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Sheep Shearing - Delatite Farm

Delatite Farm has over 20,000 sheep. The time came for 8,000 of them to be sheared. This was a great experience and I learnt so much. It was hard graft, working 8hours full pace, but I'll never forget it, or the people!
The wool shed is a traditional icon of Australia and this one is one of the oldest in Victoria, built in the early 1900’s, with the back shed being significantly older going back to 1892. It was originally set up for about 20 blade shearers when the property was a lot bigger and they ran 35000 sheep.
This is a smaller outbuilding next to the wool shed.
In order to get the work done, an early start was required, but it's always a pleasure when you're journey to work is as beautiful as this when the sun's rising.
The sheep are collected and ideally kept in the wool shed or under cover over night to ensure they are dry before shearing.
Each shearer has his own pen of sheep. Time is money for a shearer, they get paid roughly $2 per sheep sheared. So they want to be as efficient as possible.
The sheep goes from the pen to be sheared and then sent out through a small door behind the shearer into a separate pen to be counted at the end of the shift, and the shearer paid especially.
The first mob had been separated by the quality of the wool, as the best wool was sampled and sent of for testing. This involved scanning the sheep's tag, printing out a ticket, weighing the fleece and recording it by scanning the ticket and then putting a sample with the ticket in a bag... before the fleece isb dealt with.
Ordinarily, the process wouldn't involve this step.
All shearer's are taught to shear in a particular way, the same way, so that the fleece falls on the floor in a particular way to be able to be picked up, in a particular way!
This is the shearing process
The 'roustabout' then prepares to pick up the fleece by finding it's two back legs,
folding the fleece in on itself,
so that when it's thrown onto the wool table it falls perfectly in place, ready for skirting.
Skirting is the process of removing sweat fribs and other less desirable parts of the fleece. The removed pieces largely consist of shorter, seeded, burry or dusty wool etc. which is still useful in the industry. As such they are placed in separate containers and sold along with fleece wool. Other items removed from the fleece on the table, such as faeces, skin fragments or twigs and leaves, are discarded a short distance from the wool table so as not to contaminate the wool and fleece.
All wool is tested before being rolled up and placed in the relevant pile for pressing into the large, 240kg bales.
Other issues that contaminate the wool and cannot be sold are small patches of black coloured fleece, which can be picked out and thrown away.
However, for this fella, there wasn't much wool salvageable,
and so it would be the last time he'd be sean.
At the end of the day the sean sheep are rounded up and taken back to their paddock
Before another drive home (on the quad bike) through the beautiful landscape
I'm going to miss working with this dream team:
Daniel, Dave, Caine - also, not shown, Joan, Max, Lorri and others! - thank you for a top experience :)

Posted by charlystyles 13:05 Archived in Australia Tagged sheep_shearing roustabout Comments (0)

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