I managed to keep the goats dry enough to shear on Wednesday. And the rain held off long enough to do so. Go us.
I'm trying something new this year: we sheared all four of the baby goats, too. This is as compared to previous years of leaving them in that beautiful baby-tipped baby-soft full fleece until November - possibly eight inches of hair - and dealing with trying to keep those fleeces clean. (Hope's was hopeless by September, and it really affected her show standing.)
More important than the hair itself is the health of the goat. I've heard and read that shearing the kids before summer will promote better health and growth of the goats as well as their hair. The kids won't be so hot/stressed during the July/August heat waves. They won't be fighting as many lice. They won't get their hair caught in/on things. They won't stay wet as long if they go play in the rain. Etc.
The judge for last years SVFF was quite critical of fleece quality on all of the goats. She talked a great deal about food, environment, and choices that the owners made regarding shearing and care. I'm interested to hear what she thinks this year as opposed to last. (Yes, she's coming back again for SVFF.)
I have no particular plans for the kids or their fleeces, so I was ok with the possibility that I'll just throw out the baby tips. Padric's and Clancy's fleeces were too short, so they went right into the trash. I tagged and bagged Reese's and Tia's 3-ish-inch fleeces in case I figure out something interesting to do with them.