I have, without a doubt, the best shearer in the universe. Jeff Burchstead of Buckwheat Blossom Farm in Wiscasset, has been shearing for me for quite a few years now. I marvel at how this 6-foot plus man can stand so tall after a day of being bent over, holding struggling sheep between his knees, and running shears up, down and around pregnant bellies, swollen udders, and the unmentionables of the boys. And the best part you ask???? He operates similar to me ...relaxed, at a good pace, and efficiently.
I joked with him the year I began having more Babydoll Southdowns to shear. I thought it would be easier to shear little sheep as opposed to giant Columbias and Romneys. Not so ... being bent over a big sheep is easier to being bent waaaaaay down for a man of such stature. Still, he works through my rouges gallery of long and shot fleeces and tall and tiny sheep.
On another note, one sheep presented me with quite a surprise. Isabella, who roams free on the lawn all summer ( and who grows one of my nicest fleeces ) presented a full udder when Jeff flipped her up to be shorn. Two days later, she was standing over a tiny little lamb in the corner of the barn.
This new little life, all four pounds of her, was standing, licked clean and nursing aggressively within minutes! After scooping her up and leading Isabella into a jug, the two settled in for some good food and a rest. I have named this baby Priscilla.
Lambing is done ...now we wait for Uma. She is due in two weeks.