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Sheep Shearing in the UK

Following on from my previous post – the video of shearing a shetland sheep in USA – I thought I’d add a couple of my old photos of sheep shearing, taken about 30 years ago!  I can’t remember where I took them – somewhere in South Wales.

These are scans of the A6 sepia postcards I published of the original photos – which is why they aren’t very sharp.  The sheep were being sheared in a field, and they were penned to make it easier to do the shearing as quickly as possible.

I did a search for shearing in the UK, to get a bit more info on when shearing is done here, and found this useful piece, oddly enough, published under the name of Sheep Shearing in the UK by Indie Farmer.

These are a couple of colour photos from that site.

And this is the first part of the blog – written in July 2014

The sheep shearing season in the UK (roughly mid May to mid July) is pretty much finished now, so farmers will be pleased that one difficult and time consuming job is over for another year, and the sheep will be happy to have got rid of their thick fleeces in this hot weather.

Shearing requires both skill and a lot of hard, physical work in hot summer conditions.  Some farmers shear their own sheep but many, especially those with large flocks (anything over a few hundred sheep) hire specialist shearing gangs to do the work for them.  Shearing gangs typically have three to eight members, and travel the country going from farm to farm, shearing every day during the season.  It is a hard life but pay can be good, about £2 a sheep and a good shearer can shear 200 sheep per day.  When the UK shearing season is over, the shearing gangs often travel to other countries where the shearing season is at a different time of year, in what is known as ‘the shearing circuit’, travelling from the UK to Norway, the USA, the Falklands, New Zealand, Australia, and pretty much anywhere that you can find plenty of sheep!  It is a very tough, hard working and hard drinking lifestyle, but it’s a good way to see the world, have fun and make some money.

Wool used to be where the main profit was in sheep farming, with meat as a useful sideline.  Many of the great Cathedrals and castles of the middle ages were built using the profits from the wool trade.  The Lord Speaker in the House of Lords still sits on a ceremonial Woolsack to represent the importance of wool to the economy in former times.  Now, however, sheep farmers make their main profit from meat, with wool being a very minor sideline.

It’s always useful to know a bit more about where your wool comes from!  Especially for spinners who are carding and spinning the raw fleeces!

PS. PLUG!

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I sell hand carders that can deal with raw fleeces and all types of wool fibres – and also are quite useful as brushes for sheep and other animals if you are tidying up your stock for Agricultural Shows.  The current listings can be found if you click on the links below.

Listed on julzcraftstore.com here

USE THE COUPON CODE  customer10%off  at the checkout to get 10% off your order.

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A few pics of my new chicks ….

I just love this photo – my dog has watched over the new chicks since they hatched – despite his reservations with the grown up chickens – he has become very protective of their offspring.  This chick regularly sits on the top edge of their cardboard box, and he worries that it will jump out, so here he is nudging it back into the box!

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This chick is 3 weeks old and is probably a pure breed Buff Sussex

2 day old mixed chicks

These are some of the chicks at two days old, there are a couple of silkies in the batch, but most of them are the eggs from my own chickens – the Buff Sussex and Speckled Sussex shown below.

As they are free range, the chicks could be pure breeds or crosses of the two breeds – I will have to wait until they are fully grown to be sure, and am looking forward to seeing what the crosses look like – hopefully they will have interesting markings!

These are some of the other chicks at 3 weeks old.

 

I have been selling the fertile eggs on ebay, and I have had feedback that they are fertile, even once they have been thro’ the postal system – so I thought – I might as well advertise them here too!  Please note I can only post them within the UK.

TO BUY SOME OF THESE EGGS – PLEASE GO TO THE LISTING ON THIS SITE

BY CLICKING THIS LINK.

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Where did the lanterns go?

This post is copied over from my blog on julzcrafts.com.  The search results are obviously on this site HERE.

LANT52_001You may remember my original attempts to sell this lantern direct on this blog – see these posts!  My first attempt –   and the result!   Well – it didn’t work!  For a time I did list this one on etsy, and sold a couple of them before someone reported me to the administrators, who took the listings down.  It was a fair cop – smile – because I sell craft supplies in my etsy shop,and whilst they allow some of my gift items to be listed, they are really there to promote people who make craft items – and these are obviously not made by me!

