Rooing the day

Recently we rooed one of the ram lambs, Dingus.  It was a pretty successful experiment, we got a lot of fleece off him.  We are going to try rooing the entire flock and shearing whatever doesn’t roo off ourselves instead of doing a professional spring shear.  This will avoid the “carpet” look of spring fleeces and also provide more open locks for spinning instead of a more felting-friendly dense wool.

I also snagged a few locks from the other rams while feeding them.

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Locks from Scottie, Dingus and Bucky, from left to right. The crumbly bits at the bottoms of the locks are mostly dirt or skin flaking. Both wash right out and are not a processing problem.

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Rooed fleece from Dingus. Looser and more open than if we’d sheared, as it’s the natural wool break, so the denser new growth stays on the sheep instead of matting.

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More of Dingus’ fleece. It looks a lot more like the fall shearing this way, which is why if an Icelandic shepherd can roo their flock, it’s really a great way to collect the spring wool.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Rooing the day

  1. What is rooing? I’ve never heard the term before. Are you just sort of pulling out the loose stuff like you do with angora rabbits?

    Mrs. Johnson: It’s the natural spring shedding of wool in primitive sheep breeds like Icelandics. You are just pulling off the loosened fiber. If the sheep’s retained a strong rooing propensity, you can just pluck it all off, which some Icelandic shepherds do if they have smaller flocks. But mostly these days it’s an incomplete process (not an easy trait to breed for!), and you have to shear/clip off what you can’t roo.

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