How to Roo a Sheep

To Roo…

Several months ago I posted about TH and my experience rooing our two ram lambs.  You can read about it and see pictures here.  It was such a pleasant experience, I wanted to learn more about the “art of the roo.”  I had hopes of getting more research done on the subject, especially after I received an email from a gal who was interested in learning more.   On the Yahoo Shetland list there recently has been a thread about rooing. I thought it would be a great opportunity to respond to the email, but alas, I can’t find it.  Aargh!  I must have deleted the message.  My apologies.

Links That Are Worth Viewing

Please check out this wonderful information provided by members/Shetland breeders who are much more knowledgeable than me.

Eileen, a Shepherdess from Maine, provided these links.  There are great pictures and quite a lot of detail.   Enjoy!

Information about Rooing From Linda Wendelboe and Kathy Baker  There are detailed photos and two video clips.

Video clip Historic videos which chronicle life on the Shetland Isles.  A fascinating site to be sure!

Historic Shetland Photos The pictures on this post are just a few of many fantastic historic photos of life on Shetland.  The site is the Shetland Museum Archives.  They have a searchable database and thousands of photos.  You may want to bookmark this site!

…or Not to Roo?

So I don’t know if we will do any rooing this year.  We will most likely shear in March as the lambs will be due the beginning of April.  If I have sheep that are starting the rise, I will definitely put them in the headgate and hand roo.  The fleece from Abbott and Costello was very clean and quite lovely after rooing.  I don’t think my hands could take rooing the whole flock though.  I would rather save my hands for spinning, dyeing and knitting!

4 responses to this post.

  1. Nice how-to article you’ve written here, Terri.
    I need to save my hands as well– they hurt when I knit–or garden– so the shearer will get the work of getting the wool off.
    I saw a little wool rising on one of my rams this week– and I did not encourage it by tugging. I figure he needs it, in this cold weather.



    • Thanks, Gail. Last year I saw wool rising for about one month before I decided I had better roo it off or it was going to start coming off on the fence and then I would lose his fiber! I do think it will be nice to do a few sheep but that will be enough for me.



  2. I’ve found there’s no need to put them in a headgate for rooing or flip them on the ground like in the picture. My sheep LOVE being rooed and hand-sheared — they stand perfectly still while I work on them. That said, I did halter the horned rams and tie them to trailer so they could graze while I did my thing. Mostly because I took them out of their pen rather than keep an eye out for their jealous buddies the whole time.



    • I think I will try just haltering and tying them this spring, and a flake of hay never hurts. 🙂 When I looked at the photo of those sheep lying on the ground in Shetland, I wondered how their shepherds kept them so calm and cooperative? Hmm. Then I noticed the ropes…



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