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Shearing time for Ambury's flock

Last updated 07:21 13/11/2012
Ambury Shearer
WOOLLY GOOD: Ambury Park ranger Janine Nillesen will get the chance to sharpen her shearing skills at the farm’s shearing day.

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The Ambury flock is lining up for another trim.

Professional shearers will be treating Ambury Regional Park Farm's more than 400 sheep to a much-needed haircut on Saturday.

And everyone's invited down to the farm in Mangere Bridge to watch.

The clippers will come out around 7am and shearing will go in two-hour runs, with half-hour breaks for morning and afternoon tea and an hour for lunch.

All the sheep are expected to be sporting new haircuts by the time work wraps around 4.30pm.

Ambury ranger Gary Hewson says twice-yearly shearings are an important part of life down on the council-owned farm.

"The first time is in May, just before lambing, to encourage the sheep to find a sheltered spot to have their lambs, giving them a greater chance of survival on a stormy night," Mr Hewson says.

"The second time is in mid-November, for comfort through the long hot summer months which we all know are just around the corner."

The crack team of professionals can shear between 20 and 40 sheep an hour - an average of one every two minutes.

The wool is then sorted and pressed into bales, ready for sale.

Work will be postponed if the lead-up to shearing day is too wet - damp sheep can't be shorn properly and their wool will rot if removed.

Call the Auckland Council on 301 0101 if it has been raining to check if shearing is still going ahead.

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- Manukau Courier

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