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Shearing & Fleece Reservations!
Shearing & Fleece Reservations!

We shear our sheep each year in the early Spring. It is like Christmas 'unwrapping' our sheep. Their fleeces are so fun to watch change over the years.

Black sheep go silver and gray; some sheep have cinnamon/auburn tips, white fleeces may have cream colored tips, others have blonde. The color changes on the tips of the locks are so pretty and unique to each sheep.

I like the sun-kissed look of the locks. To me they represent a healthy sheep who spends time as a sheep should- grazing a big pasture and napping in the sunshine. Listening to me read them detective novels, feeding them treats and being generous with hugs and smooches. I absolutely adore the sheep and working with their wool is as good for my soul as the sheep are.

Shearing day puts me in a perpetual whirl at least 3 weeks before we even have an actual shearing day confirmed. To be honest, I start fussing about shearing right after Christmas. Bet you are surprised right? ha! I always make lists and plan to be so prepared- ahead of time. I ALWAYS forget something.

If the weather is supposed to be rainy we have to plan our activities to keep the sheep dry for shearing. This year it is supposed to rain all week so we will have to lock the sheep up for around 4 days. Extra bedding, hay and they'll be set. Hopefully they will all behave so we have no escapees this year. There are always 1 or 2 Shetlands who sneak out and won't come back in. We end up shearing them ourselves a different day. Stinkers!

You may have met our David the Wonder Shearer in your travels? He shears sheep and teaches shearing classes at several fiber festivals. He has his own farm full of sheep to take care of and we are grateful for the time he spends traveling his routes from farm to farm each year. He is such a fast shearer but he also takes the time to be sure our sheep are comfortable and treated kindly. We usually spend a LOT of time racing around just to keep up with him!

We shear 115 sheep so having good help is key to a smooth shearing day. My son, hubby Jim and I are the main crew, along with help from my son's friend and my good friend Sara. Our day starts out early, out and about around 6 a.m. to get the sheep squooshed into pens. Then we bring out all the supplies for the day. We go through a LOT of fleece bags! David is usually here around 7:30 a.m. then away we go. We get about half way done around noon so we break for lunch. Back at it around 1 and if all goes smoothly we are done, fleeces all over the fiber palace downstairs and the sheep back where they belong by around 6 that evening.

David leaves about 1/2 inch of wool on the sheep but they still look so bare. The wool closest to their skin has so much lanolin! It doesn't take long for the wool to floof up again, usually a day or two. The sheep don't recognize each other at first so there is a lot of fussing til they find each other.

Our sheep's fleeces range from a few pounds all the way to 18 pounds. When they take that first step off the shearing floor they look so puzzled and surprised. Almost like they forget how to walk! Then they get their shots, feet trimmed and off they go. Usually with a giant, gleeful jump!

It takes a day or two to get the sheep settled down again and for us to recover. Then I label each fleece with the sheep's name and set them on shelves in the fiber palace (aka basement).

FLEECE & RESERVATION INFO

Fleece sorting usually begins the following week. I am very picky about the wool we sell so I don't rush.

If you would like to purchase wool from a certain sheep just send them an email! We keep a list but please remember I am the only one working with the wool.

It will take me time to get requests taken care of. I'll notify you as soon as possible about any fleece available for your request. If the fleece is not the quality I require to sell it, there may not be much or any available from a certain sheep.

We'll send an email to you when the fleece is ready so if you change your mind it is no problemo! We can move on down the sheep's list or post the wool on the website.

We look forward to hearing from you and getting you set up with some beautiful wool! Appreciate your patience ahead of time!

Smooches from the sheep!

Sandy & Jim




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News Update

11/29/14-Happy weekend all! We just added new fiber and handspun yarn to the website. Hope you have a few minutes to browse. We also have some sheep/llamas/dogs who would love a sponsor- follow the links on the left side of the page for more info ok?

Don't forget we have wool and fiber available year round.
If you don't see what you need listed on our website,
just send an email so we can get you all set to go!

Smooches from the sheeps!

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To purchase items or for additional information, 

please call The Ryans at (608) 966-3943
or email Jim or Sandy at ryan3@tds.net

Homestead Wool & Gift Farm Monroe, WI 53566

Copyright 2002-through-2013 ~ All Rights Reserved ~ Homestead Wool & Gift Farm

 

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