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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Shearing Pygora Fybur

I have been recently educated by a very smart goat in the correct spelling of the word "fybur".  Thanks so very much Lucky Nickel!

**Warning: The following photos contain graphic images of amateurs at work. Professional shearers should be forewarned and those without intestinal fortitude should forego reading this post.

Tea went first.  She was initially pretty psyched about the oats in the bucket.  She later decided it was not worth the initial food bribe.

 We first started on the barrel of the goat.  I started shearing Tea on my own and this worked for a few minutes (while she was busy with the oats).  Once I started getting serious there was much tap dancing going on and the platform of the goat stand isn't wide enough for much sidestepping.  It also isn't conducive to good scissoring.  I found out too, that goats can and will bite when annoyed...see her eyeing my leg?

Did you notice that the shearers are wearing there very best barn clothes?  This is a celebration after all...a harvest of the finest fybur!
Yes, those are Fiskers hand shears.  The sheep shears don't fit my hand very well and these work just fine thank-you-very-much.  The lady at the quilt shop thought it was very strange though when I told her what I was going to use them for.  In my defense, she did ask!
 "What are you doing to me Woman?!?"  "It's the latest in styles Tea.  It is the lumpy bumpy style that the llamas have.  Theirs has grown out a bit so it isn't quite as noticeable.  It was made famous by some llamas in Iowa and is all the craze now in (a small part) of the Upper Peninsula." 
 "Can you quit chattering at the goat and get on with it?  See all that dirt in the background?  I have some earth to move!"  Oh- Ginger came to visit too.
 Gratuitous fall color shot.  Notice that I have switched sides.  I did that a lot.
 Okay.. we need to get some of these curls off of your neck.  I promise I won't touch the beard!  No, really!  I LIKE beards you may have noticed!
 "Hey watch it lady!  There are some sensitive parts down there."  Yes, Tea I can see them.  We are getting close. To being done that is!
 "Tea!  You keep her busy and I'll eat the bag!  I think this strategy will work...she won't have anything to put the fybur in so she'll have to stop!"
 "What?!?  I'm next?!?"
"Oh no!  Don't look at my is worse than lumpy bumpy!"

Yes Twizzler, but I left enough so that you will be warm on these cold October nights. We ended up with 2 pounds of fybur from Tea, and 2 pounds and four ounces from Twizzler.  Tea's fybur felt much finer, and Twizz's was much more dense.  Next shearing is May!

Photo credits go to Lila MacKinnon.  Goat stand credits go to Marilyn Ayers (my mother).
Much credit goes to my husband Will who patiently acted as goat handler while I occasionally complained that his hands were in the way.  He gets all the credit for the barn in the background too.


  1. We use an identical pair of Fiskars here for our hand shearing. :)

    Funny story and great photos!

  2. I am so excited to see that you have adopted the proper spelling for fybur. It is good to know that I am helping the goat world and I felt very honoured to be recognized on your blog. On the other hand, I am a bit nervous about getting the lumpy bumpy cut. I think it will be in the spring, if it gets long enough to shear, and my lady says she will not poke me with the Fiskars. She said it will be a re-leaf when the weather gets warm. What do you suppose she means? I am not a tree...
    I hope you gave the T's some extra treats after their ordeal.
    **Lucky Nickel**

  3. ROTFWL at your description. Looks like you did a fine job. I sometimes use Fiskars on the buns too.

  4. sheep hook, sheep shears, several pieces of rope, a bottle of iodine, a bottle of sheep dip, some pieces of cloth to mark the spot where you had a ewe tied and a rifle to shoot any coyote you might see. sheep shears