I sheared the Jacob ewe this last week. I started by using my electric horse clippers, but found them to be way too slow. I’m not sure if the blades were dull, or whether they were just not the right kind for sheep shearing. But they definitely did not perform like I’ve seen in the movies when sheep shearing is featured! I finished the job with old fashioned hand shears. It was a lot of work, I’m grateful I only had small animal one to do.
The good thing is that using the hand shears allowed me to leave an inch or two of wool on her. She is so thin, I didn’t want her to be too cold. I was able to sculpt her into looking healthy: she feels much worse than she looks. I’m not good at scoring, but I’d give her a “1”- she really needs to gain a lot.
I have wormed her, so hopefully she can start gaining weight now, with the pastures really greening up. Now that I have her sheared and can see her, I think she is a nice animal conformation-wise: a nice long body and neck. She is smaller than most of my Katahdins, but not tiny. I look forward to seeing what her crossbred lambs will look like next year.
Here is a photo of her in January, pre-shearing. She had two year’s worth of wool on her. I discarded the wool, it was fully of blackberry vine thorns and crud. Though she has nice fiber, I think it needs to be cleaner to be marketable. An I need to learn to be a better shearer!