Last Friday [May 18] it was warm and had been dry for nearly two weeks. John spoke to Beth Myton, our shearer extraordinaire, and they planned to start shearing that morning even though I would not be there to assist.
We enclosed the sheep the night before, located the clear plastic bags, hoof trimmers, wound treatment [for nicks], and the big sheet of plywood to be used as a shearing platform. Next morning they were able to shear 8 sheep and trim the two wethers. The fleeces are enormous, with no breaks. All the energy that might have gone to lambs went to wool!
So far, Melissa has the best fleece. After picking out all the straw and veggie matter and tossing the belly wool, the fleece weighs 11.5 pounds! Since Romneys don’t produce a lot of lanolin, after washing it will weigh about 8 pounds. That is miles and miles of yarn. The staple length is 6 inches, the crimp is lovely, and it shines.
Ruth also enjoyed having no twins to raise. Her natural colored fleece is full of shiny silver, soft brown, and charcoal gray locks. The wire table is 5 feet x 10 feet so it’s easy to see that this ewe has produced a lot of wool: 12 lbs 4 oz after skirting!