Two more sheep have been shorn for the year. Daisy and Blue are both new to our farm and thus this is their first shearing with us. They did not have a full year of growth – more like 10-11 months – so we expect next year’s fleeces to be longer.
These shearings were exciting because Sunshine has decided she wanted to learn to shear the sheep. So Mtn Man and her did these two together, with Sunshine learning. She enjoyed it and did an awfully good job for her first ever time. Not to mention, Sunshine is petite – small but mighty – but I am sure her size effected her ability to wrestle the sheep into position and hold them there. Thankfully, these are two of our smallest sheep, which is why we used them for her training.
Daisy is a white, East Friesan/Lacaune mix with a tiny bit of Polypay and North County Cheviot mixed in too. She is a yearling, so this is her baby fleece.
Since she is one of the new dairy sheep, we were not sure what to expect of her fleece. It was heavier than the other dairy sheep fleece, weighing in at 2.1 lbs raw skirted. But still a lot smaller than our wool sheep fleece.
It is very lofty and has a very squishy feel. It was VERY dense, it might be even denser than Fiona’s fleece, which is the most dense in our flock. It has a pretty organized crimp and is surprisingly soft.
The staple length was 3.5 inches. We expect a little more length off her next year.
I am interested to see what this fleece is like once it is processed. Sometimes they surprise us and something that seemed soft is actually quite scratchy yarn, and vice versa. It is in the mill being washed now – can’t wait to see!
Blue is a white, East Friesan/Cotswold mix, with a tad bit of Lacaune and North County Cheviot mixed in. She is a yearling, so this is her baby fleece.
She is one of the new dairy sheep – but she is one of the two that already has some wool breed mixed in (as does her twin, Maggie). Her fleece is quite a bit different than Daisy’s. It weighed in at 1.9 lbs raw skirted.
It has more curl than crimp, and is soft with a mild sheen, reminiscent of BFL wool.
The staple length was longer than the other dairy ewes we have sheared thus far, at 4.25 inches.
As with all the dairy sheep this year, we are interested to see which, if any, can be made into a nice yarn that is not too scratchy or too short of a staple length. Whatever doesn’t make yarn that we like will be made into roving for braiding rugs.
I am really looking forward to sharing the finished products with you on all the shearings this year once they get processed. Hurry up, Mtn Man! Oh, wait, you have to process stuff for our customers too?…OK, fine, I will be patient. 🙂
We still have 2 sheep left to shear, the ram, Remi, who is half-sib to Daisy. And then Maggie, who is Blue’s twin. So we expect their two fleece to be similar to these last two.