Farming update...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Had you visited Sunnyside this time last week  you would have found all was quiet here in the house - no washing, no cleaning, no cooking, no schooling....nothing was happening even though everything was unlocked & you could have walked right on in &  helped yourself to a cuppa.  Had you ventured down the driveway just another couple hundred metres however, you would have found a busy beehive of activity  - the buzz of shearing equipment, the baaing of sheep & the laughter of people working as a team to get a job done greeted you as you neared the shearing shed.
Both shearers working hard!

That's right it was shearing time again here at Sunnyside - & this time with a difference - we had a whole mob of sheep to shear (as opposed to just our few pets we've previously had to shear), so rather than just our neighbour here, we hired his team - 2 shearers & a roustabout (of course to train us for next time :) ).  Shearing time is very exciting - it's no wonder the local kids beg their parents to let them stay home from school to "help out".  Of course that wasn't a problem here - with "teacher' being "roustabout in training" all the students came along to help out!
Jack showing Dave the ropes for using the wool press

A shearing shed is a busy place- the shearers work hard - down right hard, hard, hard.  It's no wonder it's mainly blokes that shear - it's heavy, tiring work & they earn every dollar they are paid.  The roustabouts job is just as busy - although with three of us covering it (plus Zai who had the job of collecting the bellies) it wasn't too bad.  Throwing fleeces onto the wool table however is a tricky thing to learn & I think I'm too vertically challenged to do a good job at it (OK I need to learn to throw higher I'm told - but I'm sticking with the whole height thing - LOL).  Dave however picked it up pretty quickly.  Skirting the fleece (this means removing all the dirty /disgusting/ bloodied/ or hard pieces from the fleece) & then sorting & packing the bales keeps you busy - not to mention brooming the wool from around the shearers themselves and keeping enough sheep in the catching pens to keep the shearers happy.
Another way of pressing the wool the fellows enjoyed! 


 The smell of lanolin is heavy in the air & by the end of the day you are covered in it.  The sheep themselves don't enjoy the whole process- although I tried to convince them it's like going to the beauty parlor - nope they were not convinced - in fact they did everything they could do to get away.  Of course with such a top (LOL) roustabout in charge of moving them from pen to pen none of them were missed.
The back of the shearing shed - all the girls ready for their annual haircut (or recovering)

I actually really enjoy working with the sheep - they are such beautiful animals that are in no way able to hurt you very much (as opposed to cows that love to stand on your feet - trust me I'm wondering if I'll have any toes left by the time Bessy is grown).
A fun, tiring day for all, a job well done & some beautiful bales of  Merino wool to sell & some much happier, lighter sheep  makes it all worthwhile.
All done - the sheep ready to go & find food (yes, a couple were only crutched if  you're wondering about the wooly sheep in the foreground).

 In other news Dave was able to plant our 50 acres of barley under sown with pasture seed - all that we're sowing this year - we've had so many losses in the last couple of years we're planting the minimum and praying for a better year for all our neighbours & friends.

So much to catch up on & not enough time to post (the story of my life)....
Have a lovely weekend

16 comments:

Saminda said...

Hooray! How exciting!!!! :D xoxo

Smilie girl said...

That sounds like a very exciting thing to be a part of. Lots of work too. Hope you and the sheep are all recovered now. It doesn't matter shearing in the cooler months, I take it?

debi9kids said...

WOW! That sure does look and sound like a lot of work. Exciting work.
I'm curious... do you keep any of the wool for yourselves to make anything with it?

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Wow It does sound tiring satisfying but exciting kind of stuff.
In one of the pic's I see blood on a shorn sheep,Is that like how blokes nick themselves when shaving???
I am such a "ignorant" when it comes to shearing/sheep know how!!! LOL

Grandma said...

What a busy life!!!! Hope you've all recovered from all of your hard work. Give all the darlings a big hug & hi to Dave
Lots of love to you all
Mum xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

I have to say sometimes I am relieved we are no longer farming - such hard work and I do not miss having to do all the book work, those GST returns every 3 months - I would not have found time to blog! Did you cook/bake for the shearers? I understand they eat big!
Have a wonderful weekend Renata

Mrs. Teasley said...

Curious, as a beginning homesteader and hopeful future farmer, what do you do with the fleece?

Mrs. Teasley said...

Oh, I missed the part where you said that you sell it. Do you sell it to commercial companies or privately?

Aunty E said...

How exciting!! But won't they get cold now in winter????????????????????

:) Oh dear!!

Love EJ xxxx

Ana Degenaar said...

That sounds amazing and those cuties look lovely and funny at the same time :) I love it!

Linda said...

The page is still loading, and I can tell I will get jealous of the sheep shearing. I have spent a lot of time in a shearing shed as a child.

Your shed looks good, great for if it is going to rain.

Kath said...

Interesting!! Bet it was an exciting day for the kids too!

I have never worked with sheep but would like to own some someday yet. Living in town they frown on it. And we are not at the land in WY year round to own livestock. So....

Jenn said...

What a day! Lots of work, but it looks like fun, too!

Mummy McTavish said...

What hard work! It looks like it is lots of fun to help you forget about the hard work.

Duckygirl said...

This made me reminisce of when I was a kid watching my aunt shear sheep at her farm! Great times :)

Kimarie @ The Cardamom's Pod said...

What a great tour of a shearing day! And, yep, sheep are a lot lighter than cows. Hahaha! Love your site, thanks for stopping by mine and commenting. I want to put down more of our farming adventures we've had/still have...someday ;-)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin