Killermont Station Pre Lamb Shearing with Blades
Lindis Pass, Central Otago.
Driftwood is always looking for new adventures and new experiences. Some new and some from the past. Today the team ventured into the thick of the action at Killermont Station who were in the midst of shearing their 15,000 odd merino ewes (whose counting!). They are a hardy breed, surviving for months on end in the rugged high country, with the rams hailing from as far north as the Muller Station, which we pass by on our Molesworth Station Tour.
What was special about this shearing, was that it was carried out with care and precision by a gang of blade shearers. Done in the old fashioned way, the sheep are left with a short shaggy coat of wool which keeps them warm in the crisp high county.
Thanks you to Scott who gave permission to visit the shed, generally hailed as a ‘no go zone’ for visitors. Not a place to get in the way or make a noise!
Thank you also to the shearers and their wool handling team who ignored our cameras and got on with the job.
The speed at which sheep can be shorn with blade shears, when done professionally, is a sight to behold. The fleeceo’s (they pick up the wool from the board or shearing stand) and wool presser (he expertly fills the mechanical wool press and crushes the wool into tight bales for transport), had little time for small talk keeping up with the constant steam of fine merino fleece. 16-18 micron to be exact. To give you an idea, Romany - a course wool breed used for carpets, is around 30 micron. The wool classers are the experts at sorting the wool into its various grades and make a considerable difference to the wool’s value.
This includes throwing the fleece as pictured, and you are right it is not as easy as it looks. Come on a tour and you might be able to give it a go!
These are the kinds of grass roots opportunities we love to include on our high country adventures.