Friday, March 14, 2014

moving ewes in the moonlight

Tomorrow is our shearing day. We had quite a hard time scheduling it this year, between the weather and our shearer's schedule. We are a little too close to our lambing date for my comfort, but I was happy that the ewes still had their fleeces for the storms and cold the past two weeks. Sometimes compromises are necessary.

Those coats are packed full of fleece;
tomorrow all the fleeces will be off!

I spent today cooking and cleaning for our shearing crew, and managed to get the boys to rake out the barn in between track practice and a school event. We are so behind on everything! That should have been done last weekend, if I had thought about it.

The sheep have to be dry for shearing. It generally works out best to leave them in the field, because their body heat and respiration makes for higher humidity in the barn.

UNLESS there is rain in the forecast.

When I looked earlier today, we were in the clear. My husband heard differently on the way home from his conference. I checked, and sure enough, rain showers at 6 am.


The three of us (no Primo and Secondo, they are gone for the night) ran out to the barn at 7:30 pm to put down straw, fill hay racks and water buckets, and otherwise get it ready for occupation. Luckily sheep move toward light, in case you ever need to know that. Also a stroke of luck that it is a fairly full moon, so we could see well enough to count and make sure we had everyone. Once we got them rounded up in the back pasture and following the grain bucket, they were happy to run to and into the barn once they got close enough to see it.

Except for the hussies who stopped to visit with the rams on the way past, but we eventually got them inside as well.

OK rams, please spend the night there too.

Fingers are crossed that the rams stay in their shed for the worst of the rain showers. We will plan to shear them last, to give them as much time to dry out as possible, and hope for the best. Really, that's all you can do.

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