Day #7: NZ Date: 23rdd of February, Tuesday; US Date: February 22nd, Monday.
Pretty simple day, since we’d been doing a lot of driving around and exploring the last few days, we decided to pretty much just relax today. BUT, we got wind that some of the boys were gonna be doing the sheep shearing on the younger sheep at Nana Dawn’s place!
In the States, we load our animals up onto a stanchion or grooming stand, lock their head into place, and have them standing for their “hair cut.” BUT, in New Zealand, they rough it. they don’t bother with a stand, they just grab a sheep, hold the animal between the mans legs, and start shearing!
So we drove out to Nana’s place, where Thomas and Joey were already in the swing of getting things done. Thomas says some men can shear up to 300 sheep in a single day using their method!
So we watched the shearing for a while, then I walked around with brother Thomas’ daughter, Kelly, who was also there riding her mini-horse, Ponkey. She had a blast trying to round up the sheep that weren’t being sheared (or had already been sheared).
After the actual shearing was done, there were still 2 sheep left that needed attention. I was informed that flies like sheep, a lot. The flies will even lay their eggs on the sheep, the eggs hatch and maggots come out of the eggs, and burrow into the sheep wool and skin while they grow into flies. The poor sheep are victimized by the flies, and have no choice in this. The poor sheep will go around scratching their sore patches where the eggs and or maggots are located, trying to get some relief, but to no avail.
So, what do the farmers do? They grab the suffering sheep, hold it between his legs, and they use the shearers/clippers and clip off the wool in the affect area, but also make a point of getting as much of the flies sticky mess off the sheeps skin. How do the poor sheep react? With kisses! Seriously!
The last 2 sheep had this problem mainly on the back and shoulders. Thomas would grab ’em, set them how he wanted them, and go to work. and as he work, the dear sheep would reach over with their darling little faces, and started licking his hand or arm while he worked and gave them the relief they needed.
Once all this was done, sheep were back together as a flock, and the shearing shed tidied up, we headed back home.
Once back at the house, I mainly just worked on editing photos and getting posts caught up for on the blog so you all could read. Johnny ended up really tired, and it wasn’t quite so hot today, so I made him take a nap for an hour(+), since we had time before dinner.