Super Soft Merino
Well the rain has gone and Summer is back in a big way this week with a number of 40+ degree days. We are all up early moving the sheep, closing up the house to keep it cool for the day and getting work done either very early or late in the evening when the temperature has dropped a little. It is weeks like this I wish we had an air conditioner, but wet towels and fans do the trick!
The kids are being very helpful on the farm and around the house – our latest project is the cottage built in the 1960’s only 200 metres from the homestead. Perhaps a good spot for visitors or a farm stay in the future.
Dr Jim Watts, who developed the SRS breeding system, arrived on Monday morning for a few days of “classing” the rams and maiden ewes (first time mothers). Norm, Frank and the children have been busily drafting the rams and ewes into groups for Dr Jim and Norm to go through and work out which ram will go with which ewes for joining in March.
Norm has purchased an auto-drafter - amazing piece of machinery - the sheep walk through the race and the computer chip in their ear then determines which way the gate opens. The sheep are then drafted into 3 different groups depending upon their age and fleece (wool) type.
Dr Jim and Norm then look at each ram and ewe to decide which ram will go with which ewe to produce the beautiful super soft Merino fibre that we are renowned for.
This is a long process but a very exciting one. We do this each year and the improvements have been amazing under the guidance of Dr Jim who is an ex CSIRO researcher. One of the qualities we are looking at is the “micron” (or how fine the fibre is) which has dropped by about 4 micron (to an average of 18.5 microns) in the last 20 years since we started working with Dr Jim.
This means our Merino is silky soft, lustrous and luxurious and feels more like cashmere than traditional Merino.