Around the Estate - Shearing Sheep
During lockdown, trips to the hairdressers and the barbers are no longer an option, and more and more “homestyle haircuts” are emerging. However, shearing the 120 strong flock of sheep at Colebrooke cannot be avoided!
Most sheep cannot shed their coats and therefore it is sheared off to stop them from overheating and for better hygiene. During spring, shearing occurs to remove the thick winter fleece.
As with all things in nature, it is a balancing act to ensure the weather has warmed up enough, so the sheep will not miss their woolly coats if a late cold spell comes.
Shearing is skill in itself, the trick being to remove the woolly coat in one piece as efficiently as possible. This involves maneuvering the sheep effectively to ensure the pelt remains in one piece and the sheep does not get accidentally cut by the clippers. The wool is gathered up, with any badly soiled pieces removed, and sent to the Ulster Wool Company.
According to Guinness World Records, the fastest sheep shearer in the world sheared a sheep in 37.9 seconds, and the record for shearing the most sheep stands at 731 ewes in just nine hours. The Colebrooke shearing operation was very slick and the flock was sheared and returned to their field after just a couple of hours.