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Friday, June 16, 2017

A Little Off The [Muffin] Top

Long wooled sheep (Cotswolds, Lincolns, Border Leicesters...) can get pretty uncomfortable around here with our "lovely" summer heat and humidity.  A couple here, namely Hershey and Spud, have had a great deal of trouble with the heat in the past.  

While I've been told the wool acts as an insulator against the heat, I feel comfortable calling shenanigans on that.  A few years ago Spud started acting off so I took his temp thinking he was sick.  108!  Remembering how much shearing helped Hershey his first summer, we did a quick emergency shear while we waited for the vet.  Within an hour his temp was back down to an acceptable 103.

Since then we've re-sheared Hershey, Spud and Murphy in late May, early June.  While Spud has still had an occasional heat stress issue, we've learned how to watch and deal with it.  Heat stress is nothing to fool around with, people or animals!  We were all glad to see Bill the other day.

Well, except maybe B. Willard ;-).  That's him trying to open the gate and get out.  Willard is a clever gate opener.  He knows how to push or pull each gate with his foot.  I added him and Rebecca Boone to the re-shearing list because both fleeces were a bit felted this spring.  Not sure if this will help or not, but worth a try.

Remembering heat stressed Hershey, who was at the time a dark colored (now gray) long wooled lamb, we sheared little Muffin as well.  I hated throwing away her sweet little lamb fleece (the fleece I held on my lap while she napped as a tiny lamb) and cutting off her cute little muffin top and chubby cheeks, but I knew the summer heat would be way too hard on her.

"My mom is right over there so I guess I'm okay."

"I thought I didn't have to do this until I got older."

This is a bit long because Bill took so much extra care with her tiny non-B. Willard sized body.  I love her mom keeping a close watch on them both.  You can hear Biscuit in the background (higher pitched baby voice) and Jester weighs in a couple times too (deep quiet baaa).  

We picked up everyone's 'too short to do anything with other than make some wool balls' trimmings. Muffin got her own "bag" and look, it's a baby sheet!  I guess someone must have known we'd eventually shear a baby here.  There is a good amount of wool in there for a two month old lamb.

"Jennifer told me I had to go tell Muffin her hair looks good even if I don't think it does."

It does look good though and momma looks even better.  She had a fiber break that was causing her to look a little Velveteen Rabbit-ish.  She'll be ready to become a sweater by next spring.

They both will! (Insert positive thinking, rinse, repeat...)

And she really is that black underneath.  And she feels like velvet :-).

But you can tell by her droopy ears how much that took out of her.  (Insert positive thinking, rinse, repeat!)

A new Biscuit and Muffin puzzle :-).  Click here or on the picture of the puzzle to play.


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