Friday, January 23, 2009


I was out enjoying my girls in the -5 degree temps today *our HIGH today mind you*. I've noticed that Underhill Peep, my musket from Gail Former is already rooing in the neck. Again. Last year she started rooing in her neck too, so by the time the shearer came in May her neck wool had roo'ed and grown in again about an inch!

Do any of your sheep roo? Especially this early when its so cold yet? For those that shear early, do you guys get the 'break' in the fleece that has to be trimmed off? I had a dozen that needed to be trimmed as they were still in the rise the end of MAY. Remember we are so much colder here!

*Most* of my AI girls look quite hefty, except a few of the two year old don't appear pregnant for March lambs, but I haven't checked rear ends or udders yet, but I'm planning on seperating the AI ewes from the rest of the flock in the next week or so so they can start to get fed beet pulp mixture. Those that don't bag up or appear bred will get moved back to the main flock after I'm sure they aren't bred...which may be up until March 25...LOL I'm not taking any chances with lambs out in the snow, so better to make sure!

Photos....soon my friend...soon. Patience! :)


Carol Bator said...

My ram, Tom Kat, always goes into the rise during January. Two years that I owned him, I rooed him from end to end in February and got piles of very nice fleece off of him before having my shearer "clean him up." One year, I did not roo him. I just let him be sheared. That fleece was OK, but had a break near the cut end that I needed to carefully separate. I never understood why Tom kat would begin to shed wool in January, but by February, it is easy to pull his wool off, and this is a consistent pattern for 4 years now.

Becky Utecht said...

January is when many of mine will start to lose the neck wool and I'll see loose locks on their sides. I've only had a few that I could actually roo completely by hand and that took place in March through May. Trying to time the shearer to avoid the rise is pretty tough since they all do it at different times. I like my ewes shorn a month before lambing so I can see their condition and increase feed to those that need it. As far as the break in the wool, you're going to have to deal with it either way. If you shear after the rise, it's at the base of the fleece. If you shear before the rise, you'll have to trim up the sheep (or roo them) later in the year to get rid of the clumps or they will be in the next year's fleece. I prefer to roo the rise off or trim them up with handshears in the summer. My sheep love getting those clumps plucked off. They will all gather around for their turn. :-)

Laura said...

None of mine roo until April at the earliest. I have one line of ewes that aren't ready to shear until June! I do shear all of my sheep in mid-March (before lambing to see their condition and so they fit in barn!!)I then re-shear the ones that need it when they are ready (seems like at least half do!) I think that makes for the best fleece (as you don't have any short bits at either end.)I do feel sad about wasting wool each year (and spending more time shearing), but oh well.

My rams also seem to roo earlier than the ewes.

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