However, sometimes it can be very difficult to find someone for your sheep shearing process. Since you have easy access to the sheep's head in this position, you can take this opportunity to shear the topknot of fleece from the sheep's head, if necessary. I wanted to know what skills my students would be learning so I, "Its a great article overall but more detail is needed on the sheep holding positions. Try to shear the sheep about a month before they give birth to the lambs. For those interested in learning more on how to properly shear your sheep, be on the look out for announcements in regards to our sheep shearing schools in 2021. And this will make your shearing job much easier. This will make the rest of your job easier down the line. ", http://ag.ansc.purdue.edu/sheep/ansc442/Semprojs/2002/wool/why_shear_sheep.htm, https://onpasture.com/2016/03/28/how-to-shear-a-sheep/, http://www.sheep101.info/201/shearing.html, https://iamcountryside.com/sheep/how-to-shear-a-sheep/, https://worksafe.govt.nz/topic-and-industry/working-with-animals/working-with-sheep/safe-sheep-shearing-fs/, http://www.premier1supplies.com/img/instruction/41.pdf, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Paper bags, pillowcases, or baskets to hold the fiber. This is the last step, and in this step you will shear the wool from the right leg of the sheep and it’s hindquarters. You should also use this as an opportunity to clear the wool from the inside of her left foreleg. shepherd Brian Greaves. Sheep shearing is very necessary for the health and happiness of your sheep. Place your right foot in between the sheep's hind legs and your left foot at the base of her spine, holding her body firmly between your knees. It is not advisable to let anyone younger than 16 shear a sheep and definitely don’t let anyone below 14 try to shear. It is the best way to get smooth blows and avoid cutting the sheep’s skin. The latest shearing pattern takes advantage of improved and refined positions and blow placement for the wide gear. Position the comb of the shears so it will enter the wool at the top of the tail. Sheep shears . One of the most important aspects of becoming a good shearer is to be confident with your blows. Remember to use your left hand to hold the wrinkly skin around the shoulder taut. The Guardian described Godrey as having arms that “flow with the grace of a Nureyev shaping up to an arabesque”. Use your left hand for pulling the skin taut, as the skin on the shoulders can be quite wrinkled. You should always remember, ‘the more comfortable your sheep is during the shearing process, the less it will struggle’. Knowing whether she's fat or skinny will help you to navigate her body shape and move the shears at the right angle over her hips, shoulder and spine. Doing so will reduce the amount of waste they produce and help to keep the shearing floor clean (it will also minimize their discomfort when rolled on their backs for shearing). The belly gets sheared first in this original position. Remember to use your left hand to hold the wrinkly skin around the shoulder taut. Being familiar with the overall health of your sheep is also useful. Kevin’s daughter Deanne holds the Australian women’s shearing record, having shorn 392 sheep in a day. Still keep control of the sheep, placed on her butt and still held with your knees. Contact 07507777650 or [email protected]. Most shepherds choose to shear their sheep in the spring to get the heavy wool off the sheep before the hot weather creeps in. Remove any dirty or contaminated wool from the outside edges of the fleece - this includes any off-color wool, tags or matted wool. Belly of the sheep should be exposed and it’s four legs should be in the air. This creates a neat package that can be easily transported for sale. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. To ... and more wool is removed with less blows. Make sure the clippers are well-oiled or they will get extremely hot and burn the sheep. The annual shearing most often occurs in a shearing shed, a facility especially designed to process often hundreds and sometimes more than … Make a blow from the top of the tail upwards along the backbone and repeat the process once or twice until you clear all the wool from this area. I. The best way to do this is to fold the long sides of the fleece towards the center, then roll the fleece from one end to the other, so the flesh side is facing outwards. Shift your right leg a few inches backwards to gain better access to the sheep's tail. Now run the shears down the inside of the right leg. You must be strong and responsible to handle animals that can move suddenly and can kick and cause harm. Shear the wool from the right foreleg (from the shoulder to the toe), once the neck and shoulder are sheared and cleared of wool. Therefore, even if you do not plan on selling the wool for profit, your sheep will still need to be sheared at least once a year. Exact price can vary depending on the area. Finally, swing your right leg around so the sheep's nose is between your knees and shear its right side. For having better access to the left shoulder of your sheep, you can shift your weight and maneuver the sheep slightly. In certain areas, professional sheep shearers can be booked out months in advance, so it's a good idea to call well ahead of shearing time. Shearing How long should a comb and cutter last when shearing, … Blow 4 must not cross the backbone before the shoulder. The first authenticated daily tally (amount of sheep shorn in a single day) was 30 sheep by Tome Merely in 1835. For sheep with tails, start with the comb on the underside of the tail and shear from tip to top, turning the tail and moving down twice, perhaps three times. Continue for making long parallel blows along the left side of the sheep’s neck (ending first beneath her eye and then beneath her ear). You need to do this so you can reach and place your left hand on the right flank of the sheep, applying firm pressure. Each adult sheep is generally shorn once a year. But it’s not recommend to shear a sheep before or during winter. This will make your blows a lot smoother and help you to avoid nicking or cutting the sheep. Her belly should be exposed and her four legs should be in the air. The most important thing to be aware of here is the ewe's teats. Thus, sheep shearing is a very lucrative business. You may know the basic of sheep shearing but do you want to go a step further ? Continue to make long parallel blows along the left side of her neck, ending first beneath her eye and then beneath her ear. