Sheep Shearing on the Croft

It's the time of year again for the sheep to be getting their short-back-and-sides, and so Big Brother called on my help once again.

Okay, so he didn't actually call for my help, but having my offspring there as his assistants is kind of the same thing.

And talking of offspring, for this post, I'm going to let DR do most of the talking ...

Take it away, DR.

Okay, here's where the process starts:

The smallest amongst us dives in and grabs an unshorn sheep, holding it for long enough for....

me to take over the head.

I haul it over to the shearing platforms and.....

flip it over on its back.  

Uncle Calum, aka Big Brother,  then takes over for the expert part - the shearing.

When BB is almost finished with the sheep, I prepare to take its head. As a side note, the best way to hold or control a sheep is to hold its head - control the head, control the body. (I'm sure there is a sermon in there somewhere ... )

At this point I take the head again,

Calum clears the wool and I hold the sheep in preparation for...

a dose from CF and a mark from my cousin, Mairi.

This is what I do while CF is shearing - I lay out the wool, inside up, clean any lumps off it, and fold the sides into the middle

I roll it up,

and use the tail at the end tucked into the middle of the ball to hold it in place.

And, voilĂ !  Half a dozen balls of wool ready to be packaged.

Now for some trivia:

Sheep are sheared section by section - front, tail, neck, and sides.

Mairi is holding the power cord to the shears - here it's because Big Brother is almost finished, but if it's a restless sheep she'll be there just in case it goes postal on BB.

(note from Mother: I have no idea what 'postal' means in this context. Any help from readers on this score would be appreciated.)

Here, she's just pulled the cord. 'Good action shot, Mum!' 

I've taken the head and.....

I have it.

"Huh? A camera? And Anne? What is she doing here, so far from her natural environment?!"

(By 'her natural environment', I do believe Big Brother means the kitchen... )

Home free..

These two are really 'home free' - two runners who jumped the fence. We got them back eventually - two rugby tackles later!

Calum takes a go with the spray.

This sheep is wondering where her buddies have gone - they've made sure they're as far from us as they can get!


  1. Looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing. Here we're moving cows, milking a cow, weeding gardens and picking berries. And gettin' a farmer's tan.

  2. Loved the commentary, DR! It was fun to see the inside workings of shearing sheep.
    "going postal" made me giggle. Anne, it's an american saying stemming from the not so great work environments/low pay of postal workers here who have thus gone nuts and berserk. It's been in use as a term here for many, many years.

    1. So funny, Susan! ... clearly it's second nature for DR to use the term, but I really had never heard it until now. Thanks for clarifying that :) :)

  3. So fun to see your happenings!
    Our first shearing is only partially finished. Not our favorite job....and I use the term "our" very loosely. My kiddos are pretty much on their own with that task!

    1. Yeah ... I have a habit of using the term 'our' rather loosely too!!

      The whole lot have not been sheared yet here either ... it's a lot of work (so I'm told ;) )

  4. Nice to see you back to it again...blogging! I agree with DR about the sermon. As a matter of fact, I'm sure I've heard it. But it is even smaller than the head...control the tongue, control the whole body. I miss you guys!!!!

    1. Hey, Laurie! I was thinking of you when I was doing my photo-taking/getting-in-the-way/being-(not)-useful .... Once or twice, I got The Look .... you remember!!!

      And yes, Laurie ... methinks you're spot on with the tongue. How I wish I could learn this so often :/

  5. Postal = crazy I believe


Related Posts with Thumbnails