The shearer was a little late, due to illness. So we all waited around, including these guys! The Shetland sheep are a small breed with lots of personality. They are the size and personality of a medium large dog.
These pictures will probably end up looking like sheep mug shots, but I was trying to get pictures of all the different colors. I know they all have Celtic names for the coloring, but I never remember them.
Look at the beautiful color in this guys fleece! They trimmed his horns because they were growing into his neck. After they did this, he rammed against a tree and broke one off. He has kind of a "Go ahead and make my day" look, so he probably wasn't bothered much! lol
This guy looked a little non-plussed as well.
She kept coming to the fence. "Surely with all you people standing around, someone could pay me a little attention!" :o) It might surprise some of you who haven't been around Shetland sheep to know that many of them love affection and attention like domestic animals. It is probably how they are raised, that brings this quality out.
I didn't offer my hand out to pet this one though! Llamas spit and I didn't wnat to experience that! This guy came galloping from the other end of the field to see what we were all doing with cameras pointed at him.
His friend watched from a safe distance though. The llamas, besides providing fiber, guard the sheep, along with the Pyrenees. The ranch is located in "Gold Country", in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains and there are cougars and coyotes who would love to have sheep snacks.
This is Patrick, showing a few teeth. He's the head honcho and a lovely fellow. Conrad takes him on school visits as he is very gentle. He was the most impressive with his ram's horns, but those teeth really won't impress the ladies!
Patrick waits and watches. He's not sure about all this.
Patrick poses for the sheeparazzi! Isn't he an impressive ram?
The shearing finally begins. I must say that NO sheep were harmed or abused in the process of shearing or photographing. In fact, most ladies were quite calm and didn't seem to be bothered at all. A couple nervous ewes struggled, but no different than when I used to groom our old dog.
It was interesting to watch the shearer. He looked no older than 30, but said he has been doing this 17 years. While he is right handed and uses the shears in his right hand, he said the left hand does most of the work. Besides holding the sheep, he also pushes the wool forward so the shears can proceed, enabling the fleece to come off in one large piece.
Look at that lovely wool! The shearer had a difficult time. He was sick and also the sheep had begun to roo. That means their new hair had already begun to grow in due to the week of near 80* temps we had had previously.
Voila! Naked sheep! :o) Isn't she cute. That's one way to lose a few pounds. Before the sheep leaves the shearer, it is given worming medicine and tetanus shots.
And here is "my" little girl Dolly. She was a little bashful because the shearer's little boy was waving a stick around. I was interested in a black fleece. She has black with little bits of white hair sporadically throughout, producing a lovely deep charcoal wool.
And here is another picture of Dolly being "skirted". Currently I have several ounces of her drying on a towel on the living room floor after washing yesterday. Boy was she dirty. After the first few minutes in a very hot water bath, the water turned the color of hot chocolate! I still have most of her left to do and I can't wait to get spinning on her!