Friday, March 5, 2010

A Little Off The Top

I spent a good chunk of the day at Kathy Meyer's watching Dale Culp shear Keebler's cousins. It was a beautiful, sunny early spring day and I had just the best time.



This pretty ewe looks like she's checking out her reflection on the wall.



The sheep come up through the back of the shearing trailer into the chute seen in the first picture. Dale opens a door about midway down and pulls out his next sheep. I like the blur of his hand in this shot.



In about one minute the sheep is finished and he sets her up and uses his leg to open the door on the opposite side of the trailer and out she jumps.



Waiting their turn.



But I don't think I really want a haircut.



Pretty, pretty.



Each fleece is placed in hopper of sorts and is hydraulically pushed into the big burlap bags. You can see the round, black circle on the left. As the day goes on, the entire shearing trailer gets filled with these huge, long bags. I believe he said they hold around 200 pounds each.



What do you think? Does this face look familiar? Look at those ears, eyes and that distinctive (at least to me ;-) mouth.

All she's missing is the head tilt!

15 comments:

Gayle said...

Seriously? In about a minute? I am so impressed with this whole operation. I (sadly) do not have a shearer. I use scissors to cut my one sheep. It takes about five or six hours and a million blisters later. What about around the bottom? My sheep is nasty, nasty from this winter. Am I supposed to keep that cut short? I just don't know. Were their butts nasty and that part is thrown away. Would be grateful for any info you could share. Love you shearing story.

Michelle said...

What a slick system with that trailer! Of course, I would not want my fleeces stuffed into a big bale....

Hey Gayle, do you have "spring-loaded" scissors? They make a huge difference in hand fatigue and number of blisters!

Alice said...

It was easy to find Keebler's cousin in the lineup. I wonder if they are as sweet as he is. He is due for his 1 yr old birthday soon!

Camp said...

thanks for the education..very interesting...one question though...how did the persuade the sheep to load in to the trailer? OHIKNOW....you took Iris with you!

Deb W said...

Those are really lovely sheep - and I did see the family resemblence! What breed(s) are they? I think I remember you writing that Keebler was a mix of about 4 breeds, but I forget what they are.

Will Kathy be participating in the fiber festival in May?

Nancy K. said...

I think I WANT one of Keebler's cousins! Do they sell any lambs or young adults?

You know, if I could only follow one blog, it would be yours.

:-)

Tammy said...

Wow, that trailer is so impressive, the way he has it set up--from the chutes to the 'leg activated' door. So neat. I love to see things that make hard jobs easier! How many sheep does your friend have?
Tammy

thecrazysheeplady said...

I think she's getting ready to lamb out around 150 ewes. She has 7 rams I think and a few retirees.

Pam said...

It was great having you out for shearing day! Thanks for your help in keeping the chute full, although I think it is safe to say that neither of us were Border Collies in previous lives...

flowerweaver said...

Keebs is definitely the cutest, but I do see resemblance here. Impressive set up. I'm starting to roo Finley. Guess what? This year he has developed a dark reddish brown undercoat that looks just like Phoebe. Almost made me cry.

cyndy said...

Great photos!

Beautiful sheep!

Sounds like you had a good shearing day!

Eleanor P said...

How I love to see Dale every spring--sheep not so glad until after they are sheared. When he sheared my old ones last spring (always do them last so I can help them out of the trailer) he said when he retired he was coming to live with us so he could live to be 100. I think it was a compliment!
And I don't have a bottle lamb this year--beginning to feel faint from lack of lamb to cuddle-oh no!

sheepsclothing said...

Wow. That shearing trailer is a neat system. I love how they are all queued up in the chute!

Far Side of Fifty said...

What fun to read about! Thanks! :)

DayPhoto said...

Oh! I loved this post. It brings back my childhood to me. Many sheep many hours of shearing. I didn't shear but I did judge wool. I only had 10 sheep but they were all my friends. Shearing time was rather stressful, but our shearer was good and didn't nick the sheep.

Thank you Sara! I loved this.

Linda

http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/

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