It isn’t every day our little farm helpers manage to see our sheep being sheared but last week’s holiday makers turned out to be here at just the right time. In the past we have left sheep shearing until later in the month, but I had spotted Rambo the Ram using his horns to ram the fence posts in his field which meant he needed to go across the lane to his big summer pasture before he broke free.
Since we would never have caught him again from there till autumn he would need shearing first; cue an early sheep shearing appointment for all our sheep. Thankfully we have just finished lambing so there weren’t any pregnant ewes. As I walked the field early in the morning the mothers and lambs were playing happily and had no idea what lay ahead for them.
There is always quite a commotion as we round them up and separate them from their lambs for shearing.
Friday our pet lamb had his morning bottle in the car park and was staying in my garden for the morning to avoid all the sheep shearing action.
Farmer Amber then took the children off round the farm while Nick and I helped set up the shearing station.
The timing couldn’t have been better, just as the tractor was on its way home with the children they were able to hop off at Farmer Nick’s shed and come and watch the sheep shearer in action. This was fascinating for them and they stood in Farmer Nick’s trailer to look in and watch.
If you have ever watched sheep shearing at a country show you will know it is quite an art and mesmerising to watch. A good handler will have the sheep still and cooperating in seconds.
This was a lovely safe way for the children to touch the wool and feel how thick it is without being pushed by a big sheep in the field. The shearer moved deftly from one animal to the next, while the children after watching a couple be sheared, took the tractor ride home complete with a souvenir handful of wool.
Ewes and lambs were happily reunited back in their field with Friday going to join them. Rambo was taken by tractor and trailer over the road to his lush summer pasture just as he wanted.
This was a feed run that will stay with these little ones and their parents for some time to come. In case you are wondering what happens to the fleeces, a local crafter collects from us to spin and make rugs and kindly donates one of the rugs back to us. We held back a little ourselves for crafts in activity hour, more on that one to follow.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.