Our Babydoll Sheep Got Sheared
It’s Spring and our Babydoll sheep got sheared for the first time! It’s been a minute since I’ve shared anything farm related here! It has been a busy past few weeks with the kitchen remodel and lots of other things going on behind the scenes that we’re gearing up to share soon! But if you want to see more of all our farm babies you should definitely follow along on Instagram where I share them and everything else daily @midcounty_journal.
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Babydoll Southdowns are typically sheared once per in the spring. Shearers are in high demand so when I found one who was willing to come and shear our babes back in December I booked him! Once upon a time I thought I might learn to shear them myself, but truthfully the rate per sheep isn’t much and after seeing in done in person I’ll just figure it in as a yearly expense lol!
This was their first time being sheared and my first time witnessing it. To be honest I didn’t sleep much the night before because I was so anxious. I didn’t know how they would react, but I knew they would be afraid and that stressed me out! I don’t even like taking our dogs to the vet because I don’t like to see them stressed at all!
A few weeks ago after the big snow storm we got 3 of the sheep (Theodore, Clementine, and Griffin) were somehow able to knock over and get into a twist top container that held their treats which is whole corn. Too much grain causes bloat and acidosis in sheep and can be deadly. It was a terrifying week of treating them and checking them round the clock. I say this because while I don’t like seeing our animals in any kind of distress, I’ll also do whatever it takes to get and keep them healthy. Shearing is defiantly a part of that!
Their First Shearing
After the shearer got there and started shearing it was actually amazing to watch and the sheep did great! They didn’t struggle at all because he explained that the way he places his feet around them makes them unable to. He was gentle and quick! All four sheep were sheared in 30-45 minutes.
Then they all proceeded to smell each other like they were meeting for the first time. After he left they were right back to normal, but had a little more pep in their step! Below are their before and afters from their first “haircuts” 🙂
They look like completely different animals don’t they?! They also look like lambs again, which I love! I’ve defiantly noticed some behavioral changes too. They seem happier somehow. I imagine that heavy wool gets to be uncomfortable at some point. They’ve been frolicking and kicking up their heels!
I’m sure it also feels good to be cooler! It’s been in the 50s and 60s here and with a 3-4 inch dense wool coat on they were already getting warm. Sheep also have a 101-103º body temp, and lambs are typically born in the winter so I was’t worried about them being cold. Plus they also have a nice warm barn 😉
But the main thing I’ve noticed is that they can’t get enough pets and scratches! They want to be rubbed and scratched all over and will hoof or nudge me when I stop too soon! Lol! Not that I mind! They feel so nice, plus I adore them! 😉
I’ll be trimming up some stragglers left behind this weekend when we trim hooves too.
What To Do with Their Wool
I haven’t completely decided what I’ll do with their wool yet. Ideally I’d like to learn how to spin it someday. We actually have a local spinning group. Perk of living in a rural farm based community! But of course they aren’t meeting right now. So I can send it off to be cleaned/processed and then keep it or sell it. Or it can also be used for insulation or to hold in moisture around flower beds/gardens. Since it’s their first shearing I would like to at least send off and keep some though 😉 Also in case you’re wondering, their wool is buttery soft!
Our Babydoll Sheep Got Sheared
You may have noticed the dog crate set up in the barn 😉 Our livestock guardian Great Pyrenees puppy Henry will be going our farm family next week!!! You can read about him and his purpose HERE! I am so excited to see how everyone interacts and to have his protection over our little flock! We’re also hoping to add two more lambs in a few weeks! Spring on the farm is my FAVORITE!
Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today!
Oh! Don’t they look cute! You are right, they look like big lambs. 😉🤩
I can’t help, but giggle when I see them! It’s a bad covid home haircut 😂😂
I guess they won’t look so stark in a couple of weeks. It usually takes a little time for bad haircuts to settle down, haha! But they look sweet. I’m glad it didn’t seem to frighten them too much! 💟
Yes! Haha! I’m calling it their covid haircuts! Next time I’ll be finding a show quality shearer to do the job 😉
The shearing was amazing to watch! I always recognize Penelope by her defined brow bone, lol. I look forward to seeing Henry on the farm and learning, but to be honest my heart has been breaking for him as he leaves his family 🙁 I know he’ll be fine, but adjusting to life without his Mom/Dad/sibs will take a bit of time and I always hated going through that part. It wrecked me each time!
I love that you can recognize them! People are always asking how I tell them apart, but I think they all look very different! And I know! I’ll be giving him SO much love and reassurance those first few days for sure! This is the first dog we haven’t adopted and that wasn’t older so it’s a completely different experience for sure.