Back home after four days at the NEC to a pile of work. Unfortunately Chas had a nasty summer cold/flu thing, now named the ‘Festival of Quilts Lurgy’. We thought it pretty unlikely to be covid as, being over 75, he had a booster jab in May. He tested negative.

This meant that he was not well enough to help with cria shearing on the Tuesday. I was just about recovered from a septic wound following a leg operation, what a pair of old crones!

Our shearer Matt Kyle turned up at eight o’clock sharp to shear 22 female and 12 male cria with me as his sidekick. As you can see from the pictures of the cria he shears the body of the animal and the neck but leaves the legs, the head and the tail. The head and particularly the tail are important as the mums always sniff those areas to make sure they are feeding the right cria.

There are two reasons for cria shearing. The first is a welfare issue, as due to the advances in breeding heavier fleeced animals, they are horribly overfleeced, hot and sweaty by the time we get to the annual shearing in the summer.

The second is that you remove all the sticky tips on those first fleeces that pick up every bit of vegetable matter in the field making the fleece impossible to process.

Great result really, next year those fleeces will be jut right for processing and meanwhile the youngsters look great.

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