Clip, clip

I have been busy doing things that I should have done months ago.  Like organising and cleaning, (yes, my mom has been helping me with that stuff) and getting some of the sheep sheared.  I know, way too late.  Summer is ending and I should have done it in September, not really much point now.  Except that I want to know if my sheep have wool that is good enough for spinning, and I can only do that if I shear.

Shearing isn’t very common in this part of Chile.  I have seen some sheep that are never sheared, just a mass of walking wool.  But there must be some people who shear because my dad encounters stacks of rotting wool when he is working in the mountains.

When we first bought the goats a man came to shear.  He was very slow and didn’t seem to really know what he was doing.  I thought “hey, I can do as good as that”, and so started shearing the goats myself.

I lay the goat on their side on a table with someone holding their legs and work from the back leg, up across the side, front leg, back, then neck.  Then the other side.  Our goats are pretty accustomed to shearing now and don’t cause much of a fuss.  The sheep however are much heavier and their wool is much more denser.  With the hand clippers I was using it took me hours to shear one sheep.  I invested in two good clippers from the UK, Burgon & Ball, and it made shearing much easier.  It still takes me over an hour and my body ached the whole week I was shearing, (and I only sheared three!)

The sheep's back legs are tied up and she is being held at the front while I shear

I am shearing the sheep on the floor because it is a bit easier.

I am using the stronger, Dagging shears here because the dirt in the fleece makes it harder to shear

The wool is not very long, and very dirty.

These clippers are for shearing the soft wool

I think that my sheep are a mix of Hampshire or Oxford Downs and Suffolk Downs. After shearing the different types of sheep I found the sheep more like a Suffolk had better quality wool.  It wasn’t as dirty and was softer than the other fleece.  Now I get to play with the wool doing some spinning!

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2 thoughts on “Clip, clip

  1. Caroline says:

    I can imagine why your back did ache! That looks like hard work bending over and shearing. Always good to realise you can do things like that yourself though. Hope it spins up well!

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