Jacketing Wool Sheep

It was time to change the sheep jackets last weekend.  As their wool grows we have to move them into larger and larger jackets.  I thought it would be a good time for a post on why we jacket our sheep.

Here is Fiona in her too-small jacket:

100_1358We remove the too-small one, wash it, and keep it for later after she has been shorn and needs a smaller one again.  Here she is in her properly fitted jacket:

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Jacketing is more expensive, higher maintenance, and somewhat risky because the animals can get hung up on things.  So why do we do it?

It protects the fiber, keeping it from staining, sun bleaching (in the case of dark sheep), and matting.  And it keeps the hay and manure out of it.  It gives us a superior finished product when we shear them.  It can add $10-15 per lb to the fleece if we sell it.

I think a picture is worth a thousand words in this case.  Here she is with her jacket off:

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And here is Daphne:

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The extra work, and money is worth it to us for the fiber to be in such better condition.

3 thoughts on “Jacketing Wool Sheep

  1. Do you leave the jackets on all the time? Another thing I am wondering about is do they make the sheep too hot? I am thinking about jockeying my sheep this year. Thanks

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    • We leave them on at all times, except when the sheep are lambing or have young lambs they are nursing. We haven’t noticed any signs that the jackets make them hotter, however, we live in the high Rockies, so it doesn’t get very hot here.

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