I managed to shear my 3 ewes in a reasonable amount of time this year. I've got a bit of a herniated disc, so I had to be really careful how I bent and moved. I ended up shearing them with them mostly standing up, which I normally don't do. It worked out really well!
It's always a little bit like Christmas morning, seeing how your sheep look after they're sheared. Wool can hide a lot! Are they too thin or too fat? My sheep had been on pasture only for most of the spring and early summer, so I was curious to see how they looked. Darla, my Southdown ewe, raised her twin ram lambs on pasture alone, no grain supplement. I have to say I'm very happy with what I found! Here's a post showing some pre-shearing woolies.
In the above pic, the sheep from left to right are Bean, ram lamb, Barley, ram lamb, and Darla. Bean and Barley are Darla's two Romney cross yearling ewes born in 2011. I am so happy with Barley. She's got great conformation. Her sister, Bean, has nice conformation too, but her stature is smaller than I'd like. She's always been smaller though. I can't wait to breed the girls this fall and see how they do. I think I'll breed them to a Southdown ram.
The ram lambs are growing well too. At least one will be for our freezer this fall/winter, and we may sell one.
Ida is turning into a beautiful goat. She's also a yearling, and will be bred this fall. I'm so excited, because I think Ida is an improvement over June. I love June too, but Ida is just gorgeous. I can't wait to see how her udder turns out!
June is still doing well, but she's a bit thin for my liking. I've been feeding her well, but I think she won't gain any weight until I dry her off (stop milking). The pigs have been getting just about every drop of milk for the past 2 months (stay tuned for an updated pig post). I wish I had 2 does in milk, because it's a great pig feed. I think after the pigs go and after we show June in the county fair, I'll keep her in milk just long enough to stock the freezer with milk for soaping, and then go ahead and dry her off. I'd like her to gain weight before breeding season.
It will be an exciting breeding season! I'll have 2 does kidding and 3 ewes lambing next spring!