All 21 sheep were successfully shorn today in preparation for lambing. We shear the sheep prior to lambing for several reasons. 1) When ewes lamb it stresses their bodies and they get a break or weak spot in each wool fiber at that spot. This makes it less desirable to hand spinners. 2) The lambs like to climb on and sleep on their moms which makes the fleeces dirty and again less desirable. 3) Shorn ewes are cleaner and easier to help lamb. 4) The lambs can find the udder easier to start nursing.
But don’t they get cold?! They are shorn with clippers that have something called a snow comb on them. This blade leaves about a weeks worth of wool on them. This combined with the fact that sheep are endothermic, meaning they heat themselves from within, allows them to adapt quickly to their shorter wool jackets. Usually within 24 hours they have adjusted to the change and have no problem, providing they have shelter.
Below are some pictures from todays events, including some of the other farm animals.