We braved the damp chill of the early morning to head to Parry Bay Farm in Metchosin at 7am this morning to choose fleece. About 100 of John and Lorraine’s sheep were being sheared today, just ahead of lambing season. Peter is the local shearer, and he does an amazing job both with handling the sheep and with producing a perfect fleece. Lorraine posted a quick video of Peter shearing on their Parry Bay Farm Facebook page.
Sharon ended up with 6 beautiful fleece, three white (or will be white once they’re cleaned) and three dark with colours ranging from grey to brown and black. These will all now be washed, picked and readied for carding, then on to a new life as Vancouver Island yarns or felted projects.
January seems like an unusual month to shear sheep, but John and Lorraine have quite a few pregnant ewes who will be producing lambs in the next few weeks. If the mom-ewes are left with full coats, they tend to stay out in the weather, unbothered by the cold or drizzle. By shearing them ahead of the birthing, the ewes will seek the shelter of the barn while their lambs are small. Brilliant farm psychology in play!
As we drove along the driveway we had a chance to get close to a pair of day-old twins with their mother. John and Lorraine have had lots of sets of twins over their 30 odd years of raising sheep, as well as many triplets, quads, quints and even a sextuplet! They truly care for their animals and it shows in the quality of the fleece. Have a look at their Facebook page for photos of Bentley, a sweet little guy with legs bent from his time in a crowded womb!