Shearing the Mohair....

1 CommentTuesday, 26 January 2016  | 
Blossom is speaking.....

Welcome to MY new blog.  It is about time that our female goat slave recognised that we ladies are the main attraction round here and gave us the platform we deserve!  So, welcome to Whistlebare, the farm where we beasts are in charge.  

I am pleased to say that female goat slave has been out in our shed since early this morning.  Breakfast was delivered in good time and may have even had a few extra beans!  The question is what is she up to?

 

​Blossom is quite right to be suspicious.  Harvest comes to Whistlebare twice a year, in January and in August, so this morning (Saturday) I am preparing for the arrival of Kevin the shearer. It may seem a bit harsh to cut off all the goats' lovely warm mohair in January  but it must be done before kidding in March.  

We have mucked out one of the individual pens and laid down the black shearing floor.

Shearing Pen at Whistlebare     Mohair Fibre recording pen at Whistlebare.

Then we sorted out another individual pen where each fleece will be carefully weighed, recorded and graded before being packed for storage.  Here are a couple of 'before' shots, this is Blossom, as matriarch she will lead the way.

Blossom before shearing.  

This group of 'in kid' does are patiently waiting their turns.

Angora Goats before shearing at Whistlebare

Once Kevin arrives it all happens briskly.

Shearing Angora Goats

Shearing Angora Goats is complicated as they have fleece on their heads and legs as well as their bodies.  Their skin too is thin and loose so must be handled with great care.  Not to mention the fact that these goats are pregnant.  We are very fortunate that Kevin has taken the time to master the different techniques required for shearing goats as well as sheep.

Here's Bronte, fresh out of the shearing pen, saying a quick 'hello' to her Papa.  While Bea is more interested in seeing whether there is any more breakfast in the buckets!

Shorn Angora Goats Shorn Angora Goat
Blossom is speaking.... You see I knew it, a special breakfast always means something is up!  I do like a visit from Kevin though, it may be a bit undignified but he is such a nice slave and knows just how to make a girl look her best.

Shearing is always a long day and hard work for everyone but as the sacks of beautiful mohair pile up it is hard not to get excited about the fabulous yarn that will follow.

My next blog will show you what Flora and I are up to, both knitting and crochet, and you'll get a sneak preview of the new pattern we are bringing to Unravel next month.  Remember, you will always see it here first!


Maureen Probert
Saturday, 28 January 2017  |  11:29

Delightful introduction to the Whistlebare animals, processes and ethics. I look forward to seeing you all some day soon.
Best wishes,
Maureen