Since we don't have daughters, the only way I can get some estrogen-type companionship around the farm is by buying it or breeding it. Even so, there's no braiding of hair, no fashion shows, and no playing with make-up. Maybe that's why I enjoy shearing so much..usually. It's hard work, but it gives me a chance to play with someone's hair, er, wool.
Today I decided it was time to get a hold of a few unsuspecting sheep and play beauty parlor. Since Hon and the kids were home, I knew if I needed an extra hand I'd have it. It started out pretty well. First up, Dandy's darker moorit and grey ewe lamb. I got her when she was eating...she didn't suspect a thing...sucker.
I decided since she's in with Fella at the moment, and he and I don't see eye-to-eye when it's breeding season, I would take her over to the other pasture where mild mannered Ramley and his ladies are. That way I could do the job without Fella's interference. Everything was going well. We don't have a shearing stand, so I secure them to a post and use hand shears. That way I can skirt away the parts I want to keep first and then deal with the real nasty stuff.
As I was cutting away, I noticed Ramley hedging his way over. Then he came up and started sniffing her. After that it's like all zippity doo-dah broke loose. He wouldn't leave her alone. In fact, he actually said, "Cool! Thank you for tying this lovely young morsel up for me so I can breed her without having to work at it." Next thing you know, he was doing his best to mount her, I was doing my best to keep him off, and I think every neighbor for a five mile radius heard me hollering for Hon. I tried to get her out of the pasture to continue the job, but when we got to the gate I noticed Hon had dumped out the trough next to it, which meant I'd have to drag her through mud and water, so that wasn't happening. I then tried to get her to the red barn, but it wasn't going very smoothly. The ewe was freaking out, while Ramley was trying his best to do what he thought was his job, and I ran interference. I felt like I was in a nightmare in the form of directions on the back of a shampoo bottle, only it was take a few steps, push the randy ram off, and repeat. We made it to the old turkey coop where I got her in there and then went to the house for backup. When I got in there I couldn't even catch my breath after the ordeal, struggling to get out the words, "Hon, get out there with me NOW!"
So enters Hon in the picture. He gets the ewe out of the turkey pen and into a stall in the red barn, as Ramley skips behind like a lovesick fool. I really think he thought we were setting up a stall of love. Next thing I knew, before Hon got the door closed, out comes the ewe running full on into the pasture...Ramley right behind, of course. Oops! Then we spent the next 15 minutes out there looking like total idiots trying to catch her. In the end, though, we always catch our sheep, and she made her way into the stall with assistance...and without Ramley. He hung outside making moo-moo eyes at her the whole time instead.
The nice thing is the ewe has been sheared, she stood real nice, and I love her wool, despite the chaos that I went through to get it. Ramley, on the other hand, isn't very happy right now. He didn't get the girl...but he, too, got to play beauty parlor with me.
Because Ramley is Kid's ram, he was out there with me while I gave the trim job. Ramley was an excellent customer until I got to his underside. Then he decided to get antsy, which isn't a good thing when I literally have his delicate parts in my hand along with a gigantic pair of sharp scissors. In the end, though, I always get the job done. Kid and I are now haggling over the fleece. He thinks he's going to financially take me for a ride since he's saving up for two different Boy Scout camps next year. I told him he had better cut me a break considering I did the shearing, and will also be doing the wool cleaning, and marketing. I guess we're still in negotiations.
So, there you have it folks. Today was beauty parlor day. I didn't accomplish everything I would have liked, considering the shenanigans we went through to get one done, but I've accomplished some of what I set out to do. I wonder what unsuspecting customer I'll get a hold of next! Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals haven't figured that out yet. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm called Mom. Life is a comedy and I plan on documenting it.