Here's a word for you...rooing. I wish it had something to do with that cute little kangaroo that lives in the 100 Acre Wood, but it doesn't. Rooing is something Icelandic sheep do when they're ready to drop their heavy coat of wool in the spring and their caretakers are not. It's also called wool break. The weather here has been so weird with temperatures going from mild winter, skipping spring and rolling into summer, and now back down to spring again that they started this process earlier this year, before we could (ahem, sorry, before Hon could) get the shears out.
Here's the problem. They get itchy and scratchy. They rub on the gates, fences posts, and fences more than usual. Then it begins to come off a their necks. When that happens I just can't help it. I have to start tugging it off. At first they aren't wise to what I'm doing. Then when they realize I'm trying to help the process along they flee in terror...sheep leaping and running to get away. Trust has gone out the window. I equate their fleece coming off like this to when I have a bug bite that no matter what I do I just can't leave it alone...or when I know Hon has hidden chocolate somewhere (shhhhh).
Little Man was today's bug bite. This morning I got a bit off his neck and when he realized what I was doing he took off while I had a grip on some more. That left bits dangling, which drove me nuts. This evening I went back out, him having forgotten about this morning's situation, and I took ahold of another few bits. Then he had a moment of deja vu, taking off as I had a hold of another chunk. Now he has a big floppy piece bouncing around on his back. I'm trying to ignore it, but even though it's dark out now, I know it's dangling. I tried to move over to help Z out and she gave me the hairy eyeball and leapt away.
I've heard other sheep enjoy standing there while someone helps them get the itchy long wool off. Ours are obviously not normal. They would rather leave bits and pieces on fences and trees for me to collect. And by the way, in case you were wondering, no sheep are hurt in the process of tugging the wool bits off. It's just sitting there, loose, and in need of a gentle tug to get it off. So, there you have it. A new word to use at the water cooler tomorrow. I bet it would even make a great Jeopardy question. 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.