The Shetlands are ‘rooing’ on this small farm near Okmulgee, OK

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OKMULGEE, Okla. - It's not the Shetland Islands but Tara Smith's Shetland Sheep don't know the difference in the flinty hills north of town.

"You just have to know what the sheep need and provide it," says Tara.

The grass is green.

The morning sky promises rain, and these animal transplants are ready to 'roo'.

A lot of Shetlands retain their wildness, which makes them easily adaptable.

Tara liked them, partly, because she could handle them better while her husband Bob was away on business.

While struggling with one unruly animal Tara laughs, "I really have ridden these sheep around."

"Cattle are a little big for me."

But they have one more interesting characteristic.

At a certain time each spring it's possible to shear these sheep without using any scissors.

Their wool comes off in clumps.

Smith demonstrates, "Right here you can feel a kind of break and you just peel it."

That's what 'rooing' is, and in mid to late April Tara wants to catch them at just the right time.

"I've been watching to see when they're ready."

The Smith family, including the sheep, moved to Oklahoma from northern Minnesota a couple of years ago.

Some folks suggested they leave their sheep behind, but Tara persevered and found friends here.

"I wasn't even in the state yet and they welcomed me in," she says of her fellow Oklahoma sheep herders.

It's shearing season for regular sheep, 'rooing' season for the Shetlands, and lambing season for all of them.

Tara and her mob are enjoying life.

The time for wool sweaters is months away, but the time for gathering is now.

The Smiths take their wool to the Oklahoma Mini Mill in Guthrie.

For more information on rooing or the Smith's operation, visit their website or their Facebook page.

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