Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rooing or what?


About a month ago, I noticed Charlie was losing the wool on his neck. This happened last year in May. At the time, I thought it was because the sheep shearer hadn't been here yet, and it was getting hot. Well, it certainly is not hot now! We've been having single digit temperatures, and he continues to lose more wool. Now he's lost this wool on his shoulder blade? Any of my Shetland-breeder blogpals know what this is? Is it just rooing or what?

I'm glad I haven't registered him yet. He'll be two this summer, and I almost registered him last year, but I didn't like the looks of his horns and decided to wait and see what they did. If this is a rooing thing, it is definitely not something I want to pass on to future generations, so castrating seems like the best idea. In fact, although the horns are not life-threatening, I know we can do better, so he'll be saying bye-bye to the family jewels pretty soon.

Speaking of castration, I'm happy to report that the Burdizzo worked on all the lambs and goats I used it on last year. It is definitely now my preferred method of castration.

8 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Some breeders select for rooing, because rooed wool is softer than sheared wool.

Deborah said...

So this is a good thing? Why January? I'm afraid the poor boy is going to freeze. Just when I thought I had it figured out!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Well, SOME think it's a good thing. :-) However, he is losing fleece awful early! Have you been able to get ahold of him to see if it's loose anywhere else? If it is loose EVERYwhere else, I would wonder if he has a break in his fleece due to illness or trauma....

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

BTW, rooing was the traditional method of harvesting fleece on Shetland. In a recent article in the NASSA News by US breeders who recently visited there, it is still how some well-known breeders harvest their prize-winning show fleeces.

Deborah said...

Well, ever since Teddy had a go at me (as our UK Shetland blogpal described it), I've avoided going into the ram pen alone. He also had a go at Mike when he went in there after it happened to me. This sounds like a family project -- one or two to watch for attacking rams and three or four of us to catch Charlie and check him out. If all of his fleece is loose, I suppose we'd have to put him in the barn or get him a coat?

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Yeah, I'd whip him up a quick coat or modify a sweatshirt or something if he's going to lose all his fleece. He'll grow enough to handle the weather fairly quickly, but will need some help before then. Sometimes other rams will pick the the lone sheared (or naked for some other reason) ram, so you might have to separate him from the others.

Corinne R. said...

When my shetlands roo, it's not all the way down to the skin like that (it looks like it's all the way down when I biggified the photo). Seems like it's just on the one side too? Hmmm...interesting.

Juliann said...

Hi Deb,

I have a Clun Forest ewe doing the exact same thing. She doesn't have lice, don't know why she's doing it.
Some of our Shetlands are starting to blow their coats this early. Rooing is GREAT, even early. I would love it if all my sheep rooed. They will adjust to the cold if they have a wind break.

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