Saturday, May 14, 2011

Shearing Day

Last Sunday Carl the Shearer came to shear Sue's goats and sheep.  There are Romeldale and various Romeldale crosses.  The white one is a Corriedale, and the greys are fleece mutts.  Carl trimmed toes and sheared using his mobile electric shearer.  

The process of trimming a sheap or goat has been called the two-minute waltz.  Before mechanical shears, it would take six men approximately2-3 minutes to collectively shear a fleece.  With mechanical shears and using a consistent pattern to turn the body of the sheep, a good shearer can shear an entire animal in under two minutes by himself.  Mechanical shearing and the techniques that were developed by the Bowen brothers in New Zealand mean faster shearing with a more uniform cut edge and fewer cuts to the sheep, all which yield a higher value to the fleece.

Here's a short video of the shearing of Queenie the Angora goat, which gives you an idea of the process of shearing.

Here's some pics of the various wools after shearing.  These will need to be skirted (removing the poopy bits) and then sent to a mill to be professional cleaned of vegetable matter and processed into fluffy roving.

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