So, with new instructions, the two farm hands who often help me out, set up the holding pen, catch pen and shearing area inside the barn. We then brought the rams over and put them in a separate area ready for their turns first. The sheep are turned to sit on their rumps and are most comfortable when they have empty stomachs and bladders. They were not fed, but there was hay on the pen floor, so many of them ate fairly well and that made it difficult for them and the shearers, while others were fairly emptied out and were easier. Then there are the wild sheep, the Barbados, Painted Desert and Shetland crosses and the Icelandics, who were not easy to shear. Some of the sheep had little bugs biting into their skin, like tics, only they are flies without wings, called keds. Because they will be exposed to below freezing temperatures tonight, the keds should drop off of the sheep and freeze. The shearers also recommended keeping the chickens with the sheep, since the chickens will eat the keds. That was the plan anyhow, but now it is confirmed.
I tried shearing last year, three sheep, and found it excruciating. Mind you, I had no idea what I was doing and nicked and cut the sheep in a few places. I am better at trimming their hooves than shearing.
The shearers are staying at the bed and breakfast, and after preparing a simple supper of bacon and omelets and perogies, I joined them. We chatted at length, laughed and I genuinely enjoyed their company. What great folk they are. They retired and I quickly tidied the kitchen and got the dishwasher going, then off to my little farmhouse I trotted. What a very busy day it was and I will be so grateful to sink into my organic mattress where I am surrounded by a wool mattress pad and wool comforter. ZZZZZZZ.