Well theres no doubting its spring at Kyle Farms!
Lots of new things going on here:
All the early spring lambs have been weaned and the ewes are about ready to go back out to green grass.
Since theres a lull in lambing until mid-May, everyone has been working on building a shearing shed for shearing the flock. In previous years we have set up shearing in a local farmer's barn with temporary raceways, or outside on pasture using our movable chute and corral system. Both of these depend on a lot of outside factors (barn availability, and the weather!)
So this year, two old run in shed barns that happen to be perfectly situated on the corner of two big pastures with a good sized fenced barn yard attached are being turned into a shearing shed for 2-3 shearers to work in.
Shearing is slated to begin sometime in the next week, as soon as the new shed is completed. With ewes lambing throughout the year, and marketing groups of lambs different times throughout the year, we end up shearing many times throughout the year to decrease the stress on young or pregnant animals, or to keep lambs clean before turning out in the early spring/late fall when it gets a bit muddy or the burdock gets bad.
This equals multiple shearers, depending on the time of year as many of our shearers tend to migrate to other parts of the country or world to meet the seasons.
We're happy to use two main shearers, Tom Horton from Pennsylvania, and Aaron Loux from Massachusetts (www.aaronshearing.com)
This year Aaron has a gentleman from Wales shearing with him, and they will be staying at Kyle Farms for the next month while shearing our flock and other flocks in Western NY.
I'll keep you all updated with pictures of the new Shearing Shed and of the flock being shorn!