Thursday, March 12, 2009


Last week we were busy shearing, well Rod our shearer was, my wife and I were busy skirting (cleaning) the fleece, rolling it up, keeping the "stand" clean and making sure there were always sheep ready to go in the race. The race is the blue system in the top picture. The uploading of the pictures are not quite in order but you get the idea! Its hard work and even the good guys resort to a cradle to help the back, its in the third picture and it goes around the chest giving support while attached to the roof.

Once the fleece is off the sheep leave, the fleece is cast onto the skirting table and any dirty wool and low quality or hay contaminated pieces are thrown out. the fleece is then rolled inside out and put on the pile in the back. We will put it into sacks for shiping later. As you can see it was cold while we sheared but got much colder for the next two days, the ewes did ok, though they ate more food than normal! The assistant shepherd did a great job of helping and feeding us and the three of us made short work of the flock, about eight hours over two days.

Rod is a good shearer and learned his trade in New Zealand so as he had the right accent I gave him the job!
I used to shear but after major back surgery my days with a hand piece are over. I do miss it, but not the stiff back.
With the fleece off the sheep are now nice and clean for lambing and we can see what is going on.

No comments: