A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sheep Maintenance - Part 2 - 'Rooing'

I mentioned our shaggy sheep in an earlier post...I noticed it first with Snow White and I was concerned that maybe it was some sort of external parasite. I sent out a message to some fellow Icelandic shepherds I know and one of them mentioned that I should just enjoy rooing and it was nothing to worry about. Hmm...rooing?

This is the definition of 'rooing' provided by Wikipedia:


In some primitive sheep (for example in many Shetlands), there is a natural break in the growth of the wool in spring. By late spring this causes the fleece to begin to peel away from the body, and it may then be plucked by hand without cutting – this is known as rooing. Individual sheep may reach this stage at slightly different times." (Icelandics are considered a 'primitive' breed also)

I'm still not sure if the 'rooed' wool will be good for spinning...but maybe for felting?

So this is Brownie before rooing...

...and this is after...

This is how much wool I was able to get off...
Another interesting thing about Icelandics is that:
" they produce a naturally dual-coated fleece made up of the tog, a long, lustrous outer coat similar to mohair, and the thel, a fine, soft, crimpy undercoat. These two fibers may be spun together or separated and spun separately, to produce three different types of yarn. Icelandic fleece is also one of the most prized wools for felting. The wool is low in lanolin, which means much less weight is lost during washing compared to the wool from other breeds." Excerpt from Why Icelandics?

You can see a lock in this picture...

I suspect I will have to wait until for a Fall shearing, to have wool that I can spin.

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