Shearing has been going for a week and a half now. Thankfully it is all going smoothly, and with no rain (fingers crossed) it should be finished by the end of this week.
There is a real rhythm to the shearing shed. Each part has to work in time or everything slows down. There are 2 shearers to shear the sheep, so the guys working the table need to have skirted the fleece (pull the dirty edge pieces of and put them in a different pile), and the wool classer has to have classed it before the next shearer has finished, so that the shearer doesn't have to wait. Shearers get paid per sheep, so the faster they shear, the more money they make.
In between this, the rouse-about also needs to sweep up the bits of wool and do the myriad of other little things that have to be done.
Once the wool is classed, it is put into a bin according to its grade.
When the bins are full, the fleeces are put into the wool press and pressed into a bale. An average bale of wool will be 180kg. The press really pushes a lot into a small area.
Country Boy has been pressing the wool. This works in well with us because he doesn't have to be there all the time. He takes Meg and Toby down to the shed after Hannah leaves for school. They have some toys down there and spend the morning talking to the shearers and having fun. He brings them back for lunch and a sleep, and then takes them down again after Hannah gets home from school. Fortunately the shearers seem to enjoy having them there!
Toby and Meg are a little sick of spending so much time there, and they enjoy coming back to the house. Unfortunately, one of the realities of farm life for kids is that they do have to come along sometimes when Mum or Dad are working. We are fortunate that they can come along.
FIL has sold his second farm recently, so he is also selling a lot of his excess stock.
On Wednesday a semitrailer arrived to take the lambs. It holds several hundred lambs, and was very exciting for Toby to watch.
I took these photos last week on my day at home. If I get time (and enough nerve - they already think it is funny that I took these pictures) this week I will go down and get some more.
I hope I have explained what happens in the shearing shed. Any questions, please ask!!!