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Nicola Fisher

@nicolafisher

A day of sheep shearing

    1. 250 sheep

    We arrived at the farm, invited by our farmer friend, Phil. They were just getting ready to start. The first lot of sheep - first time shears - were in the barn. Lambs had been segregated. They were wormed only. 

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    2. Lambs

    These are the first batch of lambs. 

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    3. The three shearers

    The farmer, his wife and Dad kept the sheep moving. The farmer's Dad collected the fleeces. We stood where I could see the shearing. Behind us was the lamb pen. To the right, waiting sheep. In front of them, around 8 sheep ready to be sheared. As that pen emptied, the farmer and his wife moved up some of the waiting sheep. 

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    4. Feisty sheep

    Some of the sheep, especially the older sheep, were quite feisty. One in particular wasn't up for being sheared and put up quite a fight. The tups (rams) were more amenable than she was. 

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    5. Controlling the sheep

    The three shearers - Phil, Rob, George - were all experienced shearers. It was an education watching them grab a sheep, flip it on to its back, and get it in position. The front right leg was locked between the shearer's legs and then they worked their way around the fleece moving the sheep where necessary.

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    6. Another pose

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    7. And another

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    8. A waiting ewe

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    9. The first batch

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    10. Chris had a go

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    11. A squashed lamb!

    It was fine! Once I got to grips with what was going on I helped put the fleeces in one of the huge bags. The sheep were quite skittish so we had to be careful. One of the shearers got a nice scrape across his stomach as one of the sheep dragged her foot on him. Some of the sheep had maggots - quite common - so they had to be treated. One or two were so bad that they went into a separate trailer. Their prognosis is 50:50.

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