Saturday, February 11, 2023

Shearing Sheep

Ranching sheep runs deep within the Neiber decedents. Mom and Dad's place is on part of my great-great grandfather Neiber's homestead. Uncle Chris is on another part of it. While we went more cowboy, they stuck with the sheep. Today was sheep shearing day on the Schmeltzer Ranch. 


The ole Reverse C bar C 


Uncle Chris is no stranger to shearing sheep.


This sheep wagon was Grandpa Murdoch's, Uncle Chris's grandfather and my great grandfather. He married Adeline Neiber after homesteading up the Owl Creek. Among other pastures around the area, he continued to run sheep out at Neiber. 


Shearers are not easy to come by these days. Michael came down from the Belfry MT area. 


Not much has changed in the sheep shearing business.


It's all about technique. If you put yourself in a good posture, you can run though a decent amount of sheep without much back trouble. 


Some guys will use suspension belts, especially when tackling a couple thousand head.


Once the wool is sheared, it's collected and bagged. Stuffing measures have changed over the years.


Back in the day, they'd throw a bundle of wool up to a platform.


Where Grandpa would stand inside a bag and stuff it. 


Hard to beat today's hydraulics though. 


All cleaned up and ready for lambing in a month or so. 

Sheep are cool, but they are a different ballgame to run. If you're not set up for them, they'll be a pain in the rear. However, if your ranch is ready like Uncle Chris's, shearing sheep is just another day in the office. Nice work partner. Thanks for supplying the world with Wyoming wool. 

1 comment:

  1. My wife's family once ran a large number of sheep, but always had cattle as well. They got out of sheep when the Defense Wool Incentive went away. I was on the last, tiny, sheep gathering.

    They don't seem to miss sheep, but I do.

    ReplyDelete

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