In a constant attempt to simplify things on the farm and bring life ever closer to a sane pace, I have always wanted, nay needed, to change the way we shear our sheep. It isn’t that we have had incompetent shearers, actually we have been blessed with some of the best in the country but shearing day never seemed quite what I imagined. It was rushed, stressful and I always ended up with sixty bags of soggy, smelly wool waiting to be sorted, washed, picked, carded, spun and knit. Also, with shearing quickly becoming a profession of the past, it was so difficult to get the shearer to the farm that their winter coats came off, ready or not!
1. use a small pen – large enough for comfort but small enough to constrict running
2. comfort the sheep – keep them calm and quiet with some sort of feed treat
3. Buy Fiskar scissors with Easy Action for Arthritic hands
4. Buy a sharpener
5. sort locks as they come off the sheep – no skirting necessary!
6. don’t try to do more than two sheep in a day
And so I embark on shearing my own sheep, one fleece at a time, slowly and gloriously. No multi-tasking here just shear bliss.
Look for our hand shorn fleeces for sale in our River Cottage Farm Shoppe.