Monday, May 23, 2011

Weekend on the farm!

Well I finally got to go home to the farm for a weekend!  It's a good thing too, I had a lot of chores to catch up on.

First and most important on the list was getting little miss Annie shorn for the summer.  She doesn't produce a lot of fleece (it is very fine), and she was shorn mid-June last year, so I wanted to give her a few more weeks of growth than the rest of the herd.  So Saturday I groomed her thoroughly and blew her out with our wonderful Circuiteer blower, and then bathed her.  Luckily it was a lot warmer this weekend than a few weeks ago when I sheared the rest of the herd.  Annie was so well behaved too!  She doesn't like being in the chute (she laid down both when I was grooming her and when I was shearing her), but she stood very well to get groomed in the catch pen and to get washed just tied to the fence.  I was pleasantly surprised!  And now I have a gorgeous bag (well, half of a bag) of black fleece ready to spin!  It is going to get blended with Ridge's fleece (who is Annie's dad) and processed into roving for me to spin.  I'm thinking a beautiful grey (black + white = grey) shawl.

Annie's fabulous fleece before she was shorn last spring.
Annie during her first bath last summer.  She behaved much better this year!
While I had the electric clippers ready, I also finished Ralph's shear job.  He got his haircut at the Hillsdale Hobo Show in Michigan a few weeks ago (standing in a chute just like a llama!), but we couldn't finish the fluff around his face because of his halter getting in the way.  So this weekend we carefully clipped the cheek fuzz around his face so that he looks more "normal"!

Ralph after his haircut a few years back.  His legs are quite a bit fuzzier this year!
And last but not least, my remaining German Angora rabbit Latte needed her haircut too!  Unfortunately my parents had let her go a little too long without a belly trim, so she was quite matted underneath.  But it was nothing that an hour with a pair of dog trimming scissors couldn't fix!  I kept the nice belly fiber to spin into novelty yarn, and the prime (back) fiber for spinning or to sell in my Etsy store.    She's much cooler now!  Depending on how she handles the heat I will shear her again in July or August, along with monthly belly trims.

Latte after her trim a few years ago.
I'm going to try and post an article I wrote about shearing llamas sometime later this week.  I figure it is very appropriate for the time of year, and hopefully it will be helpful.

Looking into the coming weeks, our second show of the season is the first weekend in June (the Allen County Open in Fort Wayne, IN).  I was supposed to go to a show last weekend, but it was cancelled due to lack of entries.  I may add on another short one-day show in June (the Vermillion County Fair in Cayuga, IN June 18th), but I haven't quite decided yet.  If anyone would like information on some great little shows in western Indiana/eastern Illinois this summer, just let me know and I will pass it along!

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