Shearing is hands-down my favourite day on the farm, I even enjoy it more than lambing (which is hard to beat because little cute lambs are amazing). It is a celebration for me, in fact, next year I think there should be shearing day cake!
We finally get to see what the fleeces - that we've spent all year worrying about - are actually like. I can get a real look at the colour, the crimp, the staple length, and I can dream about what it will look like once it's all washed and spun. It is our version of the harvest. A representation of all our hard work. It's a celebration.
It was a beautiful, sunny day and we had so many good friends and fibre-lovers join us. It was amazing to have so many people here to witness the shearing, to help with the skirting, and to share in this celebration.
Our shearer Stacey is amazing, she is fast and strong and did a great job of shearing our animals. She gave a little lesson on how she shears as all the kiddo's listened intently.
She also sheared the llamas, who were well overdue for a shearing. I was nervous as to how they would handle the shearing, neither of them have ever been sheared before. The process for shearing them involves tying their front and back legs and stretching them, not stretching so much that it hurts, but prevents them from kicking the shearer. It was amazing to see how truly small they are without their fibre. Once they were sheared Donnie and Leo did this sweet little dance around each other getting reacquainted without all the fibre in the way.
I put everyone who showed up to work with skirting and sorting the fleeces. Skirting is the process of removing as much veggie matter as you can, any manure or matted fleece around the legs/belly/neck and separating each fleece for processing. Skirting takes a lot of time, so having 20+ people helping me with the process was incredible, and they did an excellent job.
I plan to grow shearing day into a festival, a big celebration of sheep, fibre and the farmers that work so hard to grow it. So if you missed it this year don't worry – we will see you next year.