population!
We were conversing off and on - planning and musing. I started shearing over Cakes' hip as Shawn pounded nails into the slab wood brace he had just cut with the hand saw.
"Do links still help with Search Engine Optimization?" I asked. He replied that my blog was indexed by Google and that wasn't a problem. We went on to discuss Keywords and other ways to improve the rankings of the store and website.
I realized this had to be about the funniest combination of conversation and work currently happening on the planet - and it is nothing unusual at all around here!