Shear Madness

We recently had our goats sheared for the first time since we moved in!

Here is a montage video of a lot of the shearing process:

September or October is a good time to shear the goats to harvest their mohair fiber while giving them enough time to regrow sufficient hair to stay warm through the winter. There was several pounds of fiber on each goat so after shearing the normally fluffy goats look a bit scrawny by comparison.

Here is a series of videos of Ruby being sheared. She was the most curious goat and ran right up to the shearing area to check it out so she was the first victim. We hired a recommended local provider to shear the goats for us. Shearing requires a lot of practice and specialized electric shears to really do a good job so we decided it would be best to hire out for now.

In this next video, you can see the big piece of fleece from Ruby’s side and back coming off at once which is the best fiber.

Next is a video of Rascal being sheared. You can see how the shearer needs to put the goats into all sorts of positions to make shearing the easiest. Luckily goats mostly tolerate the various positions and sort of zone out during most of the process.

Harriet didn’t want to be sheared and tried to stand at the far end of the pasture but we rounded her up eventually for shearing:

The goats looked a bit scrawny after shearing as they lost their fluffiness.

Ruby after being sheared.

Ruby after being sheared.

Rascal after being sheared.

Rascal after being sheared.

Butterbean after being sheared.

Butterbean after being sheared.

The entire shearing process took a couple of hours for 5 goats (Oz and Elf are cross breed goats and the shearer did not think their fleece was thick enough to warrant shearing because it might not grow back thick enough in the short time before winter). ¬†Our shearer was very gentle and while shearing could be done much faster, we weren’t in any rush.

Myaah, Myaah, white goat, have you any mohair? Yes sir, yes sir, 3 bags full!

After sorting out stained and bad pieces of fiber, we still ended up with 3 trash bags full of mohair. We haven’t decided what to do with it yet, but we are leaning towards sending it to a processing mill to have it washed, carded, spun and knit into finished goods such as socks.

One of the 3 bags of mohair after shearing.

One of the 3 bags of mohair after shearing.

We will keep a running total of the mohair processing costs for reference.

Shearing was $12 per goat (although our shearer indicated that the price may rise to $15 per goat in the spring) Running total of shearing and mohair processing costs to date: $60.

 

 

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