Thursday, 24 July 2008

a day at the sheep salon

a few days ago our girls were finally given a long overdue makeover from a rather lovely sheep shearer called Pete

now - we are new to this sheep keeping malarkey but felt pretty confident that between us we could round up 7 sheep - i mean, how difficult could it be?
Boreray sheep are not your normal slightly dim sheep - they are sly and cunning
normal sheep all stay together in a group, looking at each other with worried little faces, not knowing where to go but knowing that they are all going together.....
Boreray , when herded, look straight in your eye and then split up - each one running at great speed to a different part of the field.......
we tried everything - sweet talking, bribing with food, chasing whilst flapping our arms........
yup - the neighbours (and birds) had a great laugh at our expense......

after an hour or so and with Pete about to leave his farm, we put in a mercy call to ask if he would bring along a little help.......
you can see her in one of the pictures - Sally the sheep dog x
she leaped over the fence with ease and grace, obeyed all her commands and just looked fantastic!
Pete thought that it took her about three times as long to herd our girls than normal sheep, and they went in as two separate groups but they went in - oh the relief!


looking a little bedraggled as some of their fleece had started to come away as it should - Boreray are a native, hardy breed that should never need shearing.
our girls kept some of their fleece as they have not produced any babies this year

next year we will hopefully have lots of lambs and naturally bald sheep :)


look at the size of the horns on Rodders!!
Rodders is kept in a separate paddock from the girls for obvious reasons, his abode is behind the girls so we had to release him in with the girls so that they could be rounded up together
they all met for the first time x

he seemed overwhelmed by them at first - but once in the shearing area he was just plain nasty - using those horns to push them around.

since they have been back in separate paddocks one of the girls seems to have taken a shine to the "bad boy" - she sits at the adjoining gate waiting for Rodders to compliment her on the new hair do....
he just struts past - boys are mean.

this is a picture of Stephen rolling the fleece - they will be off to a local spinner shortly and then we will have our own yarn - so exciting :)

and after......

totally shocked but totally beautiful - all such different colours from what they were before.

the keen eyed amongst you are probably wondering who the nosey onlookers are.....

meet Dillon

and Woody

our new arrivals are two Shetland ponies that have settled in so well - totally useless addition to a smallholding, but hey - they look soooooo pretty and i will use the ENORMOUS amount of poop on the garden

as the boys are so darn sweet i will do a whole post on them soon with pictures showing just how mini they are x

i love, love, love them already

right - off to enjoy this amazing weather - huge endless clear blue skies, glistening calm sea and the sound of tractors in the distance...... bliss.

back soon

t x


tales from an O.C. cottage said...

what a life you have! Amazing!

M ^..^

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Bliss, indeed!
Your sheep are just beautiful, as is your clear blue sky. I can just imagine the sound of the sea.
And, aren't sheepdogs wonderful?

trashalou said...

Could you not just have just put Ghillie Mc Monsterdog into the paddock and scared thise dastardly sheep into submission?

Minnie said...

What a lovely post!!

Did you hear the "Awwww" from down here in Hill Billy Land? x

Two Crofters said...


sadly Ghillie the massive hound is scared of the sheep......
he is also scared of chickens, cats and jo the pig
i would have had more chance if i had put my dear old cat in the blooming field!
t x

pebbledash said...

Oh, Tracy your girls and dear Rodders have definitely been shorn...still, babies next year! As for Dillon and Woody, the word cute is not cute enough! I have a particular soft spot for shetlands as I learnt to ride on a particularly naughty one...but then I think they all have a wicked streak, even if they look like butter wouldn't melt... Glad some good things are happening too, been thinking of you and dear Binks.
D xx

Vintage to Victorian said...

What a wonderful day! It's amazing how quickly the wool will grow again. Will you be selling your yarn or knitting with it? Or just looking at it lovingly!!

Not sure if I told you, you have an award - check my blog!

So pleased to meet Dillon and Woody at last. Not what I anticipated at all!!!

Sue x

driftwood shack said...

I love the picture on your header! I remember riding a shetland pony call rosy at my grandmothers stables when i was about 4- they are the most fantastic rides for children, those sheep look fab before and after I'm glad they have strong personalities, we had the most amazing chicken once always escaping to hide her eggs in the hedgerow!

Madge said...

can i come live with you? Please?

jules said...

what an adventure, and the new additions so cute, good idea about the poo. well done tracy

love jules x

April said...

I love your life - I adore Shetland ponies - please give them a big pat from me!!

Looking forward to seeing the yarn

April xx

mollycupcakes said...

Oh tracy, that post had me in fits of giggles lol
Just thinking of you and Stephen running around a field after sheep flapping your arms like crazy hehe!
And then the clever sheep dog comes in and does it just like that. They all look fabulous with their summer coats on. Wow how cool having your own wool/fleece, will you have it coloured? any pink going? lol
Oh my god Woody and Dillon are so sweet, I'm sure if you'd been listening you could of heard myself and the girls screaming with delight at seeing them on here.
They are just the same sort od ponnie that Molly and Daisy rode on at a school fete last month and now they both want one lol
But I think our landlord would have to say no to that one as nice as he is. Our gardens far to small.
Have a lovely weekend enjoy the beautiful weather sweetie, speak soon.
Lots of love.
Catherine x

Ragged Roses said...

That sounds like so much fun, hope you're still enjoying the beautiful weather and your very special landscape. Say hello to Dillon and Woody for me, they;re gorgeous
So Sorry to hear about Binks

Primrose Hill said...

Loving your post, I can just picture it all! Dillon and Woody are soooooo sweet, I think two little lovelies like them used to live in our garden as the stables have "Oscar" & "Dudley" name plates on the doors which are very low, any normal sized horse would just step over them!!!
You're going to be busy knitting with all that yarn, how amazing will that be, I have sheep envy! We're still trying to acquire the field so we're a bit behind you on that front!!!

Speak to you soon, enjoy that fab weather, it's the same here, bliss isn't it!

L xxx

julie said...

well your sheep certainly are a bunchy of cheeky lasses - glad you managed to get their co-operation and how exciting that you'll have your own homegrown yarn! I'm in love with Dillon and Woody. I desperately wanted a shetland pony when I was growing up (I even had Thelwell bedlinen with all those drawings of fat little ponies) Give them a pat and a kiss on their soft noses from me x

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

I so love your "simple" but amazing lifestyle!
And all that fresh air, I bet you don`t need to use blusher, to make your cheeks looking healthy and glowing!
Kisses kisses

Pipany said...

Ahh, how sweet those sheep look. Tracy, you sound as though life is pretty good and it's lovely to read. Keep the posts coming xx

Vanessa said...

How amazing to have your own yarn! What will you do with it?

I bet you can not believe how nice the weather is at the moment, enjoy it whilst it lasts.

Vanessa x

Maggie Ann said...

I'd love to hear more about your local spinnner that makes your yarn. I'm a fairly new spinner...and love it! I thought maybe you'd have wool for sale in your Etsy shop. Nice visiting you!

Janice said...

I have an award for you over at my blog.

jillytacy said...

It was fun to read about your sheep shearing adventures! the girls are looking pretty. I'm sure Rodders was a little humiliated with the new haircut. I'm sure he'll be nice to the girls soon enough. Let's hope for lots of little lambs next spring!
I'm so happy to finally meet Woody and Dillon. They are are pretty boys!