February means that winter is half over and things are going to be picking up at the farm. Our season always begins with shearing our sheep, which starts the process that ends with beautiful skeins of yarn. Most breeds of sheep will grow their wool continuously, so it is important to shear at least once a year. Look up “shrek the sheep” to see an example of what happens when you don’t sheer your sheep! We shear just before lambing in order to provide a cleaner environment for baby lambs when they are born. It makes it easier for newborn lambs to nurse and keeps the fleeces cleaner for processing. Sheep are extremely hardy in cold weather, but we also give them some grain at this time along with their hay to make up for their lack of wool protection.

Shearing requires skill to ensure that the sheep is shorn efficiently, quickly and without causing injury to the sheep or shearer. We want to thank Tim for his expertise and for shearing our sheep for the past 10 years. The wool off the back and sides of the sheep have the longest fibers and are the best quality for spinning into yarn. The next step will be to take these fleeces and pick out anything stuck or tangled in the wool, then send it to the spinnery.

Soon 8 to 12 lambs will be hopping around, which is always an uplifting scene when it’s only 8 degrees out.

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