The sheep come through the alley from inside the barn and walk up the ramp and into the shearing trailer where four strong, high-endurance men sheared each ewe. We were so lucky to get a perfect day for shearing. It was about 60 degrees and sunny which is very unusual for us for an end-of-January-day.
The shorn wool goes out the right side of the trailer to the skirters who take off all the dirty parts and bag them separately from the good fleece, and the shorn ewes go out the left side of the trailer through a trap door that leads them out to pasture. The sheep look very pinky-white and are so clean.
Here the skirters throw fleeces onto a rotating table where they take off all the dirty pieces. Then the fleece is folded up and put into this sacker contraption that pushes all the wool into sacks that will be taken to town and sold at the local wool warehouse. We had five sacks of fleeces and two sacks of what are called "bellies" which are the underparts and the short bits of wool. Generally, the skirters can get about 50 fleeces into each sack, depending on the weight of each. In the past, we've had fleeces that weighed approximately 10 pounds each.
This ewe has a black speckled nose and black speckled eyes and ear tips. She's pretty, isn't she?
Fresh-shorn sheep grazing . You may not believe it, but there is actually a little green grass coming up amidst that old, brown grass. Sheep have perfect mouths for getting at that low-growing grass.
After the shearing, everyone came up to our house for a late lunch. I think we served about 14-15 people today. It seemed all my mom and I did was wash and dry dishes. We had beef brisket sandwiches with homemade barbeque sauce, coleslaw, fresh fruit salad, oven roasted potatoes and chips. There was warm coconut-oatmeal cake and ice cream for dessert.