Category : On the farm
How Hard Can It Be?
Have you ever had the thought – “How hard can it be?“
Well I have had that thought many times but finally met my match in our one and only “Ovis aries” or sheep to the uniformed 🙂
When we became the owners of Orangevale we inherited a donkey and a single sheep. The sheep who we have affectionately named “Shrek” needed to be shorn and so I thought to myself I have seen this done and “How hard could it be“. I watch a few YouTube videos, read some online articles and took the plunge and purchased some shears from the trusted livestock equipment supplier – “eBay”. After a week or so I received the shears with great anticipation and began to read the instructions. Unfortunately the instructions were a very rough Chinese to English translation referring to non-existent diagrams. So back to YouTube and some more reading and waiting for the right day to try shearing for the first time.
I managed to get Donkey and Shrek into our small holding pen, one to get them to get the grass down in that pen plus get Shrek in a calm place before attempting to shear her. We the time arrived and I set up the shears and a number of barriers to reduce the room where Shrek could hide while I attempted to tackle her and get her into position for shearing. Well as per what I had seen, I cornered her, bent her head to the side and moving her backwards rolled her onto her back. Well that was the theory anyway!
For the next 10 minutes we danced around the pen but I finally was successful in rolling her onto her back but unfortunately I was no where near the shears and I was on the ground under her with no one in sight. It would have made a great “Funniest Home Video”. Finally Liz arrived and through her laughter and dismay was able to get me the shears for me to start.
I managed to remove a very small amount of wool in small pieces and the only thing that was for certain was that I was stressing the sheep and creating a good laugh for all my family. I gave Shrek and myself a break and after about 10 minutes and a lot of strategies starting the dance again. Around the boxes and bins, through the barriers and probably 10 attempted tackles we were on our way again. I managed a little more wool but just could not understand why it was not working for me so reluctantly I gave up and called it a day.
It was one of those moments that I was disappointed and proud, angry and happy and most of all glad I had given it a go. Shrek was relieved although looked a little dishevelled and very much still in need of a real shearer.
I think that is what farming and life is all about, giving things a go, allowing your self to be disappointed but also looking back and being proud that you gave something a go. Never be ashamed of trying and failing as you will grow in knowledge and skills and maybe next time you will be that little be better or bring in an expert.
How hard can it be?
P.S. Last week Liz’s brother James (Rusty) organised 50 Marino lambs for us and at the same time gave Shrek the shearing that she needed. He took about three minutes to do the job properly. I have a lot to learn but have 50 sheep to practice on now 🙂 Maybe Rusty will take me on as his shearing apprentice.