Updated: May 7
So hear is a recap from shearing day
Shearing day was on Friday, March 31 and it went really well. They weather was nice for us and the sheep were well behaved. I belive it is important to have a professional shearer come out because they know how to handle the sheep properly and in the least stressful way and they can get the wool off without damaging the quality.
All of the flock had been shorn at least once before, however it was a new experience for me (I did not get shorn:). I did however do my research and did not give the sheep feed or water the night before and day of shearing.
To an inexperienced shepherd (I not saying I'm experienced!:) this may seem cruel, but actually it is the opposite. By not giving the sheep access for feed or water before shearing it is better for the sheep and helpful for the shearer. This is because sheep with full rumens struggle to breath more because the rumen full of food pushes on the diaphragm and therefore makes it harder for the sheep to breath when it is on its back or in the positions of shearing.
It is also important to have the sheep in a small holding pen ahead of time so that they are easy for the shearer to catch and you do not waste time.
After shearing we collected the wool and stored it in large bags. Babydoll Southdown wool is highly prizes and so I wanted to do something with ours. About 150 tons of wool is thrown away per year which is a shocking waste as wool is very Eco-friendly and an underused material.
Babydoll Southdown wool is highly prized because it has 19 to 22-microns which means that it is classified as cashmere and can be fine to medium in quality. It is a medium wool but it highly crimped and so most mills will no processes it because it can cause problems with the machinery.
We shipped our wool to have it professionally processed and hopefully by Christmas we will have yarn!