Today was sheep shearing day at the farm! Growing up it was something I participated in at least once a year. Walking the pastures, herding all the sheep along with their lambs into the barn was always fun. Watching the fluffy, dense wool getting peeled off in one layer was mesmerizing. Do you know that sheep have been domesticated since 7,000 BC? There are one billion sheep in the world and most of them need to get shorn!
I don't like the kids to miss out on an educational, unique experience, so this afternoon we headed up the ridge to check out the action. We met my dad, sister, and little nephew in the barn as Huber Sheep Shearing from Wisconsin Dells unloaded their gear. It was pretty chilly out, so we dressed warm in all our winter layers.
Only 15 sheep needed shearing. They will need to stay inside the barn for 6 weeks until their coats grow back. A sheep's wool is continuously growing. The Huber's had plenty of help today so all the kids and I had to do was sit back and observe. Joe and Josh each had a station so two sheep could be sheared at a time. Molly, my youngest sister, caught the sheep while Emma, Josh's wife, packed the wool into large, thick plastic bags.
The little ones would watch in between checking out the goats, climbing gates, and chasing chickens. They had no problem keeping themselves entertained!
A couple lambs still had their long tails, so Molly took the opportunity to band them.There are many benefits to docking lambs tails; one of them being a reduction in fly strike.
About an hour is all it took to finish the job, so the bags of wool were tied up and loaded into the back of the truck. Once the Huber's have enough wool to fill a semi trailer, it will head to Mid-State Wool Growers Cooperative in Columbus, Ohio, where they have been buying wool since 1918!
It was neat capturing an age old tradition that has been done in this very barn for over 25 years. These pictures are truly timeless.
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