Monday, 28 June 2010

Sheep Shearing

Well it's that time of year when things are getting HOT and the wearing of thick woollen coats is definitely not recommended. I therefore asked my 'sheepie' friend Sheena if she would come and help me to shear our two mummy ewes. Thankfully she agreed and brought her brand new two-handed shearers with her.

Next we needed to catch the ewes. But guess what? They were not up for that. Small they might be - only 50cm high at full grown - but they sure are fast. It really was quite hilarious watching Dan and Cal race and dive about in the orchard trying to catch one or other of them, or even just steer them into the 'holding pen' that we'd fashioned. Eventually after lots of huffing and puffing and laughing we got them all in and started the job with Sheena's shears. Sadly they require two hands to operate and it was proving very difficult to hold the sheep, hold the shears and guide the blades. I therefore got out our dog-clipping one-handed shears and we continued the job with those. Three hours later - yes THREE hours later - Ema was done and glaring at us in a most unforgiving manner. Next up was Mince but we were truly professional by then so she only took an hour and 15 mins. Just think, next year there'll be four to do! The fleeces however are lovely and thick an heavily laden with lanolin, Ouessants being sheep kept mainly as a fibre producers. Now I have to think what I'm going to do with the fleeces.
Above you can see Mince after her haircut - oh so thin, oh so mince (French for thin/skinny). Not too bad a job for a first go even if I say so myself.

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