Sheep shearing at Greenbank Mills

Haircuts and manicures are common experiences for most, but not so much for sheep. But once a year they get shorn and get their hooves trimmed quarterly.

The shearing begins

Saturday was a shearing day at Greenbank Mills and Philips Farm in Wilmington. There were shearing demonstrations and visitors had the opportunity to tour the farm and even make their own woolen rope.

According to Stacie Maheuren, director, Greenbank has been doing the annual demonstrations for 15 years to bring awareness to the industry, letting people see how fleece is processed into wool.

For some, maybe reminiscent of the first haircut in basic training.

She said the average sheep yields about 12 pounds of fleece. However, anywhere from 10-40 percent of that is lost in processing the fleece into wool after cleaning and the lanoline is removed.

As Maheuren said, the resulting amount is still “More than a sweater.”

The result

Kids get to make their own rope from wool.

Chadds Ford's Lisë Taylor makes butter from sheep's milk during Greenbank's shearing day.

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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