Sharing The Peapod's Travel Adventures...

How to Shear a Sheep in Kaikoura...

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This entry was posted on 1/13/2007 3:23 AM and is filed under New Zealand.

We started our sheep exploration experience by meeting two little lambs - 2 months old and 4 months old.  Here's Evelyn bottle-feeding the little one.  It was absolutely adorable!  The pulling action of this little lamb was incredibly strong!...

Here's a little movie of that too...

Evelyn Feeding the Two Month Old Baby Sheep

Did you know that the record for shearing sheep was broken this year by a New Zealander who sheared 846 sheep in 8 hours.  That means 1 sheep every 34 seconds all day long.  That's fast!!!

Here's Mindy feeding the mascot, Ram-Man, the ram.  They said he was as friendly and tame as a dog.

We watched a sheep shearing demonstration and it doesn't look easy although Epod did learn some new moves to try the next time she gives Mpod a haircut.

Here's how you do it...

(This movie would have taken over 4 minutes - but we sped it up a bit to give you an idea what a pro, not doing a demonstration, would be like)...

Movie of Shearing a Sheep

As the sheep was having its haircut, it seemed remarkably calm about the process - as though being shorn was part of its genetic heritage and it knew its role in the play very well.  It gets this kind of shearing every 6 months.  Pause on this picture for a moment to get a sense of the sequence of sheering...

After the sheep has been shorn, all the wool is put on a big table and sorted through.  The small pieces go in one bin, and the largest pieces go in another, and are compressed into huge bails, (seen in the left corner of the photo) for shipment to processing plants.

All the wool from this operation goes to make carpet wool because the sheep are the drysdale variety.  It's amazing how vague our cognition was before this time that the wool carpet we have at home actually came from so many individual sheep having been shorn.  We'll certainly have a much deeper appreciation of all things wool from now on.

Merino sheep wool is used for making clothing and is very soft and used in thermal clothing.

There are over 40 million sheep on the South Island and it feels like we've seen about 20 million of them.  They're everywhere!


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