Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shearing Day

Its that time of year again when life on the ranch starts to pick up and get real busy. Lambing season, in February, and calving season, from March to May is what keeps us on our toes for the next couple of months. Our ewes are due to start lambing in about a week so it was time to call in the shearers and get their wool off. They sheared a little over 200 sheep, mostly ewes (girls) and a couple bucks (boys)

Shearing makes the whole lambing process easier for both mom and baby. Mom's not so hot and bulky and baby can get to the milk a lot easier without having a thick layer of fluff in the way.

This is Penny's first year with helping out with the sheep. She is about to undergo a new discipline program to stay calm, quiet and to learn how to work the sheep. She LOVES sheep! Lots of energy and excitement in her, which isn't the greatest combination for lambing season. She'll do good with a little work though, and hopefully she'll be a good little sheep dogfor years to come.

The sheep head up the ramp into the trailer where the shearers are at work. Great grandpa and grandpa are pushing them up. And there's Hazel in the spirit with her sheep hat on. Can you see her little sheep ears :) Adorable!

The shearers place the sheep on their backs and and start by shearing the tummy, up the neck, and eventually working their way around the rest of the body so that the fleece is all in one piece. This takes some skill to get it just right.

When the ewe is done, the guys push out the the fleece through the side of the trailer where these two place it on a large circle rack where they pick off the bad wool and place that it the white bag standing up, and the good wool in the machine where it gets compacted into another bag (like the one in foreground), which is then sewn up and will be taken to town to be sold.

The sheep come out little doors on the other side of the trailer.

And here is the result.

1 comment:

Gumbo Lily said...

Love that lil Hazel Lambie!