Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hug/Shear/Herd A Sheep Day

Shearing days are always a highlight when you are a crazy sheep lady. I love looking at all the sheep - different colors, sizes, shapes, personalities. I love picking up the freshly shorn fleeces and saving back something I especially like ;-). Bill and Don are always a hoot and the shepherds are always interesting.



Today Stella and I went over to Vergil and Annmarie Holland's farm, The Training Center, previous home to Ewen McTeagle and B. Willard :-).



Nothing prettier than handsome sheep in early morning sunlight.



"Something's happening to Brownie. Nobody look!"

I admire Annmarie's shepherding skills. I watch her grab a sheep, set it down to trim its feet or doctor on something all by herself and go home thinking I can surely learn to do it like that. I can't. It's an art.



We were interested to see what her new Scottish Blackface fleeces were going to be like. This lamb looks a little worried.

"They're going to do what to my hair?!?"



Stella, loading up the hopper.



20, quality control.



And taking a break to get a little off the top ;-).



And then out to visit some of the Border Collies. He was hoping to get to visit with another big Serta sheep, but apparently they didn't award those this year (!).



Because this dog sure would have earned one. This is Brooke and she is the 2011 Reserve National Champion Sheepdog.

As things frequently do over there, talk turned to dogs and herding during a shearing break. Stella had never seen a stockdog working so Vergil took her out with Brooke and demonstrated some of the things a good dog can do and how he is able to communicate with her... What a treat!








Of course there's always someone waiting in the wings.

"Me Me Me! My turn!!!"

Best. Shearing. Day. Ever.

23 comments:

Tombstone Livestock said...

do you shear twice a year? Or do you shear once a year in the fall so they don't take up so much space in the barn. I had a shearer here last week to do Angoras to get them on a twice a year shearing schedule, but will wait til spring to do annual shearing on the sheep. My sheep are on pasture with run in shelter or trees for winter, but in this part of California I don't have to worry about snow although it does get down in the low 30's in winter.

Lori Skoog said...

Sounds like you are back in the groove. Love watching a dog work a herd...beautiful. How did Stella react? Glad you had the best shearing day ever. Home sweet home.

Ed said...

Too cool, in the second pic were you waving a cookie to get their attention?..:-)

Autumn said...

Looks like a good day to me! The synergy between shepherd and dog is amazing.

June said...

I would love to have a big Serta Sheep like that!! I have several small ones that I found at the Goodwill. Sigh. If you know of anyone who wants to find a good home for one, please let me know. (please!)

Kim said...

Looks so fun. Would love to watch that in person.

Christine said...

Oh man, I wish I could have been there! Are those getting shorn going to freezer camp?

Christine said...

The center sheep in the second photo, is that a Tunis?

Susan said...

That dog is amazing. It's mesmerizing to watch. That's a nice mixed flock of sheep - many
'hugable' candidates in there that I could see....

Michelle said...

I could never own a working dog. I can't whistle.... (-:

Pam said...

I am absolutly rolling. That shot of #20 with his little tail sticking out below his sweater is priceless. Card material. Looks like you had a great day.

Sarah said...

great post! I espcicially loved the picture where somethings happening to Brownie and no one is watching! Too funny!

thecrazysheeplady said...

I personally shear everyone in the spring and then the long wools again in the fall. These sheep are working sheep, so probably shorn more often to keep them comfortable and cool.

I think the brown sheep is a hair breed, not a Tunis cross, but can't say for sure. And yes, I would say most of them eventually end up in the freezer.

Before anyone gets too up in arms, even though we may not like to think about sheep being eaten, without those commercial flocks, there'd be no vet research for our fiber and friend flocks.

Terry and Linda said...

Hey, Man! I know how! I used to do cows in my life, before Mom! Can I come help! CAN I?!?!?

Fuzzy

small farm girl said...

Now THAT looks like fun!

Alice said...

AMAZING! to see Brooke maneuver those sheep with such agility and skill. She doesn’t need a #20, she knows she is the BEST!! Bet she’d rather have a ‘nilla wafer ;-)

Sheepmom said...

The poor herding dog having the staring contest with 20....I can hear him now, "He's making eye contact! He's challenging me! WHY won't he look away?? If I were just on the other side of this fence I'd herd him like he's never been herded before! GAH! He's STILL staring at me!"

Great post, and the videos were a treat. Thanks.

Gayle said...

I would love to have an opportunity to hang out on a real working sheep farm. What fun!

tonya said...

great post.. loved the photos- the first one looked like a sea of sheep, the 2nd photo would look awesome framed on a wall! I agree with what someone else posted - the photo of #20 with his tail sticking out below his sweater is definitely card material! :) I can just see you, Stella and # 20 loading up in the vehicle for the adventure.. #20 in the back seat "are we there yet? are we there yet?" I bet it was a great day!

RMK said...

Waiting in the wings - perfect shot! We have a kennel of coonhounds & the chorus of barking starts as you walk towards them in the dark. Pick me, pick me, pick me is exactly right. Working dogs love to work. Great video ..... thanks.

Leedra said...

I really enjoyed this post. I didn't even know there is a fall shearing. So I guess, it grows back before it gets to cold for them.

Mary Ann said...

LOVED seeing those videos, thank you!

Bee Lady said...

Wow! I'm impresed. It's all I could do to teach my dog to sit! He's not a border collie though....and as I've said before...he gets a treat for breathing!

Cindy Bee

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