Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shearing 2009

Well, another year's shearing is done. What a fun event. It is my favourite time of year. It takes 2 days to shear all the sheep - just under 300, with one shearer. We truly have the best shearer and shearing team. Dave Carlson is our shearer - you won't find a faster, cleaner, better shearer anywhere. He is patient with the animals (and the crew), quiet - I think it's because he's so busy!, funny and quick witted and full of good advice and stories. When his wife Connie comes, we have a real good time. We usually use a guy or two to push sheep up to the shearing station and then the rest of our crew is usually kids. No one can beat their energy or enthusiasm - both of which are so essential for shearing day(s).

Paint Branding - we match a paint brand to the number and colour of the tag in the ewe's ear - it makes my job SO much easier when lambing. I then spray paint the same number on the lambs right after they're born. 300 ewes should produce over 450 lambs - oy.

Two of my crew reading the ear tag.

Patiently waiting her hair cut.

Manning the sorting-gate

Clarence taking a break. He works so hard (NOT)

Being naked makes one hungry

Waiting for a freshly shorn ewe to show herself down the chute for her pretty purple paint-job

Wool, beautiful wool.

Hydraulic wool packer - a real energy saver!!

Our energetic manual wool packer!

Shearing Day wouldn't be complete without playing on the filled wool bags!


Jayne said...

I can't even begin to imagine trying to gather and shear that many sheep! How fun, yet exhausting that must be!

Deborah said...

How glorious to be surrounded by so much wool! Do you get to keep some of it?

angella said...

okay, now that looks like a lot of fun. fuzzy, grassy, dusty fun. or maybe muddy fun this time of year. but am i envious of your fresh wool!
and, i'll most definately keep you in mind if i can ever wrangle my feller away from his work. the more fibre-friends, the better! :)

Linda said...

I love the lazy dog!! Now what do you do with your wool?

thecrazysheeplady said...

Great pics and post!

Evelyn said...

Wow, what a couple of days! Your post is wonderful, Heather. :~)

Kelly said...

I really enjoy your posts. It must be very fulfilling working with these beautiful animals. It brings to life everything I read in Beatrix Potter's book where she describes shearing her lambs.

Michelle said...

Heather, where ARE you???