It’s that time of the year, it has rolled around fast. We are shearing today, shearers are hard to get and come skilled. It is a hard physical labor work and can be called back breaking, I watched with admiration the skill they have in removing the wool intact from the sheep, pinning them down and holding them without hurting them is a real skill. i have seen my husband do it and have attempted it myself but I need way more practice and strength to hold them down.
Shearers are getting scare and as they age so do the ailments that come with such back breaking work, most get sore backs which is understandable, but it is hard to do this on ones own. we have always employed shearers and tried to make it easy for them. The farmer built a shearing shed (yes from scratch) with the help of my cousins husband Ronnie and one son Hughie, unbeknownst to his mother was placed upon the roof to assist during the build. I had the pleasure of helping to get the roof on, being lifted on a pallet speared by the forks of the front end loader and balancing whilst doing what ever it was I was doing. I assisted when he was standing on hay bales welding things and when the welding rod would drop into the bale it would catch fire.
I remember one day thinking if only it would burn him!! He would stand atop of the burning bale, swearing and yelling at me to put it out. even instructing me to grab a shovel once ( which wasn’t in the ute where he said it was) nor was there any water down there at this time so he had to pat it out with his welding gloves.. funny now sure at the time not so much. Anyway I digress, the shearing shed is now complete and looks great, there is even a toilet and shower down there (not hot water though) privacy under work health and safety to provide workers with these options.
The sheep are Dorpers and though can self shed, we have ones which do need shearing and they are very bare after the event. Shearing is done or many a different reason, to sell the wool clip, to prevent sheep getting fly blown and the wool can become over grown and heavy. Here is one of the shearers ‘Matt” shearing at the start of the day.