Monday, 15 June 2009

A day for shearing

214 sheep sheared in the barn today, 41 of them mine.
Now the mums are shorn their lambs look nearly as big, and at just 10 weeks old.
The two rams have been penned into a small corral in the barn to get reacquainted, an annual post-shearing ritual, smelling different as they do without their hot oily fleece. I've just had fun disentangling one from the other, horns wrapped up like an executive puzzle.
The dams and lambs are chewing on the fresh succulent grass and herbs in the orchard, giving the geese a run for their money.
In this warm, wet weather it's a huge relief that none had maggots or any sign of them, and without their fleece they should now be fine until the autumn.
Shearing done, it's time to start thinking about haymaking. Again.

10 comments:

Scriptor Senex said...

I always think that looks one of the most skilled of farming jobs. And one of the most romantic. Somehow getting up at 4 a.m. on a winter morning to deal with a crisis doesn't have the same appeal!

James Higham said...

Why is it, when I see sheep shearing, I think of Australia?

Mopsa said...

It is SS, and after a decade of doing a second rate job that takes forever, and with an increased flock, the professionals are called in.

James, I have no idea! Too much Thornbirds perhaps?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

...So now the sheep are sheared, I guess there's plenty of knitting to do! No more blogging babe! Just knit!

James Higham said...

Might have been those years in Australia.

Winchester whisperer said...

Do you think they enjoy it?

mountainear said...

I think it looks like amazingly hard work - skilled, yes but anything to do with sheep, romantic? I think not.

Aussie/NZ shearers? Or homegrown?

Kari Lønning said...

I can't imagine that they "enjoy" the shearing, though possibly once they get over the nakedness, they might enjoy the lightness of being. I have to "shear" my Old English, Emma. She tolerates it, but hates the buzz near her face or backside. Romantic? all the greasy wool... oh, I doubt it. LOL

Mopsa said...

YP - I leave the knitting to people with more time...

James - you should've said...

WW - they don't enjoy it but they mostly don't object...and they clearly love the loss of the itchy fleece.

M'ear - very much home grown and as local as you can get

Kari - I don't see the romance myself; it's hard, stressful, sweaty work and why of all the jobs on the farm that is now the one done by a local contractor.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

What memories this brought back! I can smell the wool and feel the lanolin on my hands. Not that I ever sheared a sheep but as a farmer's daughter I made gallons of tea keeping our shearers hydrated!