New Sheep for the Farm and a Lesson in Shearing Them

George has a ram (sheep) that developed a crush on some of the goats due to limited dating options. After a series of fights with the Billy goat George decided that it was time to add some female sheep to the herd so our ram would have a girlfriend or two of his own species.

The newly introduced sheep needed to be sheared before they could be integrated with the goats. None of us had any idea whatsoever how to shear a sheep, but how complicated could it be? The task could probably be done in twenty minutes…, or that was the reasoning anyway.

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After recruiting me to help, borrowing some clipper tools, and watching a video of a sheep getting sheared on YouTube, George figured he knew everything he needed to in order to shear the sheep. Of course it didn’t turn out that way at all. When we sat down to shear the sheep the clipper failed to make so much as a dent in the wool and we had to resort to using scissors because those were faster. Anyone who knows George knows that when he makes up his mind to do something he does it. This can be a good thing most of the time but occasionally when the right tools for the job are not present, it can lead to a massive amount of time consuming unnecessary work. This was one of those times. I had seen a sheep sheared before so I knew that shearing one sheep was supposed to be quick. So after an hour of trying to shear the sheep with scissors I told George that I was tired of “trying to do brain surgery with a sledge hammer” and suggested finishing up. George thankfully conceded.

The next day we called Merton, a rancher who used to be a sheep farmer at one point and had sheared hundreds of sheep in his day. We traded some fish and CD’s for his labor and he showed us how it was done. For one thing the clipper we were trying to use was designed for horses and did not have nearly a strong enough motor. When someone who knows what he is doing uses the right tools the job is a snap. As it turns out you really can shear a sheep in twenty minutes, but not with scissors.

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