Friday, June 16, 2017

A Little Off The [Muffin] Top

Long wooled sheep (Cotswolds, Lincolns, Border Leicesters...) can get pretty uncomfortable around here with our "lovely" summer heat and humidity.  A couple here, namely Hershey and Spud, have had a great deal of trouble with the heat in the past.  

While I've been told the wool acts as an insulator against the heat, I feel comfortable calling shenanigans on that.  A few years ago Spud started acting off, so I took his temp thinking he was sick.  108!  Remembering how much shearing helped Hershey his first summer, we did a quick emergency shear while we waited for the vet.  Within an hour his temp was back down to an acceptable 103.

Since then, in preparation for hot weather, we've re-sheared Hershey, Spud and Murphy in late May, early June.  While Spud has still had an occasional heat stress issue, we've learned how to watch for and deal with it.  Heat stress is nothing to fool around with, people or animals!  We were all glad to see Bill the other day.


Well, except maybe B. Willard ;-).  That's him trying to open the gate and get out.  Willard is a clever gate opener.  He knows how to push or pull each gate with his foot.  I added him and Rebecca Boone to the re-shearing list because both fleeces were a bit felted this spring.  Not sure if this will help for next spring or not, but worth a try.

Remembering heat stressed Hershey, who was at the time a dark colored (now gray) long wooled lamb, we sheared little Muffin as well.  I hated throwing away her sweet little lamb fleece (the fleece I held on my lap while she napped as a tiny lamb) and cutting off her cute little muffin top and chubby cheeks, but I knew the summer heat would be way too hard on her.


"My mom is right over there, so I guess I'm okay."


"I thought I didn't have to do this until I got older."


This is a bit long because Bill took so much extra care with her tiny non-B. Willard sized body.  I love her mom keeping a close watch on them both.  You can hear Biscuit in the background (higher pitched baby voice) and Jester weighs in a couple times too (deep quiet baaa).  


We picked up everyone's 'too short to do anything with other than make some wool balls' trimmings. Muffin got her own "bag" and look, it's a baby sheet!  I guess someone must have known we'd eventually shear a baby here.  There is a good amount of wool in there for a two month old lamb.


"Jennifer told me I had to go tell Muffin her hair looks good even if I don't think it does."


It does look good though and momma looks even better.  She had a fiber break that was causing her to look a little Velveteen Rabbit-ish.  She'll be ready to become a sweater by next spring.


They both will! (Insert positive thinking, rinse, repeat...)


And she really is that black underneath.  And she feels like velvet :-).


But you can tell by her droopy ears and tired eyes how much that took out of her :-/.  (Insert positive thinking, rinse, repeat!)


A new Biscuit and Muffin puzzle :-).  Click here or on the picture of the puzzle to play.

Enjoy!


18 comments:

Jenny Glen said...

What a lovely gentle shearer! Do you think the humidity makes the heat more difficult for your sheep - I know everyone jokes about dry heat but I spend more time in the West than the East and I personally find it more difficult in the East.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I think so. The air feels thick and hard to breathe. Jester has trouble breathing with high humidity as well. Give me winter any day!

Cheryl West said...

I hope little Muffin took a good long nap after her shearing. She certainly is darker under all that fleece.
I hope your weather cools down so you can all be more comfortable.

Sheepmom said...

Awesome careful shearing job! She's going to feel so much better this summer. I'm thinking that lovely soft lamb fleece wants to be a felted scarf or at the very least do a table runner for your booth tables! Just make it a narrow rectangle....maybe felt some white running lambs on it?? I see lots of possibilities and you'll never have that soft lambie down from her again....

Susan said...

They must feel so much better!

thecrazysheeplady said...

That's a great idea, Sheepmom :-D. I was just going to be boring and make some wool balls.

paula said...

Muffin did really well, are all lambs that easy to shear? Guess I'm thinking of Maisie....

thecrazysheeplady said...

Mostly they are. It's the big sheep with too big tummies that get the most cranky. Maisie was actually very good to shear the first time. She hadn't eaten the twine yet so he could set her down. It's been the standing up shears (and everything else ;-D) that have been, um, "fun" ;-).

http://myfavoritesheep.blogspot.com/2013/08/back-to-school-haircuts.html

Michelle said...

Oh, that sad, stressed baby face! :-( Did you give her some NutriDrench as a pick-me-up? Poor baby....

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Bill! What a great job he did and Muffin looks So velvety.
Nice that moma got to get shorn too. Yes, needs a nap! I take it Biscuit's fleece wouldn't be as long and as she is healthier, no shearing. I have a friend who would fight you for that short stuff, she hand cards and spins stuff like that and Baby Doll, ugh but only my opinion! good for you taking such good care of your 'kids'. Susan

Mary Ann said...

Sweet little doll!

thecrazysheeplady said...

I did, Michelle. I think it helped. She and Biscuit were playing some last night :-). Just. Too. Hot.

sophy0075 said...

I love how her Momma was right there, watching Bill like a hawk. I love how Jester was giving Muffin advice ("Stay still - it will all be over soon, and you'll feel much better!") I love how her Big Brother was calling to her ("Is it awful? Gosh, I'm glad I don't have to do that - yet"). And I love her gentle Bill was with her. Frankly, I'd be terrified too if someone was cutting with shears right around my eyes. Oh, her widdle lamb tummy - so very cute! And her widdle hooves! And her widdle white ear!

Perhaps in addition to using her baby fleece (sniff! Baby fleece!) for Christmas ornaments, you could make some little felt lambs. Or maybe those are the Christmas ornaments you're contemplating? Enquiring Christmas ornament purchasers want to know...

LannieK said...

Thanks for sharing Muffins shearing. She. is. so. little! My she has such a sweet face. And her mom watching of so close. Too sweet! Bill is just amazing to watch. He takes such care with them. I hope Muffin is doing well tonight. The heat has to be hard oh them - humidity is awful. Looking forward to seeing what you create out of her baby fluff :-)

Jean said...

I looked at that picture of tired little muffin yesterday and understood exactly how she felt. I didn't get sheared by had an 18 hour migraine that. would. not. go. away. She is beautiful! Loved that Mama was right there supervising and everyone offering encouragement too. Bill is a treasure too! Bless him!

Linda said...

Would think dark wool would be horrid in humid HOT weather. What sweethearts big and small!

Shirley said...

That fellow sure did a nice job making sure her first shearing was a good experience. That tired picture- so cute! What pretty eyes she has.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I enjoyed watching Bill shear Muffin. Muffin's Mom was so attentive! Hope she gets a name soon...I didn't like the Granny Suggestion...she needs a stoic name...she was a good mama! Anna is an Native American word for Mother:)

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