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Discussion Starter #1
I've considered it, but I live in North Carolina. How do covers affect the sheep's ability to handle heat? Seems to me it would make them hotter, but on the other hand, most of my sheep are colored, so having a white/light cover might make them cooler. :shrug:

What are your opinions?

Meg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All the covering information I've read talks about putting on a coat right after shearing, and not removing it until next shearing. Part year would be futile for me...I feed hay year-round, too. Even when they're on pasture they have access to hay. I guess I'll continue as I am for now, then, and not worry about it.

Thanks,
Meg
 

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Meg, the ones I bought were supposed to allow the wool to 'breathe', but when I covered some of the girls, their wool felted badly, and when they were lambing, the ewes went bizerk with those sheep coats on. I have several that are new and still in the packages even. Jan in CO
 

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That would be my guess, Frazzlehead. They have a hard enough time not felting as it is. Keeping hay off an icelandic is a constant battle.
 

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Don't keep sheep myself, but wouldn't you have to put on larger coats as their wool grew out???
 

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They're supposed to be adjustable to accomodate wool growth. Icelandics felt so easily, though, that you run the risk of it felting right on the animal and ruining your spinning fleece. I suppose one could do a light weight fabric...kind of like a fly sheet, with those little breathable holes...that would minimize hay in the fleece and not add weight that would cause felting.
 

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All the cover I've seen for keep wool clean are very thin like a cheap bed sheet almost with a belt that adjust for wool growth. The dirties part of are sheep are the top of the rump. G&S
 

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kesoaps said:
That would be my guess, Frazzlehead. They have a hard enough time not felting as it is. Keeping hay off an icelandic is a constant battle.
Tell me about it - I've been trying to fake them out by pretending to put the hay one place and when they run over there I place it gently in the other but I swear! They still look like they're flinging it aroun and rolling in it!
 

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I had felting problems with the coat on my finns. I also missed some external parasites and they thought life under the coat was pure heaven...
I have the matilda, and that fabric is not breathable, in spite of what they claim.
These coats are not adjustable, so you have to keep several sizes on hand to accommodate wool growth.. that was expensive.

I like the fly sheet idea! They would most likely tear easily, but if they were ez to make and replace and cheap, it might be the best solution.

This year I'm going to try an August shearing, and then put coats on. I won't be using those matilda's though. I think I'll take it apart and use it as pattern. Guess I'd better get that sewing machine out! Does Joann's sell that kind of fabric?

BTW, I've heard that you should have coats off for lambing through weaning-
nursing lambs can get caught in the coat and strangle.
 

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Would the cloth screening material you use for window work. You can buy it by the roll at most home improvement store. Some of it's light weight and meant to stand up to the weather. G&S
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Interesting ideas...thanks.

I'm mostly concerned about my Cotswold crosses. Those little ladies also appear to roll in it. They have lovely lustrous long locks, and I don't want them messed up! (Black Cotswold/Lincoln Longwool/Tunis crosses)

My Icelandics don't seem to store hay, nor does the Leicester Longwool or the Romneys. Just those dang Cotswolds! :shrug:

I am interested in the results if anyone tries teh lighter weight fabrics/screening!

Meg
 

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I've been wondering about that too lately, whether the breed doesn't have something to do with it.

I get Romney fleeces from a friend and the fleeces are always exceptionally clean, maybe a little piece of VM here and there, maybe!

Last week I got out a Columbia fleece that I had gotten from the same place. These sheep are kept in the same pastures and fed the same and the same way as the Romneys. But, the Columbia was so dirty and filled with VM I couldn't believe it.

I'm beginning to think that some fleeces just store the dirt and VM a lot better than others????
 
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