Sunday, February 13, 2011

More about the sheep

The morning after the mustering, Alice thought she heard them shearing and encouraged us to walk over to the barn to see what was happening. The manager invited us in, and we got to see the shearers in action.

There were four men who each grabbed a sheep, sheared its bottom, and let it go out the back into the pen. Alice said they can shear 300 sheep a day - each.

Here's how they manhandled them into place. They were shearing only their dags, the shitty bits that might cause disease. (If someone asks you to rattle your dags, they're asking you to hurry up.)

For some reason, the men wore either socks or these slippers.

Here's the crew manager explaining to Ellen the difference between the wool from those sheep, which is destined for carpets (and the sheep themselves for the butcher), and the wool from merinos, which is finer.

But on the road we saw this extremely odd (to us) sight. Big trailer filled with sheep, okay.
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But these dogs' heads sticking out the bottom? Very, very strange.
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