Adventures in Asia

by Greg & Francie

Sheepshearing Show (say that 10 times fast)

Francie and I went to a sheapshearing show in Kaikoura before we left.  Not only did they shear their sheep but they also shared their sheep for the benefit of our education and enjoyment. 

We learned many facts that I will call out along the way.

Of course, Francie was thrilled by Act 1.  Feeding a little lamb.  This was not a ‘white as snow’ lamb but a rare black lamb (1.5 months old).  Fact 1: Black sheep are very rare.  One in a thousand–they just appear automagically from somewhere way up the gene ancestory.  Very interesting.

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Fact 2: While this little lamb probably won’t be sent to its death any time soon–90% of all lambs in New Zealand are slaughtered for food (this number has gone up as the price of wool has gone down). Very old sheep are turned into mutton.

Act 2: Ram-Man 

Peter, the sheep shearing guy, brought out the older Ram-man. This beautiful ram was incredibly calm and fun to interact with–he let us hand feed him. Actually, he refused to eat from some people and Peter said–‘he just doesn’t like some people’. Here is Ramman.

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Of course he liked Francie.

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Act 3: Sheep Shearing Show

Then we got to the actual sheep shearing part of the show. Peter’s family has sold most of their land because the price of wool has dropped so much (due to synthetic fabrics) and he just keeps enough sheep to do two sheep shearing shows a day. These sheep regrow their coat in six months (Fact 3). Fact 4: Most of their wool is worth 3 NZ dollars per Kilo. Some other types of sheep have wool worth 10 NZ dollars per kilo. Fact 5: sheep are kept indoors at night so they don’t get too cold.

I know this may look painful but, strangely enough, the sheep didnt seem to mind too much.

The Gotcha shot
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The shearing shot.
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Fact 6: Professional sheep shearers can do a sheep in 33 seconds.

“Can I go now?”
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Fact 7: Lanolin oil is pressed from the wool to make various products.

There were more facts but I think that is all your mind can handle right now.

Go back to work.

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October 17, 2007 - Posted by | New Zealand, Rural, Travel, Wildlife

4 Comments »

  1. That black lamb is way too cute.

    Comment by Roger and Libby | October 17, 2007 | Reply

  2. I thought that black sheep were more common… like one in three…. just ask Greg:)

    Comment by Jeff | October 18, 2007 | Reply

  3. Do sheep like to be sheared? Is it like, a relief?

    Comment by jolifanta | October 18, 2007 | Reply

  4. I have a natural black sweater from New Zealand! It’s so soft, because it isn’t bleached and the lanolin stripped from it.

    Comment by Jill | October 19, 2007 | Reply


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