January 2005 -- On a beautiful autumn day, our class visited the Mendenhall Sheep Ranch. The ranch is raising 332 sheep and selling the sheep?s wool.
Mrs. Mendenhall showed us the 70 newborn lambs and the 75 pregnant ewes. She told us that the newborn sheep could walk 5 minutes after they were born. She also showed us how the mama sheep keeps track of her babies by learning their scent. While the ewes are taking care of their newborn lambs, they are kept in the warm, cozy barn away from the male sheep or rams.
All the sheep are guarded by an amazing border collie named Meg. Meg knows many voice commands. Her owner uses them to tell her what to do with the sheep.
We use the sheep?s wool to make the yarn we need for our handwork projects. First, the sheep is sheared. This is just like giving the sheep a haircut. Next, the wool is washed and carded to get all the thorns and dirt out of it. After the cleaning, we can dye the wool for color. Finally, the wool is spun. It can be spun by hand with a drop spindle or a spinning wheel. Now, we have yarn to make the things we value.
We should be thankful to the sheep and Meg, the dog, for the gift of wool.