Ewe just have to meet Lexi

September 08, 1999

Kelsi, Nanci & LexiBy KATE COLEMAN / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer

Nanci Koerting will be baa-ck at Boonesborough Days this weekend after an absence of a few years.

She'll be at Shafer Park showing her sheep as a community service. People seem to enjoy seeing them, even if they don't know much about them. "Oh, look at the poodle," she heard a woman say one year.

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Koerting will be accompanied by Lexi, a "bottle lamb," born in February on Koerting's farm outside Boonsboro.

Lexi's mother died a few days after giving birth, so Koerting and her 15-year-old daughter Kelsi have raised Lexi. The lamb is so friendly, she's almost like a dog, Koerting says.

Koerting grew up on a farm in Potomac, Md., but never had sheep because her father believed they would ruin his pasture. Koerting disagrees. "They're such neat animals," she says.


One Easter Koerting got lambs for Kelsi and her older sister. "I thought lambs were so cool," she says.

She has two breeds - Romney and Lincoln. These sheep have wool that is longer than that of sheep bred for meat.

Some of her sheep are shorn twice a year, others once a year. A friend shears Koerting's sheep for her. "I'm not really very good," she says.

The sheep don't like it, acting a little "hyper" at first, but they settle down, she says.

If you are careful with the wool when it's on the sheep and if it is clean, you don't have to do anything to prepare it for spinning except carding - getting all the fibers going in the same direction with a brush containing fine, metal teeth. Koerting doesn't like rinsing the raw wool, because it removes the lanolin.

Koerting took a couple of spinning lessons, but her spinning and weaving skills mostly have been learned by doing. Her flock of wool sheep on 11 South Mountain acres now numbers about seven. She used to weave rugs, spin and make collectible Santas with their wool and sell her crafts at Boonesborough Days, but she hasn't had much time for that recently.

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