Friday, April 23, 2010

Shearing Awards 2010

This past Wednesday was shearing day at Harvest Thyme. If there is one job out there that is truly labor intensive it is the job of shearing sheep. My parents stopped over that day to watch for a bit and they were quite impressed watching the shearer doing his job.

I remember the first time I ever had my sheep sheared. I was quite sure the shearer was being too rough with my sheep, after all they were/are my children. I was quite sure the sheep were going to be traumatized, after all they were/are my children. I kept wanting to "help" the shearer out but he kept telling me "NO", it was between him and the sheep. George, my shearer, has now been shearing my sheep for the last 5 years. I am "much better" about George shearing my sheep, though, in all honesty, I still have a habit of pointing out which ones are my favorite sheep and too be "nice" to this one or that one. George just nods and keeps shearing and then he tells me which ones he likes and which ones I should "reconsider". And then I nod back too:)

So in honor of Shearing Day 2010 I would like to pass out some awards to a few my sheep.

Nicest Ram to Shear and Best Fleece Improver for my Flock Award:
"Lil' Country Acres Jedidiah Smith"
I actually was considering selling Jed. this Fall but I am going to hang on to him for at least another year as I am "thinking";)

Littlest Sheep Sheared and Smallest Fleece Award:
"Little Tyke"
(Little Tyke comes in pushing around 28 lbs as a yearling wether and George said he was the
littlest sheep he has ever sheared:)

Best Yearling Fleece Award:
"Harvest Thyme Addison"

This is Addison's fleece!! I am in love with it! She is a Black Cotswold x Shetland. Jedidiah is her sire. The picture only tells part of the story as it is so soft too the touch also!

Cutest Sheep Sheared Award:
"Harvest Thyme Averill"
I just love the look of black gullies when they are sheared! She is so soft and her fleece was also wonderful.......a Jed daughter also;)

Most Uncooperative Sheep to be Sheared Award:
"Harvest Thyme Harriet Bee"
I can't even put into words what a total fiasco she was too shear. She was just a total "B".
And of course she always has the most beautiful lambs including the twin gullie ewes from last
year.

Heaviest Fleece Award:
"Ethan Allan", a Black Cotswold Wether

Above is Ethan's fleece that came in just under 13 lbs! It is truly beautiful in my opinion! The shearer and I both agreed, however, that I am going to shear the Cotswolds this Fall in early October or the last week of September. I have never sheared twice a year so I will be interested to see the difference in the fleece.
And last but not least.................................

The Most Unique Sheep Sheared Award:
"Harvest Thyme Fletcher"
Are those spots just too cool or what??? George and I just just cracked up when Fletcher's fleece came off. Fletcher is truly a "spotted sheep"...........of course, because he is a wether!!
I could give each of the 34 sheep sheared an award but these were the highlights. I know, 34 sheep........yes the numbers need to come down before winter. I am working on it.
Sale page updates coming soon.
So what awards would you hand out to your sheep?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

So this is Ripton

So as of 10:30 this evening, Shearing Day 2010 is still a go for tomorrow. I had to "get sick" for tomorrow. I was suppose to be "sick" last Friday but the weatherman messed up those plans. Tomorrow is looking perfect....a few cloulds and 65 degrees. Barn is ready. It took me one too many wheel barrel loads of manure to be able to close the 3 stalls gates when I play sheep round-up tomorrow morning. I picked up needles and 2 bottles of CDT at the vet today, got wool bags, and meds. just in case a nick occurs. Oh, index cards/sharpie to label the wool bag with the wool owner's name because last year I did not do that and I had "issues" with myself for not doing it.

I wanted to take a few pictures of some of the sheep before shearing.

This is Harvest Thyme Ripton. He is out of Sheltering Pines Spirit and Harvest Thyme Jammer (Jammer is out of Jed. my full polled ram and Jammer has large scurs making Ripton a half polled, right?). He has really, in my opinion, blossomed into a very nice yearling ram.
He is nice and square in the rear and though I am not a tail expert, I do think its quite nice, maybe a tad long, but nice fluke shape with a hair tip.

This is a fleece shot from mid-rib area. I do like the look and feel of his fleece. Jed has definitely added that soft wool and crimp factor to his off-spring.
Even though I would like to strive for full polled rams, well actually full polled yuglet flecket to be exact (I can dream;), I am going to use Ripton next breeding season. He has those beautiful spots that Stephen at Sheltering Pines is famous for and I need to bring back some size into my flock. Anyways, that's what I am planning for this Fall. I am glad I waited to see how the 2 ram lambs I wintered over turned out. I will have pictures of Harvest Thyme Rutland soon. Off to bed as tomorrow is going to be a long day............