During the month of May, shepherds are preparing for the warmer weather. For many, this means shearing the flock of sheep. In New Zealand, a mother daughter team set a new world record by shearing over 900 lambs in one day! These two sheared 903 lambs in eight hours with the mother at age 54, shearing 433 lambs and the daughter, age 22, shearing 470. The mother daughter team took only three breaks, 30 minutes in the morning, one hour for lunch, and 30 minutes in the afternoon. What a team!
Recently I stumbled upon an interesting type of sheep shearer, a robot. James Trevelyan, a Professor at the University of Western Australia, School of Mechanical Engineering, was responsible for creating this robot called Shear Magic. The robot was tested over 1000 times and has clipped over 400 fleeces at the university. It turns out that the robot could shear the sheep and have fewer skin cuts than human shearers. Watch the video of Shear Magic http://tinyurl.com/cujwtk.
Coming up this weekend is a chance to learn more about sheep production, how to shear sheep and spin and weave wool at the Waynesburg Sheep and Wool Festival in Waynesburg, PA on May 16- 17, 2009. Four city blocks of Waynesburg will be closed to allow for the public to learn about the sheep and fiber industry. The weekend will be filled with crafts, contests, and plenty of free lamb sampling. Enjoy the festivities, fun, and learning experience this weekend! Visit www.sheepandfiber.com for more information.