Because pics, apparently - Tactical Ninja
Nov. 25th, 2013
11:26 am - Because pics, apparently
So it seems my new handpiece with its 320 watts of raw power is going to change things a bit for my shearing. It doesn't get bogged in the wool when I try to go faster like the old one did, so I was able to go quite a lot faster and thus finished Saturday's lot by lunchtime.
This sheep wants me to put her wool back on:
No self-respecting sheep would want to have its wool put back on on Saturday. It got to 21 degrees and I was literally raining from my face. It's not often that I sweat from my face. I also drank 3 litres of water over the course of the time I was working. Gosh.
First there were a bunch of Perendales that I didn't photograph. One had a nasty case of black mastitis, to the point where the back of her udder was starting to slough. The owner cleaned it out while I had her, which ought to help with the healing, but she should probably never lamb again because this sort of thing tends to be recurring.
Then there was this lot:
They were bought as a job lot last year as lambs, supposedly all ewes. There was one wether in there despite this - luckily I noticed the large pink thing in the middle of his belly before I cut it off! o.O This mob exist to follow horses around and clean up the pasture, and they have a ram running with them permanently. Thus there were a few lambs - not many since the mothers were only lambs themselves last year - but they'll be eaten and this lot will just live out their days following the horses.
Funny thing, three of the four lots of sheep I shore on Saturday belong to women who are into horses. There was a show on Saturday so these women were off with their horses, and in every case it was the men who supervised the shearing. If I owned sheep I would want to be there for such a momentous event!
The next mob were Wiltshire crosses. Wiltshires supposedly shed their fleece rather than needing shearing, and were trendy a few years ago so there are still a few around in this area. The thing is, they don't all shed, and some years none of them do, and if you cross anything else in they tend to lose this trait and often only half shed, which makes them look hilarious.
Anyway, these were inside, in a loose box. Imagine my relief after doing the last lot in the blazing sunshine with no shade and the temperature in the 20s. It was actually quite nice indoors, and loose boxes are nice and airy.
Those dark patches on their backs are where dust and dirt has worked its way to the skin under their wool. This usually happens when they live on a hillside where they sleep under a bank or something, where dirt can fall down on them. It's bad for the gear but does the sheep no harm. Also, that one over the back?
And then there was Smudge and Co. I've been shearing Smudge for four years and she is by far the largest sheep on my run. Here she is in all her glory:
That guy giving her skritchies is about the same height as me (5'7"), and as you can see she comes up to his bum. She is almost as wide as well, and when I shear her I can't actually reach from one end to the other, or roll her around in the usual positions because her spine is too long and she's too fat to bend like a normal sheep. It was her that bunged my shoulder by flexing at the wrong moment and sending me flying across the room and into a wall a couple of years ago. These days we have come to an understanding. I let her lay on her side, shear that, then roll her over and do the other. She's happy with this, it's not uncomfortable for her. In return, I get to not have flying lessons. It all works out rather well.
And that blur in front of her? That's William. William is (so far) the exception to the rule about not keeping pet lambs when they've grown into rams. Here he is, being friendly:
He has lovely manners and sits beautifully for shearing and so far butter wouldn't melt in his mouth and he's easy to handle and hasn't attacked anyone. But he's only a two-tooth. We'll see how he is when he's four. I hope for everyone's sake he stays as mellow as he is now because he's lovely, but I have my doubts - which I keep to myself because I do have some sense of tact and diplomacy.
And they paid me double for Smudge because they reckon she makes two sheep really...
So, done by lunchtime and everything went very smoothly. It was just what the doctor ordered and now I'm not feeling quite so hoha about shearing any more, which is nice.
There you go, a sheep post with pictures.