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Odd Machinery

sheep20shearing20machine-mAs an avid fan of all those nature shows, I always pictured sheep-shearing as something akin to calf roping. Apparently my grand-dad did sheep shearing along with a lot of other farming tasks. My dad planned to make a chicken feather plucker so as to avoid the defeathering of butchered chickens task. Butchering chickens was an all day project, started after morning chores and lasting through the afternoon. Plucking all those feathers was a messy task; burning the pinfeathers a smelly project, then cleaning and cutting them up for freezing. Dad loved fried chicken but hated all the preceding tasks. Thus the feather plucker.

I have never actually sheared a sheep, although I’ve had a go at reducing fur load on first a poodle mix and now an Aussie Shepherd mix. At one time I bought raw wool–unprocessed–a smelly oily product that I quickly passed on to someone else.

I don’t know exactly how this sheep shearing machine worked or how it was adjusted to accommodate different sized sheep or different thickness of coats. But someone disliked the task enough to make this machine.

On display at the Whitehead Memorial Museum in Del Rio Texas along with some other oddities.



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