The farm’s fluffy residents were in desperate need of a shearing on the warm and humid day to prepare for the summer weather ahead. The 12th annual festival offered an activity-filled day at the farm but its main event of course, was a series of sheep shearing demonstrations.
Before trimming the first willing participant, veteran sheep shearer Donald Kading explained the importance of shearing and took questions from the crowd.
Sheep are sheared once a year as a way to keep cool in warmer months and reduce risk of parasitic infection and disease. Kading used electric shears that trim the wool and prevent cutting the sheep’s skin.
Carrying about 4 to 6 inches of wool, the first sheep let Kading do his work with little struggle. It was quick to bounce up afterwards and trot around for the crowd before enjoying a grassy meal.
“I thought the sheep would be more fidgety, but he wasn’t and I was pleasantly surprised to see that,” said Maria Maragos, who visited the farm with her husband, Angelo and two young daughters. “I wondered if they wanted it to happen. [Maybe] they realized they’d be cooled off after.”
In addition to the shearing demonstrations, visitors had the opportunity to partake in farmer-led tours, gain insights into wool processing and indulge in a bit of shopping. And in typical Queens Farm fashion, hay rides boasted long lines.
“We’ve been here before, it’s a great place to bring children, to enjoy the outdoors [and] see the animals,” said Angelo Maragos. “We treasure venues like this that are in the area, there’s not enough of them.”