Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring

You can tell that Spring 2016 is here in East Tennessee, the day temps are warmer while the nights can still be chilly.  The grass is starting to green up, the daffodils are in full swing and even the redbuds are coming out!

I can tell that Spring 2016 is here on my tiny little farm because the Nigora goats are starting to shed their winter insulation!  Time to start rooing, or plucking it off before it gets ruined!

Cerin

Cerin is almost finished with his shed, he is the first full fleece of this year.  The contrast between what has been plucked and what hasn't is really incredible!  I hope to be able to get the rest off of him soon, it just isn't ready to let go yet!









Ailin


 Ailin has a much shorter fiber staple than the other goats, but it is really quite soft too!  You can see the scraggly bits on his shoulder that just wasn't ready yet.  I may have gotten 1 ounce off of him.


 






Bert
Bert, who is Ailin's brother is just starting his shed, you can see that he is still quite fluffy.  His fleece is white and a good 4 inch staple length.  Yay!







Ernie


Ernie, who is Cerin's brother has a nice long fleece too, his is a cream color.  You can see where I have started rooing up around his shoulders.  His sides seem to be a little felted, but I am going to hope for the best, it may be some left overs from last years fleece, since I shaved him last year. 

 I didn't get a picture of Kami this morning, but she is just starting to shed as well.  Each evening when I go out to feed the goats, I check to see if any fleece  is loosening up.  I go ahead and get off what I can while they are eating.  Most of them are not really thrilled to get plucked, but if I don't rush it they do pretty good.  The trouble is if I wait too long, the fleece can felt on the goat, and I am trying to get it all off before that happens.  

Another thing I want to beat is the shedding of the guard hairs.  As I pluck the soft fuzzy winter insulation some of the guard hairs come off as well, but if I wait too long there will be many more coming away with the soft fuzzy fiber that I want!  Every guard hair needs to be taken out of the fiber before it can be used, a very time consuming process!  So it is a race against time and nature around here!  

After I get the adults done, (hopefully by next weekend) I will begin  checking the 3 yearlings (Ellie, Mae and Dash) daily, hoping to get them done before too much longer, but their fleeces have not started shedding yet.

Next week I will post some pictures of the fleeces, cause surely they will be all in the bag by then! 

Until next time, Happy Crafting, Tina