Well another month is nearly over and it has proved to be very busy. Mostly busy for my husband as he has sheared 400 ewes singlehanded. It is very hard, backbreaking work, but there are only a few left to shear and they are not ready for the shears yet. My daughter and myself 'wrap' the fleeces; this comprises of removing any soiled wool and folding the fleece so that the outer side is enclosed in a 'swiss roll' type of shape. They are then stored in large sacks till the British Wool Marketing Board collect them later in the year. Once sheared the sheep are then marked with our own unique symbol in case they wander onto other land.
When the time is right for shearing the fleece appears to rise off the skin a little and then the farmer knows it's time to start. The 'rise' can be affected by the temperature of the weather and the general condition of the sheep. Luckily the weather in the last week or so has been perfect for shearing .
The few sheep that are left are of the Swaledale breed and these hardy creatures are not usually ready to shear till July.
So we might have a couple of days respite , although there is silage and hay to start ---- the farmer's work is never finished!