I’m not doing very well with this blogging thing. I just realized that my first post–about the storm last week–was never published. I think it is now. I was so excited after shearing that I wanted to let the world (at least the fiber world) know all about it.
For me Shearing Day is more fun than Christmas. Fresh fleece! Ewes that now look obiously pregnant! No more separating goats and sheep before feeding! All the sheep fit at the feeders! Shearing Day here is a big event because I invite the public (mostly my Fiber Friends from my e-mail list). After a couple of weeks of miserably wet and/or cold, drizzly weather, the fog lifted and the sun was out. A lot of people visited. We sheared 45 ewes and 3 rams. The fleeces are gorgeous. Most of them are very clean with litte VM and the few that were covered were even better.
I had a potential glitch in the middle of the week. My regular shearer was just diagnosed with pneumonia on Thursday. I was lucky that the only other shearer that I know was willing to come on such short notice. I am grateful. He did a great job as well as working through the flock quickly.
As much as I love to see the sheep in full fleece, it is fun to see the transformation right after shearing. Before shearing the sheep look gray (dirty white wool) and brown (sunbleached black wool). Now they are truly black and white. Although I recognize all the older sheep from their faces and horns, it takes me awhile to reacquaint myself with the yearlings (last year’s lambs).
We sheared 3 of my 4 rams. I will handshear Ranger later. I’ve been dealing with the aftermath of a ram fight for a couple of weeks. It was 2 1/2 weeks ago that I saw Ranger and Yuri covered with blood at feeding time. Yuri, the 2 horned 2-year old, was the obvious winner. Ranger didn’t have very obvious injuries, other than the blood, but a few days later the swelling on the right side of his head was severe enough that it prevented him from closing his eyelid over his right eye. I was dealing with other issues and didn’t realize that had happened until I saw the bulging eye and pus from behind it. Yikes! Since then Ranger has been on antibiotics and banamine (for pain and swelling) as well as getting eye ointment 4 times/day. He is amazingly better, but his horns are still loose–it doesn’t seem to be the horn itself, but that whole part of his head. (My vet says that it’s hard to tell if there was brain damage, but at least we don’t expect him to drive heavy machinery.) Now I have a dilemna. I have had Ranger separated from the other rams so that I can treat him easily and so that his head can heal. I’d like to put him back with the other rams while they are all becoming reacquainted after shearing. I tried it, but I finally separated him again. One of the 4-horned rams in particular won’t leave him alone. I guess I’ll have to deal with that later.