I finally started shearing goats today.  Only got two done, Cinnamon and Maggie. I probably should aim for three to four a day each day for the next week.

I am putting the bucks off to last, because I really need John to help me get them on the stand for me, I’m just not strong enough to convince them to walk up that ramp. Plus, if I don’t get a buck done before cold weather strikes, it’s not too worrisome.

The does, though, all need to be sheared because many of them are pregnant, and if they are too hairy, their kids can’t find their teats, and I end up with a bunch of bottle babies. Which is a lot of work, but I usually sell them within a few weeks to people who want to raise bottle babies.

Bottle-raised kids are always friendlier and easier to handle than those who stay with their mamas.  Even as adults, they will come over just to say hi and get a pat or two.

I’ll try to get a photo or two tomorrow of the goats I catch to shear.  It’s awkward trying to take photos of them because I have two kids trying to help me with everything, and they are entirely too curious about cameras.

Shearing Time

I need to get about 25 of my goats sheared in the next couple of weeks.  I shear each of my goats on a grooming stand with a good and sharp electric shears, made for shearing goats and sheep.

It has recently come to my attention that PETA is pushing the lie that shearing goats and sheep is injurious to the animals.  They somehow managed to make a video of a shearer in another country leaving bloody animals.  They advertise: Don’t Buy Wool.

Balderdash and poppy cock.

First of all, I’ve never seen any fiber animal bloodied to that extent before.  I have seen shearers make a mistake and cause some bleeding, and that is one reason why I shear my own animals. Just like hundreds of other people who raise fiber animals.

I’m not the quickest shearer in town, it takes me a good 15 to 20 minutes to completely shear a goat -sometimes longer if there is a lot of VM  (vegetative matter) to get through.

The only time one of my goats bleed is if I trim their hooves just a bit too much – just like a dog’s toenail will bleed if you cut it too short.

I’m angry that this crazy group of people with a record for killing more dogs and cats in their so-called shelters than any other shelter thinks they can demand that the human race stop using wool and mohair and all the other natural fibers that come from animals.

So, I will try to video me shearing one of my goats to show the world that no, animals are not harmed from shearing, and that natural fibers are  most definitely worth purchasing.shearing angel

Still shearing

I definitely have too many goats right now. At least, I am getting caught up on shearing and checking them completely out.

Today, I sheared BeeBee and Joey. Both of them were just awful on the shearing stand, stamping their feet, bucking, trying to get out of the stand, etc. I don’t know if it is the weather or what, but it is exhausting when the goats to be sheared are being especially troublesome.

BeeBee was so awful that when I tried to give her treats everytime she was still, she would spit the treat back out at me.  That’s a pissed of goat! I was happy with her condition, though, she is not thin or fat, she’s just right.  Except for her attitude.

Shearing more goats today

Hopefully, I’ll get Morgan and Serafina sheared.  I’m aiming to get all the girls done as fast as possible in case I’ve missed other pregnancies!  I’m sure Morgan is pregnant, this is her time of year for kidding, and she typically has twins.

Washing of mohair is also continuing.  I did wash some last weekend before picking through the vm, and I was pleased to find that in this particular case, it’s easier to get the vegetative matter out after it has been washed and dried.  Yay!

Have a great Saturday.  The weather here is gorgeous.

Cleaning dirty, dirty mohair!

It is just too cold to shear a goat today – it’s barely 45 degrees.  I have decided to start catching up on washing mohair instead.

Normally, when I am not bags and bags and bags of mohair behind, with more bags to come as I shear, I will sit down in on a chair and pick through a fleece.  I might loosen the locks a bit, and I try to remove as much VM (vegetative matter – hay, seeds, burrs) as I can before washing it.

Eh, today, I am a little antsy, and just don’t feel like sitting and picking through mohair, so I am cleaning it, one pound at a time, without doing the prep work at all.

First I soak it in hot hot water with a special detergent mixed in.  Then I hand rinse it, let it drip dry a bit, and look at it – if it is still dirty, I repeat.  Then, I’ll rinse in a special fiber rinse, rinse that out and spin dry it.  Then it goes on wire shelving in my sun room to completely dry.

At this point, I can decide if I want to sell the locks as they are, dye them, comb the locks into hand combed top, or add it to a batt I might be making on my drum carder.  I can also run it through my picker and use it or sell it in ‘cloud’ formation.

So many possibilities, so little time.