At class this week, someone asked if this was a "working" sheep ranch…

Our annual Wool Festival best illustrates the answer to that.  

The day starts before daylight as chores need to finish before shearing starts.  We built all the loading chutes the week before but sheep must be gathered and sorted by wool quality, age, pregnancy and hair/wool content.  The shearer arrives by 8:00 as does all my volunteers.  THIS WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE WITHOUT MY VOLUNTEERS!!  My Illustrious IBS crew: Dave, Blair, Bob.  Newbies: Kevin, Jeremy, Summer, Shayne.  The Faithful:  Maureen, Terry F, Juan   All of those individuals dive in with sweat, muscle and enthusiasm.  

As the sheep are shorn, we take them through the chutes to vaccinate, worm and trim feet.  This is wool wrestling at it's finest as my flock don't enjoy this.  The local spinning guild are there classing the fleeces and picking out their favorites. 

We take a lunch break (I spent the day before preparing a feast; nothing is too good for these fine folks)  We had finished the majority of the flock and only had a handful left.  

A total of 98 sheep were shorn; 110 wormed/vacc'd; finishing in a record 7 hours!!  

The lanolin covered, poop smeared and tired crew gathered around for our reward: