The Homestone

Monday, April 09, 2007

Before and after

It's been a bright and beautiful Easter weekend here on the meadow. A busy weekend too!
It was sheep shearing time which meant a fair amount of preparation to set up for the Sunday morning arrival of our friends Brian and Debbie.
David had the sheep dry and fasted. He made auxiliary pens to have the ewes and the ram ready for their shearing. The shearing area was set up and ready to go when Brian arrived.
Brian is a professional shearer who first sheared our sheep last year. He does a lovely job. It's hard work and takes a strong back. His wife Debbie is his ready assistant handing him his tools and his upturned milk carton bench as required.
David brought the ewes to Brian one at time, introducing them by name and disposition. Once the shearing began, David would retrieve the ewe's lamb and hold them close by to minimize the lamb's and the ewe's stress levels. Once the shearing is complete, Brian takes to his milk carton and trims the sheep's hooves. With that, they are all done and David turns them out into their new pasture with their lamb. We gather up the beautiful fleece, seperate it from the tag and bag it up in empty chicken feed bags. The ram was sheared last, his fleece is the very nicest of all the sheep... just beautiful.
The actual shearing operation took just 2 hours then it was time for a shower and some lunch.
They are a happy flock of sheep today. The little ones are full of beans while the ewes and 'Mr.' seem relaxed and content.
Yesterday was also a day of new spring arrivals as our sandhill cranes returned to the meadow. Our bluebirds arrived and an osprey visited too.

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