Shearing in Early Spring
Sometimes early March is mid-spring. Sometimes it's even late spring. This year early March is very much still winter.
But you shear when the shearer arrives. In this case he was scheduled based on upcoming kidding dates expected by other goat herders that he shears. If it had all been up to me we would have waited at least another week. But I didn't have that control.
When Stephen Franco and his dad arrived here on Saturday morning they had already sheared 45 goats at my friend Cynthia's house and had three more farms to get to. I'm really glad he has lined up so many additional farms on his shearing tour. I was concerned that the three goats I have might not be enough to get him to show up again in the fall. Not to worry. He is a great shearer, well respected and sought after. He is fast and he is good.
It was a very reasonable 68 degrees on Saturday for the shearing but the temperature dropped to 45 overnight. Even that is pretty reasonable compared to the expected temps in the 30's for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. I really hope the weathermen are dead wrong but we prepare for those temps nonetheless.
The stalls are well bedded and the three naked goats have access to the corals at the back of the barn where there is plenty of clover to nibble on. They can go in and out as they wish. I have been watching them from the window of my studio. Even with the temperatures dropping this afternoon they are happily out in the wind eating. They spend some time outside and then scamper into the warmth of the barn for a while before coming outside to graze again. All seems right with the world.