Our Sheep Shearing day dawned into a beautiful, crisp morning.  The weather was perfect as we hustled around getting the last minute details taken care of before our guests started arriving.  As with any farm, always expect the unexpected.  When Mae Mae went to the goat barn to do her chores, she discovered that Abby had had her babies out by a tree.  I was working in the garden and heard Mae Mae’s squeal of delight as she ran over to the see the new kids.

Abby was fine but the kids were a mess!  It was a very chilly morning and they were wet, covered in dirt, and shivering.  Change of plans – forget the garden and take care of the new babies.  I carried them quickly into the barn and put down new straw.  We rubbed them down with towels and cleaned them off.  Mae Mae took care of Abby, we made sure the kids nursed, bedded them in the straw and headed off to finish our other chores.

We needed to get Sage and Rosy into the holding pen before people arrived.  They get skittish in all the commotion and I wanted to avoid that potential problem.

Finally, we were ready to go.

While we waited for others to arrive, our guests took time to get acquainted with the other baby goats.

I love watching the delight on the children’s faces as they hold the babies.

Marbles decided she’d like to check out the human baby!

Yes, there’s a lot involved in getting ready for an event but as a family we’ve agreed it’s all worth it.  We love to watch the faces of our guests as they share in this experience with us.

These children were brought to the farm by some of our friends and this was their first time seeing farm animals.

What a privilege to share with others the daily or yearly happenings of the farm.

Sage was first to be sheared.  Her fleece was beautiful this year.

After the sheep are shorn, I give them their yearly shot.  I figured since they’re down and restrained, what better time to do it!

See kids, you’re not the only ones who have to have shots…

A naked sheep!  Must feel so good to get out from under all that wool.

This is a full fleece.  Rosemarie shears in such a way that it’s all one piece.

I handed out wool to everyone and asked them to smell it – education is greatest when a lot of the senses are involved.

Some were a little more eager to “smell” than others!

This little fellow figured out where the cameraman was hanging out…

Priceless – a whole new world opened up for this little one at our farm.  What a joy to be able to provide that opportunity for him.

Rosie was next – she’s a big sheep.  Mae Mae wasn’t sure she could hold her down.

Her fleece, too, was just beautiful and it was obvious she’s been well fed!

That is the downside to the wool.  It’s hard to know how much weight the sheep are carrying because it’s hidden by the thick wool.

But shearing day reveals all!

The look on this young gal’s face is precious as she buries her fingers into the wool…

It’s providing an avenue for discovery and learning that motivates me and makes all the work so worthwhile – the reward of watching the children.

The questions that are asked…

Casey was the last one to be sheared and this was her first time.  It’s a good thing she’s the smallest because she certainly squirmed around a lot!!

But Rosemarie got the job done and, once again, made it look so easy.

So now I have 3 more bags of wool to be carded…

and spun.

And the sheep?  Well, they’re going  to be busy the rest of the year working on their wool for next year’s Sheep Shearing Day!