The Sheep Shearing

This week we have been spending time out in the country with family visiting from New South Wales. They have been staying at a sheep farm just north of Bendigo and while catching up with them, we have been lucky enough to hang out with the sheep on the farm and see some of them be shorn.

Watching the sheep get their haircuts was such an interesting experience for me. Katie grew up on farms but until this week I had never seen shearing in real life. Before we even got to the shearing shed we had Kelpies dancing around our feet, saying hello and looking for pats. The dogs were so friendly to us and then they’d get a call and they were off to round up some more sheep. Inside the shed, the men moved so fast and the fleece came off all in one piece. Within minutes of being reluctantly dragged out of their pens for shearing, the sheep were outside again adjusting to the crisp air. When the ordeal was over you could almost see them smile.

I dream of having a few sheep of my own one day, so I get very excited at the chance to see them close up. Getting to watch them at shearing time was the absolute jackpot! Even though shearing looks like very hard work, I really hope to give it a go one day and (if I’m lucky enough) maybe even shear my own sheep. For now I’m happy just watching on…

I hope you’ve been having a nice week while we’ve been relaxing. We’ve got lots more pictures and stories to share with you soon!

Reuben

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Reuben

About Reuben

Reuben is a green thumb with a knitting machine for a brain. He likes dinosaurs, The Beatles and homebrew (among many other things).

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18 Responses to “The Sheep Shearing”

  1. Stesha July 8, 2012 at 1:31 am #

    Wow! How exciting to watch a live sheep shearing. I love the after photos of the sheep. Did you get to touch them? Do they sell the fleece?

    Hugs and Mocha,
    Stesha

    • Reuben
      Reuben July 8, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      We were close enough to touch them but unfortunately they aren’t really tame enough for patting. We tried but they were a bit shy! The farmers sell the fleece wholesale to manufacturers for processing :)

  2. Bekah July 8, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    Oh my goodness! Your pictures are so beautiful. I especially love the first one of the sheep on the hill. How did you do that? And it would be great to see what they do with the wool next, and wouldn’t it be nice if you could have a wee bit of the final product for some knitting? Thank you from Ohio.

    • Reuben
      Reuben July 8, 2012 at 10:14 am #

      Thank you so much Bekah! We just got really lucky with the hill shot – the sheep happened to be in a great spot and we happened to catch it! The farmers don’t process the wool, they just shear it off and send it away to be turned into lovely woolly things elsewhere, so unfortunately we’ll never really know what happens to it. But it’s lovely to imagine all the future cozy things it might become! :)

  3. Cynthia July 8, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Ooh how neat! The only time I’ve seen sheep shearing was a couple summers ago when I was embarrassingly addicted to watching McCleods Daughters. Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Katie
      Katie July 10, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

      I used to really dislike McCleods daughters when I was in highschool and it was on TV (and I desperately wanted to run off to the city) but I have a sneaking suspicion I’d love it now… ;)

  4. Elle Mental July 8, 2012 at 3:18 am #

    With your own sheep you could shear, spin, dye, and then knit! It would give you a whole new understanding of wool! :)

    • Reuben
      Reuben July 8, 2012 at 10:08 am #

      That’s the dream Elle! Wouldn’t it be awesome?! :)

  5. Sarah July 8, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    I always look at newly shorn sheep, all bald and baffled, and wonder if they didn’t go into that shearing shed only after a short back and sides or a bit of a trim. Then suddenly bam! you’re all bald!

    Sarah
    http://acatlikecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk

    • Katie
      Katie July 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

      Haha! Poor old sheep! ;)

  6. Jane @ Shady Baker July 8, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Lovely photos Reuben, you have captured the movement and activity of the woolshed perfectly. We are starting our annual sheep crutching tomorrow. As you probably know this is like shearing except the wool is just taken off the face and backside. Cleans them up and keeps them happy until shearing time later in the year. Happy Sunday!

    • Reuben
      Reuben July 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

      Thanks heaps Jane! We saw a few sheep that had been crutched last week – I never knew the name for it though! I hope it all went well :)

  7. Chestnut Mocha July 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    hi guys! the sheep are awesome! we just noticed you added us to your blogroll – that’s so wonderful! thanks so much! we’re very pleased! we should create a blogroll, too.. :-)

    • Katie
      Katie July 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

      Our pleasure lovely! <3

  8. Renea July 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    What a great post! The photos are sensational,I could almost smell the wool! I have a fascination for old shearing sheds. They are so alive with activity for such a short time then sit quietly in anticipation of the next job, whether it’s shearing or crutching. Love it guys xx

  9. Fi & Ron July 12, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Hi R&K,

    My first time commenting here but I wallow in your gorgeous blog often.

    I to was brought up on a farm – a large 3000 acre mixed farm – and sheep shearing was a regular event – although Dad was a cattle person by heart. He’d often drive the ute out into the paddock, turn it off and just sit. They’d come up and lick the doors and stick their heads in the window – I thought this was heaven!!!

    My husband is a city fella and has Reubens’ same fascination, innocence and desires about a farm life.

    We are working towards that same dream of getting enough land to be be self sufficient and run a small zoo of animals of some persuasion – I’ll be at home once again and R will be renewed and reinvigorated. Ahhhh.

    Its a great dream – we will all get there when the time is right.

    Thank you for your gorgeous thoughts and beautiful blog,

    Fi

  10. Katherine Jan July 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Awwwwwww. I miss sheep shearing! We used to have an awesome guy (from Austrailia) come and shear our five sheep every May. Sadly, our last sheep died last year, so it didn’t happen this year. Haha, we even sheared our llama one time! That was pretty funny! You guys are so cool!

  11. eliza July 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    how cool! i’m bummed you didn’t get any wool! but i gotta be honest with you, i got some straight-off-the-sheeps-back fleece once, and trying to wash it completely undid me. after two days worth of back-ache-inducing labor and a week of smelly guest bedroom where it was drying, only to realize the wool was still quite dirty, i drove it out to a mill nearby where they processed it for me… and i’m ever-so-very-slowly spinning it up. but it was a good experience. now i know! no fleece washing for me!

    whew, that turned into more of a story than i meant it to.

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