Buchenberg – As “The Little Prince” quietly explores the house and front garden, there is much to do at the sheep barn. Sheep mowers came – very warm winter braids should fall off in spring and summer. An adventure awaits Marlon – unlike his white peers, who are mostly sleepy – he follows her with great interest.
Gottfried Bessler of Amberg bei Buchloe has been a sheep shearer for 44 years. Every move is perfect. For the benefit of the animals, it also allows more time for crafts than in the competitions that are especially popular in Australia and New Zealand. The world record is 44 seconds. Two to three minutes per normal animal.
There is hardly a market for wire winter wool to some extent and dirt. After all, like horn mulch, it is a good fertilizer for your flower box or bed. Summer wool that is cut in the fall is softer in nature. If it weren’t for Merino sheep’s wool or the like, then the demand for this is unfortunately marginal and serves very small niches as the need for felt wool or is increasingly used as a natural insulating material in construction. Particularly important is the meat or fur of the Krainer Stone lamb, an ancient local breed, that was butchered at about six months old at Conny’s Bioland Farm.
His grandfather, father, and cousin were sheep mowers, Bessler says, while skillfully shaving tricky areas on the head, legs, or around the udder with a large razor. It was always part of the storytelling there. Because of the “very heavy use” of the cross, “hardly anyone would want to do that”. Additionally, “you have to be able to handle animals” and you need “a little love for animals”. Bessler travels as shearing sheep in a radius of about 100 km and removes about 70 animals from 1.5 to 2 kg of fur each day. “Women will be happy with such a light diet,” Bessler jokes.
He actually did a part of it that day along with other clients. Now 23 adult sheep are in the middle of the road, including four “boys,” plus four lambs while onlookers await. As if they were going through a deja vu experience, the flock of sheep is following with interest how Bessler installs his portable scissors and benches. No bleating breaks the patient’s wait. Only Marlon has no curiosity. Far from being rejected by the herd, he bravely looked at everything up close.
Since being helped by Connie and Leonie, Bessler has been operating according to Swabian’s back-friendly method, ‘Bank Shore’. The sheep sit high on a bench so that the Bessler does not have to crouch down yet. If it works entirely on its own, it also uses the New Zealand method to mow the floor, “because I won’t have to raise the sheep,” he explains. After all, according to Bessler, “normal” sheep have a weight of about 60 kilograms. Mountain ewes and lamb are between 70 and 80 kg, and French lamb up to 100 kg. The bald skin is protected by a thick layer of wool pomade. Connie and Leonie take the opportunity to complement their “Sheep Make Up Day” with a mobile “nail studio”: hoof trimming is the order of the day.
Once again it can be seen that sheep do not tolerate strangers. If the severed sheep return to the herd after the operation, they are bullied by mates with their fur – even the white and black sheep stick together. Only when the number of felled sheep is sufficient, will peace be restored.
What an eventful day for young Marlon. Filled with fresh impressions, he nodded in the evening, exhausted and at least outwardly satisfied, on a soft, warm pile of wool.
The story of Princhin, Marlon’s cousin can be found Here.
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