Monday, 20 June 2011

Rain Stopped Shearing

Well here in the UK Wimbledon has just started.  So far it seems to be dry for the players.  When it rains and the players have to stop we say ‘rain stopped play’.  This last week the weather has played havoc with sheep shearing.  It has been raining hard.  

It is inadvisable to shear wet sheep.  Sheep are like sponges, when they get wet their fleece holds so much water.  If you then try to shear the sheep all that water soaks into your clothes, it’s miserable.  The shearing board also gets wet and a wet shearing board is like an ice rink.  Good grip on the shearing board is critical so a wet slippery board makes a hard job harder.  Of course if it is actually raining during shearing and you are plugged into the mains then there is the worrying combination of electricity and water.  Another problem with shearing wet sheep is storing the wool.  The wet fleeces will rot if they do not dry out.  Now wool may not be very valuable at the moment but rotting fleeces are a sorry prospect.  

The trouble with cancelling shearing jobs is they still have to be fitted into the diary somewhere, you can’t just not shear the sheep.  Some owners are able to bring their sheep in so they are dry for shearing but not everyone has enough space.  For the time being, rain has stopped shearing.   

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