Sunday, 4 July 2010

The sheep have a hair cut....

Today the sheep were sheared. All week we have had warm weather, but watching the weather forecast rain was predicted for today, but after lunch.
Freylynn and Mark, along with Lunil and Mark came to help, as well as the Resident Vandal. The shearer arrived with his young son, as the "wire man", at 10am. We'd already got all the sheep into the barn ready for the shearer. For various reasons I can't name the shearer, his son or publish their photos on this blog.
Anyway we started with the "boys" and their fleeces were very mixed. Archie's as usual was lovely and soft, Finn's not brilliant, Cecil had already started to rue his and Fluffy's was like a carpet. This set the scene for how the ewe's fleeces went. The Scottie's fleeces went into the Wool Board sack along with all the other white fleeces except Frea's it was too nice to part with. The winter has been hard on the girls as we kept very few. A couple of girls had the very early signs of fly strike. Another 24 hours and we would have had 2 very poorly ewes.
We took the opportunity to weigh the ewes as well and looking back through my records most of the girls have come through the winter better than we thought and strangely enough we weighed the ewes on the same say last year, so it was interesting to see how the girls had fared over the past year. Most had gained weight, though Ariadnne has lost weight so we will have to keep a careful eye on her over the next couple of months, but she is feeding triplets.
We also weighed a couple of the lambs. Number 19 (he had a rough start in life), he's gaining over a kg a week, and number 6, at 10 weeks of age he already weighs 33kgs!!!
Freylynn did a sterling job of wrapping the fleeces and Mark, who wants to learn to shear sheep, actually sheared his first sheep, Carolyn, under the watchful eye of our shearer. We chose a sheep who is quiet and who's fleece was not brilliant, so if Mark made a mess of the shearing it didn't matter. But Mark did a very good job and some of Carolyn's fleece has gone back to Baildon to be spun up into a hat for Mark.
We that's the shearing over for another year, I now just need to get the wool sack, which is half full of fleeces, to the Wool Board drop off point, at a farm at the end of our village! Thankfully the promised rain has so far not materialised so the ewes shouldn't be too cold tonight.

1 comment:

Jon Storey said...

I have just recalled my comment on Woolfest, that wool sales seemed to be doing a little better now. My Mother passed a flock being sheared the other day and she tells me that the fleeces were being burnt! Not so good after all?