?

Log in

No account? Create an account

And just like that, it's mainshear time. - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 18th, 2013

09:41 am - And just like that, it's mainshear time.

Previous Entry Share Next Entry

Me: You know all those things Rick Astley is never going to do?
Him: Yeeessss...
Me: It'd be really hard to go through life never saying goodbye.
Him: True. Imagine living with him - You: *off to work* "Bye!" Him : "Fuck off!"
Him: Also, notice he doesn't say he's never going to kill you. Maybe Rick Astley is really a serial killer. Thought of that?

*ahem*

Here, have a picture of some sheep. I think they are trying to staunch out the camera. On the left is Elsa, on the right, MacBeth.




They are moorits, which is a colour rather than a breed. The breed of moorit around here is mostly Romney with a touch of Corriedale - enough to make the wool fine and soft and give them a bit of a dewlap.

I can't actually remember how long I've been shearing Charlene's sheep. I know I've been doing it in Wellington since mainshear 2005, but I don't think I did hers the first couple of years, so maybe 6 years? And MacBeth has been a fixture the entire time. She's the 2IC for this flock and she used to be hell on wheels, but these days she's mellowed and is the easiest by far to shear. Maybe she's just so staunch she feels no need to struggle while being shorn. Anyway, she's one self-confident lady and you can see it in her eyes.

They weren't the best shearing they've ever been. Charlene's sheep are normally presented beautifully and she takes extremely good care of them, but this year has been a tough one with a run of bad weather just as the grass was coming away, and with multiple lambs born into the bargain. When a ewe carries and then feeds two lambs, it takes a big toll on her body as all her nutrients get made into milk. This makes the fleece change in the same way that a person who is sick (or breastfeeding) will notice changes in their hair. And that makes them hard to shear - it sort of sucks onto their skin and goes a bit matted.

MacBeth, naturally, did not have this issue even though she's rearing twins as well. She is that tough.

So it took a bit longer than expected and there were a couple of nicks and scratches because of having to push the handpiece a bit harder than usual to get through the post-natal wool toughness, but eventually we won.



Elsa on the right, I think it's Chelsea on the left (she's the boss of the flock), and MacBeth's bum in the bottom right corner. Note Elsa looks much less cocky without her wool, and I reckon she crosses into cute. Also of note were Arya, Skyler, Bella, Morgan and I can't remember the other one's name. Damn.

Also, there was this little distraction. Behold the cute!



They were running round screaming their heads off in the paddock next door, where they'd been put to keep them safe from being trampled by recalcitrant Mums when I wade in to grab someone for shearing. Anyway, these lambs have the most innocent eyes I reckon. Not that they actually are innocent, but they look like they belong on a postcard or something.


Meanwhile, it's as if everyone just woke up on Thursday morning and went "Oh yeah, shearing!" because I now have 5 clients booked in for next weekend and 3 for the following one. Yikes.

Meanwhile, I am wondering if ancient building sites kept someone around whose job it was to be the benchmark for a cubit. And how did they cope if that person got sick or died during the job?

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:meathiel
Date:October 17th, 2013 08:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Lambs ... cuuuuuuuuuuute!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:01 pm (UTC)
(Link)
These are particularly cute ones, too! ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:October 17th, 2013 08:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
MacBeth, most awesome name for a sheep ever..

also those lamblies are good colours.. whoot

*grins*
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 17th, 2013 09:55 pm (UTC)
(Link)
She lives up to her name.

Also, Charlene has been doing a bit of line breeding and the ram she used this year was one of hers. One of the lambs has come out with all the recessive feral genes to the fore, and is all fuzzy with sticky-outy fluff rather than normal wool. He looks healthy enough but is very odd-looking. You can't see him in this pic unfortunately - he's hiding behind someone else.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:04 pm (UTC)
(Link)
ohh.. so well one weird one black sheep out of the lambies, is not bad i reccons.. and sometimes its the weird ones that are the best.. maybe his wool is bullet proof..

*nods*
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It's going to be interesting come shearing time, to see how different it is to handle. Although he may not survive that long, what with being a well-grown, tasty-looking wee lad.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pombagira
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
(Link)
oh werid lambie how tastes you are

:D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:riath
Date:October 17th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
(Link)
D'awww, little baby lambs!

Those are some unimpressed sheep, lol.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Chelsea is definitely giving me the side-eye.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:heathersmoo
Date:October 17th, 2013 09:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Sheep noses!!!!

lol at the cubit thing. I hadn't thought of that- the Ancient Aliens show ought to do an episode on that.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Sheep noses are the best ones!