It was another reason for me to create my own site – which by now many of you will know is JULZ CRAFT STORE.  The link is actually to the search results for lantern (it doesn’t work if you put ‘lanterns’ in the search box, because I didn’t use that word as a tag), and if you go there, you will find all the details you need, including the prices.  They range from £19.99 to £44.99.

These are the one’s I’ve listed, and I hope you might like to have a look and maybe even buy one!  They can be used indoors and outdoors!

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The birth of julzcraftstore.com – Part 3

jcsgrid_For logoThis website, with it’s accompanying blog is NOW LIVE!

So, it’s only fitting that I write this post from julzcraftstore.com, and copy it over to my other blog – julzcrafts.com.

This is your 5% off your first order Coupon Code.

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Please copy and paste it into your order on the Shopping Cart Page – if you don’t add the code exactly as it is, it won’t work!

It really has been an experience, setting up a new website, without knowing what I was doing – both technically, and with the constant question – will anyone actually buy from it!  I’ll find out the answer to the question very soon – smile.

The Good Stuff!

There are over 100 items for you to choose from, and lots of GIFT IDEAS.  I hope you will be able to find something useful that you like – please do browse the site. 

There are also a few oddities:-

please read as it will save you some confusion!

When you come to fill in your address, either on the Shopping Cart page, or in the ‘My Account’ Page – for some reason they don’t give you a scroll down list of Countries to pick from.  Please start typing the country, and it should autofill – if it doesn’t, just enter the full wording.

Please note that for the UK, Great Britain, GB or whatever you would normally use, you have to start typing United Kingdom, as it won’t accept any of the other names.

The same goes for USA – start typing United States of America – it should autofill before you get all the way thro’!

There is nothing I can do about it, and as the Shopping Cart Page is a standard fixed page, I can’t edit it to tell you to ‘Start Typing’!  I had trouble with this feature myself, and so have the friends I have asked to test the site! 

Also, there is no “Continue Shopping” prompt – but don’t worry, you can add as many items as you want to your order without visiting the shopping cart each time!

trying to help you find what you are looking for

Because there are so many listings, it’s difficult to know how to make it easy for you to find them,  especially when you don’t know what I stock!  I have sorted them into a growing number of  CATEGORIES. 

In fact, many of the listings fit into several categories, and so they may seem to have got duplicated.  I have given you suggestions on how to find what you are looking for on THE STORE page.  If in doubt – you can always get in touch with me by clicking on the TALK TO ME page.

 

trying to give you the best postage rates

As I wrote in my previous blog post – copied here from julzcrafts.com – I have racked my brains to find a simple AND fair  way to charge for postage/shipping.

I have settled on Flat Rates for all 4 shipping zones – UK – Europe – and Royal Mail’s International Zones 1 & 2.

I have had to set them to cover postage on small parcels, so in some cases, the postage will be more than you should pay, and in others it will be less – and I will make a loss!

I don’t want to be unfair – so if you reckon that your order could fit into a large envelope, please contact me BEFORE you pay for your order.

I should be able to reduce your final total on the order, as long as you tell me your name, and country, before the order is confirmed.  If not, and you have already paid, if you let me know, I will refund you the over postage through Paypal.

Similarly, I’m sorry to say, that if your order happens to be very bulky or very heavy, and be far more expensive to post that the Flat Rate, I may contact you and ask if you are prepared to pay a little extra for the postage.

However, most of the time, you will probably find that the Flat Rate is near enough to the actual cost of the postage, or even less than it should be, and I won’t bother contacting you about it!

if you have any problems using the Site

 please TALK TO ME!   

I EXPECT I HAVE MADE SOME SPELLING MISTAKES OR LEFT SOMETHING OUT OF A PRODUCT DESCRIPTION – JUST LET ME KNOW IF YOU COME ACROSS SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T LOOK RIGHT SO I CAN FIX IT!

Just to let you know, if you are on the newz from julz mailing list, I am sending you a coupon for a 10% off your first order – it may not work if you have used the 5% one already!

I look forward to hearing from you!

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