Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shearing a sheep

Today my friend, Susan, and I drove almost 2 hours to watch a man blade shear someone else's sheep.  He had been in our county a week or 2 ago but we missed him.  We were told he'd be 2 hours north of here so we drove to this stranger's house who welcomed us with open arms, thank goodness, because we arrived 2 hours before the sheep shearer.  The kind lady and her family entertained us for those 2 hours.  I think we met just about every animal on their farm, all 30 (?) of them.  The granddaughter of the woman with the sheep carried in many of the animals one by one to show us.  We met her angora rabbits, chickens, dogs, sheep and goats.  There were other animals that we looked at from afar.

Anyway, the sheep shearer was a man of few words.  He was an Irishman who now lives in Massahusetts and travels all over shearing other people's sheep for $10.00 a sheep.  Once you watch this video I've attached of him doing it you'll wonder why in the world he charges so little.  He drove 4 to 5 hours to get to this woman's farm and only got about $80.00 out of it.  He does all the shearing with blade shears, not electric ones.  The usable fleece comes off in one giant piece.  At one point in the video it looks like the sheep is lying on a rug made out of its own fleece.  The sheep only move as the man throws them about.  It's kind of scary to watch because he comes so close to their eyes and private parts with those sharp blades and doesn't blink an eye.  Susan and I thought we'd be able to do this to her sheep.  That's why we went to watch.  Now I'm not so sure.  It looks like really hard work and a skill that may take years to learn.

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