Friday, June 26, 2015

The shearing is all over.

 The shearing is all over...

We've written all the cheques (and done the EFT's)....
We've rolled up the wool boys,
And man we need a rest!

Here's the last pen of sheep on the last day, wethers waiting for their turn. I thought it worth capturing. I was waiting too, for this whole shearing caper to be done.

We started shearing three weeks ago. The first week started on a Tuesday after a long weekend. We were ready, the long weekend was perfect enabling us to have the shearing shed sorted and our sheep lined up. The weather for the first week was gorgeous. Cool nights but sunshine all day. The shearers powered through, we shore half the sheep, everything was ontrack.

Then, as the second week started, the weather turned. The forecast looked like there would be more wet days than dry. And in our (albeit photogenic) shed there just isn't room to keep sheep under cover and therefore dry enough to be shorn. So we started the week. Monday was fine. But then it rained. And rained. We continued on Tuesday but so did the rain and we ran out of dry sheep. So nothing happened on Wednesday. Or Thursday, or even on the weekend...

So for those who haven't had the privilege of being in a shearing shed... Below is a pic of a half-skirted fleece. The rouseabout picks the fleece (shorn wool) up off the floor once the shearer finishes and throws it up above the table. It lands (hopefully in an organised manner!) and you skirt it. That means running around the edge and pulling any wool off that doesn't match the main part of the fleece. It might be just plain dirty or there might be a section full of  'prickles'!

Then you 'roll' the fleece up (top pic shows this) and the wool classer checks it out. I love the look of the rolled fleece, clean and soft side up, on the table. Perhaps this is also because it means my main task is finished and I'm ready for when the shearer finishes the next sheep.

But back to the shearing saga. We eventually got back into it the following Monday. Two days and we were finished. But man! Shearing is a tough time. We're in the shed from 0730 til 1730 and then there's dinner to cook, lunches to make for the next day and a mountain of washing! Plus the usual routine of school/homework to fit in. Everything starts to smell of sheep/wool. And don't let me get started on the state of the floors - even with all footwear banished outside!

Am so glad it's over for a few months... And now it's school holidays with no deadlines - Yay! Bring on some downtime and perhaps a snooze or two in the sun.


1 comment:

  1. Great work!!!! Reminds me of shearing time in my Dads shearing shed, the excitement and the tension, watching the sheep, unburdened of their wool, skipping down the race, the deadline in beating the change in the weather, pressing the wool into bales and then stencilling the brand, weight and quality on the pressed bales and delivering delicious morning and afternoon teas to the shearers (how did they bend over and shear after eating all those scones?)


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