Friday, 2 May 2008

Sheep Shearing

With spring in full blossom and the warmer temperatures arriving, its time to shear the sheep. We normally try to do this mid to late April the actual date depending on when our sheep shearer Angel can come. Yes Angel is a Spanish name, and he certainly is a god send, as I wouldn’t want to have shear 30 odd sheep during the day and then put a smile on for guests in the evening!

He came today with his small trailer attached to his car and by eight in the morning had his work shop set up by our stable. The sheep don’t appear to mind having their coats taken off, even if they have to be put in some rather un-lady like postures in the process. Assuming the weather remains warm they appreciate the coolness and if it rains or turns cooler they soon run back to the stable to keep warm.

We actually shear our sheep slightly earlier than most of the other farmers in the area but this is part of our organic control of sheep ticks. Magpies will stand on the back of the sheep and pick the ticks out and eat them, however they do this best when the wool is short. So by cutting the wool early we enable the magpies to start controlling the ticks earlier in the season when they start to emerge.

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.