Let’s Celebrate Sheep

posted in: Let's celebrate | 23

Did you know that Shepard’s and their sheep are mentioned 227 times in the bible? If you’ve been around sheep you’ll notice that they are afraid of loud noise or quick movements.

Sheep is a Ruminant which means it has a four chamber stomach. There are 1 billion sheep in the world and 900 different breeds. The sheep wool defends the sheep from both heat and cold. I was surprised to learn that if a sheep goes into a wrong position it cannot correct itself and must be fixed before an hour or the sheep will die. How sad is that? Sheep have better hearing than vision. 10% of the sheep don’t have wool. Egyptians used to mummify sheep because they were sacred. When Woodrow Wilson was president of America sheep mowed the lawn of the white house. Sheep have a very good memory for an animal. Sheep mostly eat grass and grain, changing what a sheep eats too quickly is very dangerous and will upset its stomach.

Baby Lambs

My wonderful husband drove 3 hours one way for this “Meet the Lambs” experience. We enjoyed watching mama sheep and baby lambs interact with each other. Our girls enjoyed bottle feeding some of the lambs as well. They sure have a strong grip. Baby lambs are numbered and this is to help identify which lamb belongs to which mother. I think the lambs cry is just the cutest.

The lamb walks within minutes after he or she is born. The lamb is weaned when he or she is 30 to 45 days old.

This event is located at UC ANR Hopland Research & Extension Center – The Rod Shippey Building University Road Hopland, CA 95449

For more information visit http://hrec.ucanr.edu

 

 

 

 Sheep Shearing

Our sweet neighbors have three sheep and they were so kind to invite us to witness the shearing process. It was such a neat experience. The shearing was done in the morning. The sheep were in the barn and were taken out one at a time. Sheep can not be wet when being sheared. Usually the shearer stands and places the sheep’s shoulders between his or her knees. The belly is exposed and usually the belly wool is removed first and this is because its the dirtiest and usually never used. It’s amazing how in the end the wool is in one piece. Sheep are sheared because the wool can become heavy and during the summer it is too hot for them if their wool is not sheared. Also, the wool is sold and made into clothing. Can you believe that 8 to 10 pounds of wool is taken off a single sheep? That means the sheep will feel  8 to 10 pounds lighter. Sheep are sheared in late summer or early fall months. A pregnant sheep will be sheared one month before she gives birth to her lamb.

 

Hands on Learning

We made our own sheep to shear out of balloons, newspaper, flour and water paste, glue, paint, and shaving cream. We bought our balloons from the dollar store. They had Mickey balloons which was perfect for this activity. You want to mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of flour into a bowl. Shred newspapers into strips. Use a paint brush and paint your balloon with the flour paste. Dip newspaper strips in water and place over the flour paste. Continue this process until you have layered the balloon three times. Then let it dry overnight. The next morning we painted the balloons white. After they dried we added sheep wool to our sheeps head and drew the face. We glued the head to the body and put shaving cream over the body. Then girls took turns shearing the sheep and we talked about how it is done. We also talked about how it feels like a boy or man getting a haircut.

 

 

Sheep Headpiece

Since we had sheep wool we cut out the center of a paper plate and we glued sheep wool and paper ears to the plate. Aren’t these the cutest lambs you’ve ever seen.:)

 

Eve’s dress is from http://glitterandsuch.com/. Eve’s necklace is from http://www.zojewerly.com.

Elizabeth’s knitted pink skirt is from http://etsy.com/ShashaNPearls.

Sheep Wool Beads

Our sweet neighbors also gave us sheep wool. We cleaned the wool by putting the wool in a mesh bag which you can purchase at Walmart. We then placed the mesh bag with wool inside our washer on cold and low cycle. To clean it simply add laundry detergent. Once it is done washing you want to air dry it outside in the sun. When it is dry you can dye the wool using cool aid. We placed the sugar free cool aid into a zip lock bag and added water and wool to it. Mix it until the color is even. When you are done take the wool out and wipe it dry using a towel. Now you are ready to make your beads. First you want to make the wool soft so you need two dog brushes which you can buy at the dollar store and pull the wool. Once the wool is soft you need to roll a piece of wool into a ball and place the wool in warm water and add a bar of soap directly to it. Then you want to roll it into a ball. The harder and longer you roll it the harder the bead will become. When you are done rinse the bead in cold water and wipe it with a towel. Then place a thread through the wool bead using a needle.

