Shearing – Hebridean Style

I got two opportunities to see shearing here this year. The first was also an opportunity to meet Paivi, a young woman from Finland who had just graduated from uni and was working locally for the season. She was very interested in learning about sheep and their wool and so Jonathan invited her to come for shearing. She helped gather in the six boys who are in Home Park.

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Jonathan showed her how nicely the fleece comes off if sheared along the body line right where this past year’s growth ends. Paivi did give a try and did quite well. She was also good at saying soothing things to the sheep – in Finnish! – to keep him calm during the process.

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Another day Jonathan sheared this year’s breeding ram, Scott. First, a little distraction with treats (sheep nuts) as we get ready. I think Rhubarb, already sheared, is saying, “Ha! I am already done. He won’t be grabbing me!” Looks a little smug, doesn’t he?!

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Jonathan uses a flat blade to do the hooves, which look remarkably clean to me.

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He starts by freeing the wool around the neck. Then the belly area.

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Jonathan indicates where the shearing line is. The blade is slid in before you cut.

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No stress here. The little wether is just curious about what is happening, perhaps having already forgotten his shearing of days before!

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Jonathan keeps shearing along the body line until as far past the spine as he can get before turning him over for the other side.

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Then, he is released and calmly stands up, perhaps a little surprised it is over so quickly. The result – a beautiful bag of fleece.

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Published in: on May 26, 2017 at 11:02 am  Leave a Comment  

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