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!...
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!