 

 

Esther’s dress is from http://www.ibambini.shop/ and you can receive 30% off at checkout when using the code HOMEGROWN. This code is good until Saturday. 

 

If you liked this post you might like http://www.homegrownadventures.net/wolf-in-sheeps-clothing/ and http://www.homegrownadventures.net/the-importance-of-your-child-learning-8-nursery-rhymes/ which has two sheep related hands on learning rhymes.

Thank you for reading our post. We share a new post every Thursday at 8pm Pacific Time.

 

 

 

 

23 Responses

  1. this is great! love what you had the girls do with the balloon! that is a great hands on experience for them.

  2. Oh man, what a fun day and activities to follow. I love getting my kids outside and enjoying what it has to offer. I love letting them see too where stuff comes from.

  3. This is really cool! What a unique idea for a family outing. That pic of shearing the sheep is crazy, lol!

  4. What a fun experience for you all! Talk about making great memories! I would love to find someplace like this close to us where I could take my kiddos

  5. This looks like such a cool adventure for the kiddos! I’m sure they had a blast.

  6. CourtneyLynne

    Omg what a neat experience!!! This is definitely something my daughter would love. She loves sheep!

  7. Those necklaces are so cute and unique. I had no idea 8-10 pounds of wool can come off of one sheep. They must feel so much better after being sheared. I can’t imagine being covered in wool when the weather is warmer.

  8. It looks like everyone had a fun day, and all your pictures are just adorable! We go to a fair every year and they always have sheep. They’re such sweet animals. I love how soft and silky-like they are after they’ve been shaved.

  9. What a fun way to get kids learning about sheep!! What a fun day I know my kids would love this!

  10. Wow I am so glad I came across this post about sheeps. It is very educational and informative and I learned a lot. Your daughter looks so adorable on that sheep headpiece!

  11. Wow who knew that many facts about sheep. I had no idea that it had a four chamber stomach or that if it sat in the wrong position it would die!

  12. Wow this was fun and interactive for your daughters. I haven’t played with sheeps wool since I was their age, it was fancinating for me too then so happy your kids enjoyed learning about them.

  13. This was an interesting post to read. I’ve never heard of a place that does this.

  14. Oh, look at all of that lovely wool. I could do all sorts of projects with that. It looks like you had a great time there! Thanks for sharing your photos.

  15. rojielyn

    Oh i love your blog. I learned something new and extra ordinary. Living here in the Philippines, I haven’t seen any sheep here. But reading this is totally awesome.

  16. What an awesome family activity!! Learning about sheep and lambs was probably so cute. Those crafts are adorable!

  17. Growing up I was in 4-H and had two lambs. Each year we drove to a lamb farm and picked out our babies well before they were ready to go home. Then we waited and went back to pick them up. It was truly a wonderful experience and one my daughters probably wouldn’t believe I had.

  18. I’m loving the sheep-tastic time you and your family has had recently! You’ve made it fun and educational for your girls and its clear that they had a great time.

  19. I’ve always wondered how sheep grow their skin back! Lol…this is a super fun and interesting activity with the kids. Its a great learning experience! Thanks for sharing!

  20. Wow, what fun filled sheep times had! I love how you based so many activities around sheep, it was really a great learning experience for your children.

  21. What a cool family activity! I love how the kids got to see the sheep in person and then had so many activities linked to it!

  22. I’ve always worried about the shearing process because I can’t imagine that it is comfortable for the sheep. I think it is important for children to see nature and animals up close.

  23. Wow, sheeps are holy indeed. Love the perfect outing you’ve had. It’s so cool for you kids to be and learn to live in commune with nature and appreciate it.

Leave a Reply