Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shearing Day - Part Two

Bruce Clement drives from New Hampshire to shear our flock. He uses electric shears that hang from an overhead beam in the barn we borrowed. If we are shearing outside, he rigs up a post in the ground to attach his shears to. Bruce is a retired New Hampshire Extension Agent and shearing is part of his retirement income. He knows a lot of about farming in New England and is a great guy to spend a day with. He has been raising sheep himself since he was a kid. He doesn’t often shear large flocks and we really appreciate him coming to help Kevin out.



Bruce left at around 4:00 and sheared 70 sheep. When both the men are shearing at full speed, Bruce shears three sheep for every two sheep Kevin shears. I find it amazing how fast Kevin can shear by hand with his blades. The picture below is an detail of Bruce's shears zipping through the fleece. You can see that the sheep is left with a ridged pattern on its body. In a couple days it will disappear and they will just look like a skinny sheep until the fleeces begins to fill out again.


I love the look on this ewe's face as she waits for her haircut to be done. Patience and relief!

8 comments:

asakiyume said...

The ribbed marks left on the sheep right after the shearing look, in your photo, just like a knitted sweater! So it looks as if underneath the fleece, the sheep has a tight-fitting sweater on.

Turtle said...

it does look like a sweater! i had to laugh about the sumer going faster the older we get, too true! i miss shearing days, been watching the sheep down the road, still fluffy. but then we went to 49 last night so.....

turtlewoman said...

Fascinating pics of both shearing methods. How do those men stand on their heads for hours on end????? I dream of having sheep as my retirement life - but only a couple :-D.

Lindy in Arizona (for now)

Beth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth said...

I thought it looked like a sweater, too!

Those guys are amazing. Are there younger men doing shearing too, or is it a vanishing skill?

francesg06 said...

Thank God for the shearers, the carders, the spinners, the knitting designers and the retailers! You all make my life brighter and happier.

Evelyn said...

I was about to comment on the sheep-sweater also. And stop and think: every skein of wool in the world came from wool that was hand-shorn just like this!

sara said...

I love that sweet sheep face! So cute! So, do the sheep mind the process at all? Or do they just sort of lie down and let it happen--like a nice massage?
Unlike your daughter, I find this farm stuff fascinating! :)