Friday, June 22, 2012

Shearing in Maryland

I would have thought that there were lots of sheep and goat shearers in Maryland due to all of the farms. I was in for a surprise. There are only 3 listed on the Maryland shearing site and I managed to use all three.

David Todd, the first shearer only does sheep. He is more used to production shearing, where lots of sheep are run through in a hurry. We were expected to already have the next sheep ready, so we had to scramble to get the hooves and CD&T shots done as he sheared. Above, Columbian is being sheared. She did not have a very heavy fleece.

Anne, the second shearer, uses the pole-and-stretch out method of shearing, similar to how alpacas are usually shorn. Ruth, my friend on the left, helped Anne by holding down Ruby (the goat). This method is slower than the other methods, but the cuts are reduced. However, the biggest disadvantage for me was that I had to stay holding heads all day long while sitting on the ground.

Emily Chamberlain was the last shearer. She did a lovely efficient job of shearing the remaining goats. I am scheduling her again and she has me on her calendar for three days in October 26-28. I am doing an fiber festival on October 27 and you are all welcome to come watch her in action. I have already scheduled my spring shearing for the last weekend in March. It is Easter. What better time to do it? Right now she will not shear alpacas. I am trying to talk her into going to the alpacas shearing school and told her that I will give her a scholarship, if she decides to go. She has shorn alacas before. I hope she will again!

Marc is trimming the hooves on Hummer, our seven year old buck. Check out the awesome horns!

1 comment:

Ivy Myles said...

I came out to the fall shearing and tour and tucked your name in my "retirement" file. It is time to put my ideas into place with classes and there you are NOT!
I can truly understand the difference in the locations with so many odds against you here in Tucson. I get to the east coast occasionally and now I will tuck you into my "travel" file. In your absence who might you suggest for the types of classes you taught?
Good luck and I wish I could send you some degrees, now and next winter. Thsnks, Ivy Myles