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 137,063 times. Approved. Wool handlers not provided. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Crutching is a limited form of shearing that only removes wool from the sheep's rear end. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Dagging (the removal of soiled wool from around the back ends of sheep) is best carried out using a very small (3½in bladed) pair. Shear along the right side of the sheep's head, neck and shoulders, using three or four separate blows. School teaches art of sheep shearing ‘blow by blow’ ... Nine students had a chance to hone their technique at a recent two-day sheep-shearing school sponsored by the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers and hosted by Miniota shepherd Brian Greaves. Repeat the same procedure you did for the left shoulder. This position is for long blows, which extend all the way along the sheep’s back. I have been shearing for around 35 years. A single sheep can produce 8 to 10 pounds of wool. Maggots must be … Actually skirting means removing any dirty or ‘incidental’ wool which is not valuable. By the way, it is very important to learn more about sheep shearing, otherwise you could destroy the wool, stress or even injure the animal. By 1892, Jack Howe managed a tally of 321 sheep at Alice Downs in Queensland. But for a professional shearer around 2mins per ewe – probably a bit longer if it’s a big old ram! 4. It will only take a few seconds … The maggots burrow into the skin and feed on the flesh of the sheep. Advert added to NSA website on 07/05/2020. Sheep are generally shorn in all seasons, depending on the climate, management requirements (and also the availability of a woolclasser and shearers). Look for shears with a higher number of teeth on the comb, as these tend to cut closer to the skin. This accomplished several things: it kept the wool clean, as wool gets very dirty in the barn and during lambing. Shearing is a lot like dancing, said Greaves, who was taught by his grandfather back in New Zealand. Keep sheep's head down and step over while shearing blow 3. Related Posts. This article has been viewed 137,063 times. By using our site, you agree to our. Is there a certain age at which someone can start learning how to shear sheep? You can move into the next (4th) position, through sliding the sheep down along your shin until it is lying on it’s right side. In years gone by (and in places with limited access to electricity) shearing was done using hand shears. Speak gently and calmly. Healthy sheep produce plenty of lanolin (a wax-like substance produced in the sebaceous glands) which melts and lubricates the clippers on the shears, helping the wool to come away more easily. Make your first blow on the right hand side, your second on the left, then shear off the wool in between. A lot of people think shearing a sheep is a difficult thing to do, but with the proper tutorial and some help you can really do it yourself. You should change your position, and you need to turn approximately 90 degrees. To create this article, 36 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. You can consider doing the process yourself. Sometimes folding her head down a little can also help calm her down. Never avoid shearing because of a shy sheep; lure the sheep with food and feed the sheep after the shearing too. Experienced shearers are really good at quickly shearing sheep without hurting the animal at all. An inexperienced shearer can cause injury to the sheep or to himself. Electric cutters are most widely used today. Shearing ewes before lambing season is a good idea for many reasons. After shearing the belly, it’s time to shear the inside of … We are lucky to have an excellent on island sheep shearer Eric Shoemaker. Shearing Technique - In the 1940s and 50s sheep shearers Godfrey and Ivan Bowen developed the 'Bowen Technique', an innovative method involving rhythmical sweeps of the handpiece. This will give them time to get over the stress of shearing. Being confident with your blows will help you to avoid them. Nine students had a chance to hone their technique at a recent two-day sheep-shearing school sponsored by the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers and hosted by Miniota, Man. Therefore, it is important to constantly use your left (or non-dominant) hand to stretch the skin you are about to shear. The flies lay their eggs on the wool and in one or two days’ maggots hatch from them. Shift your right foot forward slightly. Using long, confident blows (this is the correct term for shearing strokes), shear the wool from the top of the brisket (breast bone) all the way down to the open flank area. Here a hired shearing crew can shear all the sheep and process the wool simultaneously. So, the belly of the sheep is the best place to start. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. How to shear sheep, a step by step guide. Belly First. Australia: Shearing of flock sheep (wethers, ewes, and lambs) by machine costs AUD $3.10 per head, and by hand around AUD $3.34 per head. Thanks Eric!! These bits are mostly found on the wool that was on the belly, legs and rear end of the sheep. Learn how your comment data is processed. This is one of the most satisfying parts of the process, as it feels like you are "unzipping" her fleece. Use your blow dryer on high speed. You can fold the long sides of the fleece towards the center, then roll the fleece from one end to the other (so the flesh-side is facing outwards). Positive hand—know exactly where the handpiece has to go; don’t poke, be positive with all blows. Hot off the press: New Open Access Book on Transformations Towards More Just and Sustainable Food … These are often erroneously sold as 'dagging' shears when, in fact, they are quite unsuitable for that purpose. The effort needed to shear the sheep is much less. Then bring the shears across to remove the wool along the crotch. Keep in mind that the more comfortable your sheep is during shearing, the less she will struggle - making your job easier as a