Dungarees, Jacky Howes and Moccasins
Following up on my blog 100 Bales, I thought I would give a little more background on our shearing team and contractor Scott O'Leary plus a bit of shearing slang.
Scott is a local bloke who lives with his wife Harriet and their two little babes Albert who is 2 years old and Coco who is nearly 10 weeks old. They live in Dubbo about 60 minutes’ drive North of Glenwood. Scott supplies us a team of shearers, plus a “rouseabout” and wool roller.
The shearers come back each time we shear which is about every 8 months thanks to our SRS genetics. We have a great working relationship with them and have become good friends. For more information or if you would like to contact Scott his email address is email@example.com.
A shearer’s kitbag commonly contains a back aid, electric fan, handpiece, combs and cutters, screwdriver, oil can, brush and combs. The combs he uses can vary from shed to shed and mob to mob. The shearer’s outfit is generally dungarees (pants with double thickness of material in the front and lower back of the leg) a “Jacky Howe” (blue sleeveless singlet named after one of the best shearers in Australia) and non-slip moccasins (shoes) made from felt.
Good shearing has been described as a steady waltz – a series of synchronised movements and holds. On Glenwood we have bred a “plain bodied” Merino which means there is minimal skin wrinkle – making them very easy to shear and minimising the stress of their regular (and necessary) haircut. At 8 months the Merino fleece is generally about 80mm in length which is ideal for processing.
Shearing sheds are full of Aussie slang and I have included a few of my favourites below:
Flea Taxi - Sheep dog
Gun Shearer - Professional shearers who shear 200 or more Merinos in a day
Jumbuck - Sheep.
Plum Jams - Lambs
Ringer - Fastest shearer in the shed
Rousy/Rousabout - Shedhands who pick up the fleece after the sheep is shorn.
Until next time – stay safe and happy