Today was a gorgeous day and I spent most of it in an Artists in Education workshop, which was very worthwhile, but I was happy to cut out a little early so I could get home and roo Mabeline.
Mabeline is an unregistered shetland ewe, almost two years old. She's 22% UK bloodlines (Timothy and Holly), her fleece is dense, fine and crimpy. I used her in my BFL crossbreeding program this year. I can hardly wait to see the fleece on her lambs this spring!
Anyway, her fleece has been loose around her middle for a couple weeks now. Normally the fleece loosens up first around the head, neck, chest or around the tail, but not in this case.
I plucked a little of her wool about a week ago and was waiting for more nice weather to keep at it. Well, I got about half done today in about 45 minutes. You can see the yellowish line where the old fleece ends and the new fleece is coming in. I pulled up on the old fleece while holding my other hand flat on her skin. She's left with a nice coating of fleece. She really seemed to enjoy the process as she wagged her tail a lot.
However at times she must have been uncomfortable because she'd walk away for a few bites of hay. Then within minutes she was back begging for more rooing. I know she looks funny, but I decided to quit at the point shown in the photo because the plucking was harder (for both of us). Hopefully the rest of the fleece will loosen up in the next week or so.
Once I got in the swing of rooing, whoever came up for scratching got a test plucking. I think I have about four more ewes who should be roo-able in the coming weeks. Yes! I'm also working on rooing one of my rams, Sheltering Pines Bombarde. He loves it too. He's on my list for tomorrow.
Now I need to wash this pound of fleece and see how it compares to shorn fleece for spinning.