Thursday, August 21, 2014

Shearing Day

I thought you might want to see how the girls sheep looked BEFORE the fair.
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!

Fair-- part 2

The night before the pig show, the boys practiced with their pigs in the arena, trying to get their energy out.  Last year, Reagan's pig was running around wild and fighting with other pigs during the show and it was quite entertaining.

See how the pigs are blurry?  They were running around like wild banchees having lots of fun.  

Show day- Taylor is ready to take Colonel Von Chop-Chop into the show ring if it will turn and go the right way! :)

Reagan showing his pig, Chops.  (The boys must have had pork chops on the brain when they named their pigs this year!)  Reagan's pig weighed 245 at weigh in.

Reagan was working on breaking Chops to ride.  

Reagan really loves his pigs!!!  During fair he spends a lot of time hanging out with them in their pen.  It's fun to hang out with your pig when it's all cleaned up and oiled with baby oil. :)
Hailey enjoying our other favorite part of Fair-- the Rodeo!  There are 4 evenings of rodeo.  Our favorite events to watch are the bronc and bull riding events and the wild horse races!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Owyhee county fair-- 2014

I thought I'd post some pictures of our week at the fair. This year Taylor and Reagan did swine projects and Hailey and Heidi brought lambs.  Taylor's pig did not make weight (it weighed 219 pounds the day of weigh in so he missed it by 11 pounds) but he had an awesome showing in the photography class-- bringing home 10 blue ribbons, Superintendents Choice and Reserve Grand Champion for his pictures.  Hailey and Taylor also performed in Owyhee County's Got Talent and won first place! It was a GREAT year and being able to borrow a camper with air conditioning made the experience even that much better. :)
Here are some miscellaneous photos of the kids washing, practicing, and showing their animals that week.

At the wash stations- one of my favorite parts of fair is washing the animals. Era laundry soap gets the lamb's wool so white and then they smell amazing too. :)

This is Shasta.  She wanted to nibble the camera.

Heidi and Shasta are ready to go out in the show ring.

Lining the sheep up for the judge to look at:   Heidi is on the left and Hailey is in her Rimrock FFA jacket on the right.  The girls were in the same quality class because their sheep both weighed exactly 129 pounds.  (We thought that was a strange coincidence!) For showmanship class they compete against kids their own age.

I'm going to post the boys and their pigs in part two because this long post messed up last night and I'm having to redo the whole thing!