Sunday, 13 June 2010

I Think We'll Call Them Shorn

These are our ladies in waiting, the big day has arrived, the shearer is here, we have the woolsacks, or "sheets" as they are known.
The slaughterman came with Moll the dog and son of Moll,( but he was confined to the lead as not being well trained enough for a big job like this,) and all the ewes plus lambs were penned up, about 150 of them. We brought the 4 tups from home, where they are waiting for autumn, and a few "sickies" who have been in the hospital field.
Harvey the shearing man arrived with a fantastic trailer that unfolded into a shearing platform with a race along the top to funnel the sheep to him, and a shute for the shorn ewe to escape down afterwards. Only a couple escaped the wrong way and had to be caught so we could apply the fly repellant they need in the summer.

And this is what they looked like afterwards, the children were astonished at what long necks they have. I just kept giggling as they all looked so surprised.

This is Harvey who has muscles like you wouldn't believe, actually if you saw him wrestling those sheep you would believe it!! That sheep didnt stand a chance.
We laid the fleece out and picked off any dirty wool then folded and rolled it up, then stuffed them into giant pillowcases which we will take to the collection center next week. This is Richard sewing up the woolsheet with the twine and wooden stake provided.

The children all worked like slaves, this is Izzy holding a fleece she has rolled, the pile behind her is the daggy bits we have pulled off.

It was a very long day, after milking in the morning they got all set up over in the field and shearing by 11am, I had to take the girls to ballet lessons in the morning then rushed back home, made sandwiches and got there at 1pm, they stopped for a quick lunch at 2pm them finished and got back home at 7.45, only to milk the cows again, who were not happy at being nearly 4 hours late.
Finally at 9.30 our student went home and Richard came in for supper, we were in bed by 11 and I think Richard was already asleep!
We had a great day but we're glad its only once a year and next year if it falls on a weekday I will be keeping the children home as essential workforce.

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