And the cubit thing came about because my cubit is so much shorter than Dr Wheel's, and I started wondering how they managed to build anything in Ye Olden Tymes. Then we started wondering if the Cubit Guy on site got put out of work because of rulers...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 17th, 2013 11:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)
My cubit is indeed two spans. But I doubt if it's two of your spans, and since you're not the king then I suggest strongly that we go with mine.

And I bet barleycorns are bigger these days.

Now I am imagining dodgy medieval businessfolk going "Yes yes we'll make that 40 inches long" and then finding the smallest barleycorns they could.

And all the cubit and span benchmark people unionising over losing their jobs to technology and uniting under a banner with a clenched fist on it..

.. oh wait.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:meri_sielu
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Those lambs are so precious! <3
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
(Link)
And don't they just know it?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:girlguitarist
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
(Link)
To reiterate what everyone else said: OMG LAMBIES!!!!!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 17th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I promise not to tell Elsa and MacBeth that everyone likes their babies more.

;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 18th, 2013 08:53 am (UTC)
(Link)
Everybody likes lambs! ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:nick_101
Date:October 18th, 2013 07:35 am (UTC)
(Link)
Those are cute lambs.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 18th, 2013 08:54 am (UTC)
(Link)
Not as cute as this one:

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:spotsofcolour
Date:October 18th, 2013 10:12 am (UTC)
(Link)
holy crap.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:jaelle_n_gilla
Date:October 18th, 2013 08:12 am (UTC)
(Link)
They are adorable! I like them better with the wool on and I always think they look a bit... I dunno, pitiful when sheared, but I know they are fine with it and that's their purpose anyway. They are just so cute with the wool on.

When we went through Ireland we saw all those more-or-less free ranging sheep with spray paint on their backs to tell the owners apart. Does NZ do that too? I always wondered if that doesn't ruin the wool.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 18th, 2013 08:52 am (UTC)
(Link)
Heh, I was having this conversation just this afternoon. NZ has always been more concerned with the quality of the wool harvested than it seems in the British Isles. Here, there are people employed specifically to prepare the wool for sale as it comes off the sheep's back. There are qualifications for this skill. Apparently in the UK, the fleece is rolled up and put in a bag dags and all, and sold in that condition.

So instead of spraying the fleece with paint, here they are given a permanent earmark as lambs (or a tag) so they can be sorted in a yard by drafting through a gate. In the UK I believe the obvious visual cue makes it possible to shed sheep out on the hill, whereas the large numbers that are dealt with here are more efficiently by bringing them into a yard, where an eartag is easier to read, without damaging the quality of the wool.

And believe it or not, that difference has led to the difference between UK sheepdogs and kiwi ones. But that's a whole nother ramble. ;-)

And you're right, they are cuter and look to have more personality when they have wool.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pundigrion
Date:October 25th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oy, you can't give an interesting tidbit like that and then leave us hanging!

I feel puppy dog eyes are appropriate here.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:spotsofcolour
Date:October 18th, 2013 10:08 am (UTC)
(Link)
Haha, I think Elsa looks a bit embarrassed in that second picture. She's gone from Cocky Mo Fo to "Oh goodness excuse me I'm really sorry but I appear to be naked and I'm quite embarrassed"


MacBeth is the best name for a sheep. And lambssss!! <33

I imagine if cubit-man died, that wouldn't necessarily be a massive problem in ancient times because I suspect most cultures would be perfectly happy to lop his arm off and use that until they found someone who matched.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 18th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ha, you are so right. And Elsa's personality (sheeponality?) is a bit like that too. Unlike MacBeth who is Terminator 2 Sarah Connor, Elsa is more like Miss Marples or something. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:goffburd
Date:October 18th, 2013 02:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Loving Macbeth - he looks like Mr Spock!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 18th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'm totally telling her you said that.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:goffburd
Date:October 20th, 2013 12:30 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Oh nooooo - my first time to be hated by a sheep. Tell her that the first meat that I gave up eating was lamb - might win me some plus points! :)`
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:kehleyr
Date:October 19th, 2013 07:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Aaawww so cute <3
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:sophiawestern
Date:October 20th, 2013 02:01 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I love your sheep posts. Love.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:tatjna
Date:October 20th, 2013 07:12 pm (UTC)
(Link)
There will be a few in the next few weeks I'd say. ;-)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
From:pundigrion
Date:October 25th, 2013 03:54 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Why hello pretty ladies! And lambkins <3

The sweater I am knitting right now is from moorit Shetland. Quite a pretty shade.
(Reply) (Thread)