Friday, July 27, 2007

Shearing Day One

Shearing went well today. The only big problem was the temperature and tomorrow looks to be worse. Here's what our temporary set-up looked like. Note the green tarp for shade but also causing everyone to have a green tinge to their skin.

We had two shearers, a neighbor farmer who helped catch the sheep, The Farmer also wrestling sheep, and me - kind of picking up wool, stuffing it in bags and keeping everyone happy with food and water.

Here is the sea of sheep awaiting shearing with our pretty hill in the background. This is early a.m. and it already looks hot, doesn't it?

We had the battle of the shears – Bruce using electric shears. He has never been here before but has sheared with Kevin at other farms.

Here's Bruce -

Here's Kevin -

All I can say is Bruce finished 67 sheep to Kevin’s 42. Bruce left just after lunch. Kevin stayed to shear some more. Total for day – 109 sheep. Kevin is coming back tomorrow morning to shear the remaining 24 sheep.

That’s it folks – I’ve got the magic number I've been trying to pin The Farmer down to – there are 133 adult sheep – mostly ewes, maybe 3 rams. Then there are at least 60 lambs which didn’t get shorn. But as he says, wait a day. Things happen.

I went in the house for a brief break and what do I find? Six missing guineas from their cage. I knew they couldn't have gone far. I found these three on the windowsill above the sink and couldn't resist the picture. The other three were scattered around the house trying to escape our crazy collies. The dogs were causing too much havoc with the sheep so they were banned to the house - unsupervised. They seem to cause trouble wherever they are.

Those guineas are still in the house (but not for long). It's gotten so bad that I can't have anyone over. But sheep shearers are safe kitchen guests when it is 90 plus degrees and humid outside. After wrestling 50 plus sheep, you too don't smell too good. Picking up fleece isn't the best perfume either but it sure does make your hands soft. Off to the shower for me.....


Gammy aka Peggy said...

The shearing pictures wouldn't come up for me. Maybe my computer? I squealed when I read about the guineas missing when you went back into the house and made my husband jump. Told you it was a vicarious living experience for me!!!!! :)

southern gal said...

WOW those photos are great! What an experience!

So what happens to the fleeces?

marit said...

Wow-that looks HOT! Thanks for sh(e)aring- You have a great way of writing.
Oh- BTW- not knowing the exact number of animals? It's like that here too-LOL!
Looking forward to see what you do with the fleece!

Joanne said...

Yes, tell us all about what you do with fleece!

On a similar topic, I had an editor's comment on something. I was writing about preparing for shearing day, almost like you did. Here's the comment--"most readers will not be interested in this." I know that NYC editor was off base! Spinners, curious knitters and animal lovers alike--we all love to hear about this stuff! Thanks for all the pictures and descriptions. I love watching Kevin shear. It's so ..quiet!