First, they deep wash the wool to get all the grease and weeds AND manure out so the clippers can bite into the wool better. Last year we didn't know that and we found out it was impossible to shear them. Don't ask me how the professional sheep shearers do it because I know there is no way they hand wash all the sheep in the huge flocks before shearing. But we do!
Then we put these super tight covers on the sheep to keep them clean until shearing. I despise these covers. It's like putting a tight turtle neck on a sheep and they don't like it and don't cooperate!! Next year I want to sew some that have Velcro and open like a coat.
Here is Taylor testing it out before putting it on the sheep. They are snug!
Shasta probably wondered what the heck was being done to her. :)
Clean and fluffy: ready to be sheared!!
This is Pansy and she was very, very unhappy that she was being sheared! She was always the friendliest sheep until we started washing and shearing. She never quite got over it or trusted us again, even at the fair.
Don't you feel sorry for the poor sheep? What an awkward pose, but it's the way you get to their under bellies.
Joel sheared the second lamb and did a great job! It's a little bit like cutting hair and he's good at that too! :) Even though the sheep dislike the handling and the buzzing clippers, it must feel better to get all that thick wool off during our summer heat!
It was so kind of Courtney and Nick Bennett to come and help out and let us use their shears. It's quite a job!