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Author Topic: shearing Shetlands  (Read 4422 times)

bloomer

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Aug 2010
  • leslie, fife
  • i have chickens, sheep and opinions!!!
shearing Shetlands
« on: May 09, 2015, 07:17:20 pm »
2 questions,

When should I shear Shetlands (I'm in Fife)

Who do people use locally, only got 11 to do.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2015, 01:00:48 am »
Bloomer, are these for your daughter to spin?  Why don't you try roo'ing them, all the family?  It's fairly slow but the fleece comes off perfectly for spinning, you don't have to wait for a shearer to fit you in, you don't end up with a fly problem when he can't get there til August, and the fleece doesn't felt on the animal.  If you're interested I can go through the process for you.  You will need to wait until just the right moment, when you can see a 'rise' deep in the fleece, 1/2" to 1" or so above the skin.  The sheep will look lovely once done, not skinned like when the shearer has been, and no noils.   Worth a try?   :hugsheep:   :spin:
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 12:33:20 pm »
If you are interested in giving roo'ing a go, see my answer to springbok's thread 'Plucking Sheep??' on this board, where I go through a 'how to'.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

devonlady

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2015, 12:44:00 pm »
I roo-ed my Shetlands here in Devon and had lovely fleeces. I waited until they started roo-ing themselves and helped them along.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2015, 01:06:03 pm »
I have been able to "roo" their backend just now instead of dagging (much easier), but only the ewes that lambed. The ewe hoggs haven't really had a rise yet at the backend, just around the neck...

Bloomer - you may have to do the roo-ing in stages, but if your sheep are easily put into a pen, you can do it over a few days, putting the fleeces into paper sacks.

Definitely worthwhile doing, some of mine had already got some of the new fleece in when the shearer came to clip last summer and the fleeces were impossible to spin... :(, (not his fault, but we have to fit in when he is able to come).

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 05:21:35 pm »
I'd forgotten about cleaning up the backends by rooing them, either before machine clipping, or before rooing.  It's very satisfying  :sheep:

I've been given some fleeces which have been shorn a bit later than ideal, and they are indeed horrible to spin - written off, really  :(

I had also forgotten to mention that the first fleeces are better shorn, because they don't seem to have such a clear 'rise'.  Thanks for the reminder  :wave:
« Last Edit: May 10, 2015, 05:23:24 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 06:01:17 pm »
how do you tell when it is 'too late' for rooing/shearing?  :sheep: :sheep:

Thyme

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Machynlleth, Powys
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 06:17:23 pm »
how do you tell when it is 'too late' for rooing/shearing?  :sheep: :sheep:

When the fleece is all over the paddock?   ;D
Shetland sheep, Copper Marans chickens, Miniature Silver Appleyard ducks, and ginger cats.

Bogtrotter

  • Joined Apr 2015
  • On the levels
  • Caution: May spontaneously talk rabbits.....again
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2015, 07:26:56 pm »
I know I'm not in Scotland but if it's any help I have just rooed 6 of mine, 5 of them gimmers.
If i hadn't done it now, then like Thyme said, it would have been all over the field lol!
The other 3, 2 ewes and a gimmer aren't ready just yet, though one of my adults always needs fininshing with the shears.
My black gimmer who I was umming and ahhing about keeping or not, her fleece came of in one whole piece in less than 2 minutes and is gossamer fine! Delighted to say the least :excited: :excited: definately a keeper!
Sheep are like the Borg, a collective hive mind and resistance is futile.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2015, 07:32:07 pm »
how do you tell when it is 'too late' for rooing/shearing?  :sheep: :sheep:

Shearing has to be done, so never 'too late' as such.  What I meant was from the point of view of the hand spinner, a machine shorn fleece, if left late in the summer, will have a lot of new growth.  Machine shears cut close to the skin, so will include new wool with the old, last year's, which is what we're after.  If you have fibres with both last season's and this season's growth, then when you prepare them for spinning they will come apart at the join between the two.  This leaves you with short lengths of new wool tangled in the fleece, called noils, which cause lots of little bobbles in your spun yarn, as they are difficult to remove.

For roo'ing, as Thyme says, it's too late when the sheep has rubbed all the fleece off on fences and gates, or draggled it all across the pasture  ;D

For showing fleeces too, the judge will see this feature as being a 'break in the wool' fibres, and it will be marked (far) down.


Cross posted with Bogtrotter
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: shearing Shetlands
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2015, 08:48:28 pm »
perfect explanation fleecewife, thank you. I'm thinking from a hand spinners point of view. I knew there was something you had to take into consideration if you wanted to spin the fleece but wasn't sure what it was.  :spin:

 

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