10 October, 2009

The Shearing Shed

I still have my doggy mayhem going on and we are still trying to sort them out so I will post about our situation in a couple of days. We have a good friend that has been coming and staying with us for the last 3 or 4 months, he has been helping with building furniture and helping with our renovations. At present he is helping with the extension on our shed were we build furniture (photos to come) anyway we try to give him a taste of country life occasionally and yesterday Dave took him down to a neighbours shearing shed. This time of year a lot of the farmers are shearing and nearly every shed is buzzing with sheep and sweaty shearers, this particular neighbours has about 12,000 sheep to be shawn.
They muster the sheep and they await in pens then they are moved up the ramp into the stalls in the shed. The sheep when shawn are pushed down a chute and are penned below the shed like the ones above.

These sheep in the back ground are in stalls awaiting to be shawn. There are lot of helpers called rouseabouts and they help the shearer by picking up the fleece when shawn and keeping there area swept and clean.
The dogs are also there to help muster and move up the sheep into and out of there pens. The farmers mainly use the Australian kelpie as they are a good working dog.

The shearer goes in the stall and grabs a sheep and drags it out with it sitting on its backside and him holding its front legs. See the rouseabout sweeping the floor.

There were three shearers here on this day and it takes about 3mins to shear a sheep. Some shearers can shear upto 200 sheep a day, they usually start about 7.30 and finish about 5pm.

The fleeces are thrown on to a wool classing table and the shed hands remove the seedy, short and inferior pieces of wool from the edges of the fleece (called skirting) and rolls up the fleece ready for classing.
The wool classer which is James in the red shirt, who at present has a broken arm from his quake bike while away on the weekend assesses (classes) the skirted fleece and places it in the appropriate wool bin, see behind his dad in the cap.
The wool presser takes the wool from the wool bin and presses it into wool bales. It takes about 50 skirted fleeces to fill a wool bale. Once pressed each bale must weigh a minimum of 110 kg and a maximum of 204 kg. Most wool bales weigh in the range of 170 to 190 kg that is a lot of wool. Once the shearing has been completed the wool is trucked off and sold at the wool selling centres Sydney, Newcastle and Melbourne

This here is where they treat the sheep for lice, I haven't seen this in action but it looks like interesting. Well I hope you enjoyed the shearing shed because our friend did and he took these great photos for me so that I could show you guys.


Michelle said...

Wow, that is shepherding and shearing on a scale I can only imagine! Thanks for sharing; what a set-up.

Grammy said...

That was wonderful. I enjoyed the photos and the knowledge you shared. Thank you.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! 12,000 sheep needing to be shorn?! That is mind-boggling. And they are able to get 200 sheep a day shorn? Again Wow!
I laugh now remembering the first time I used my clippers and hand-shorn my ONE churro sheep. It took me a couple HOURS to get 'er done! lol! And she looked like a patchwork quilt afterwards.

Thanks for sharing this :)Those kelpie dogs are very unusual. They look like they do a good job with the sheep.


white_lilly said...

Hi Michelle! I love living in our little town the sheep farmers are terrific and the buzz of the shearing season is amazing.

Hi Ernie! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos it is really exciting watching the whole proess.

Hi Lisa! Its amazing how the shearers can shear the sheep so quickly and get so many sheep shawn. The Kelpies are amazing they have so much energy and they are so eager to do their job. I will have to do a post just on the Kelpie because they are so amazing.

I'm glad you all enjoyed this post it just shows a little of our amazing country.


Anonymous said...

I've watched my neighbors shear their sheep many times (in a more primitive surrounding, but the actual technique doesn't change much), and it's always seemed to me a little brutal, though it clearly needs to be done and it's totally harmless! I've never seen an Australian kelpie before!

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"

Farewell "Buddy Surprise"