Friday, May 16, 2008

Goat Shearing Day

Mom! We need a haircut!!!
this is Sampson, a very hairy fellow!
Today was goat shearing day. We have learned to shear the goats ourselves. Sheep shearers generally don't like to shear goats because their skin is much more wrinkled and has many more folds than a sheep does. Consequently, goats are easier to nick with the shears. We shear our angora goats twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. The fleece from angora goats is called mohair (not angora, which is what you get from rabbits). We have to wait for a nice warm dry day.
Here is Zion before he was sheared. He and Sampson are half-brothers and they both get quite a bit of hair hanging over their eyes.

Ken is the "master goat shearer" here at Spruce Ridge Studios. He has a good method for getting the job done without nicking or cutting anyone. And I'm the "assistant goat shearer" as you can see from the photo below:

My job is to hold the goats and make sure they don't wiggle or jump up....umm....Zion sure looks traumatized, doesn't he??? Tee Hee! If he got any more relaxed, he'd fall asleep! Lots of petting and pampering going on here.

Here's Zion after shearing.

Sequoia, before shearing.....

Sequoia, after shearing! (see those wrinkles?)
The goats usually itch and scratch after they get their hair sheared but they are so happy to lose that heavy winter fleece! We do a lot of itching and scratching too because all those little cut hairs get into your clothing and stick to your skin!
We like to take our time so it takes us about an hour to shear each goat (remember, we didn't nick or cut anyone!). We also trim all of their hooves and give them medicine for parasites. We got three done today...four more to go! Our record is shearing 7 goats in one day but we could barely stand up after that! Not a pretty sight.

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