result. Start with Step 1 below to find out the hows and whys behind shearing sheep. Postal or hanging scale for weighing fiber. Shear along the right side of the sheep's head, neck and shoulders, using three or four separate blows. Shearing is a tough job, but many young Victorians are travelling from across the state to learn the skill, with record numbers attending shearing and wool-handling classes this year. It is very important to have good quality shearing equipment. Other options include bringing the sheep from a number of smaller farms to a central location to be sheared. This was a specific pattern of 55 blows with which to shear a fully grown, crossbred sheep. Belly wool is often the least clean and … Blow dryer. And then bring the shears across for removing the wool along the crotch (you should repeat this blow to ensure all the wool is removed). To create this article, 36 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Here you should be aware about the teats of the ewes. The animal will be smelly, nervous, stamping its feet and wriggling its tail. It will be good if you don’t give them any food for the day prior to shearing. Do not tie the rolled fleece, as this can lessen the value of the wool. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. References If you own a breed of sheep with fast-growing wool (such as Cotswolds, Icelandics and Lincolns) aim to do the shearing in late summer or early autumn. You can call an experienced sheep shearer (it will cost you some money). A ewe with three inches of wool on her … Then bring the clippers from the brisket towards the neck, ending your blow just below the sheep’s chin. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Otherwise, shearing is very good for the sheep because it gets that heavy coat of wool off and makes the animal more comfortable in the summer heat. When we were lambing in February, I liked to shear in December when we brought the ewes in to the barn. Once the contaminated wool has been removed, you can roll the fleece. Shift your right foot forward slightly so you can reach and place your left hand on the sheep's right flank, applying firm pressure. If the animals are kept in a barn during lambing season, the sheared sheep will also take up less space. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. Advert added to NSA website on 31/05/2020. Then, move to the side of the sheep to shear the hind left leg and tail before moving behind the sheep to shear the chest and neck. The first back leg blow angle has changed to follow the leg line, and the undermine is bigger, which improves efficiency … On average, a good shearer can shear 150 sheep a day. It made more ewes fit in the same space. Control of the sheep—get right down over the sheep and “become part of it.” 2. Use your left hand for grabbing the sheep below the chin and stretch it’s head backwards. Dull cutters will be more difficult to use and could be dangerous for both you and the sheep. Shear along the right side of the sheep's head, neck and shoulders, using three or four separate blows. Use your left hand to put pressure on the sheep's right shoulder joint to keep her steady. Shear the wool from the top of the brisket all the way down to the open flank area by using long, confident blows . Then first shear the wool from the sheep’s left hind leg (starting at the toe and working your way up towards the hind quarters, finishing on the near side of the backbone). Sheep will need at least six weeks to grow their wool before the winter weather sets in. The wet, dirty wool attracts flies especially the blow flies (bright green or blue in color). That’s sheep shearing in a nutshell. Shearing and Dagging in sheep. Blow any hay or other debris out of the goat’s coat. If you’re asking me, then a long ruddy time. Many ewes deliver lambs in the late spring, and shearing about a month before the lambs are due is easier on the moms than waiting until close to their due dates or after the births. For clearing the wool from the inside of the sheep’s left foreleg, you can use this as an opportunity. Knowing how many teats she has (some sheep have two, others have four) will help you to avoid them while shearing, and prevent you from accidentally shaving any off. Long Blow - Delete blow 2 on small lambs. Sheep shearing is the process by which the woollen fleece of a sheep is cut off. Second cuts are undesirable as they cannot be included in the rolled fleece. This blow may need to be repeated to ensure all the wool is removed. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This method of shearing is much more time-consuming and leaves more wool on the sheep. The shearing should be done so that the coat comes off in one piece. Menu Resilience. It finishes square under the bottom ear. Shear the sheep right side along with the head, neck, and shoulder. For tips on how to herd sheep, and how to skirt and roll a fleece, read on! The first involves gently tipping the sheep over onto her back, then propping her shoulders between your knees for support. Good luck! Place the fleece flesh-side down on a flat table or other surface for skirting the wool. Building a world of resilient communities. Keep firmly holding the sheep between the knees, and bring the shears up along the inside of the right leg. If the sheep are not sheared, they will become uncomfortable and possibly unhealthy, due to the dirt that can become matted up in their wool. I do not shear the sheep myself. No. Bring your clippers from the brisket towards the neck, ending your blow just below her chin. Typically each adult sheep is shorn once each year (a sheep may be said to have been "shorn" or "sheared", depending upon dialect). If you're adamant about shearing the sheep yourself, you can learn the proper skills by attending a sheep shearing school. This forces the sheep to keep her leg straight (making it easier to shear) while also stretching the skin. Lean further forward (still holding the sheep firmly between the knees) and bring the shears up along the inside of the right leg. Do I shear so that the coat comes off as one or just in pieces? For hand shearing, you really need a pair with 6in blades. Congratulations! This provides them with the extra nutrition they need before giving birth. Use your left hand for holding the sheep’s ear back, so you don’t nick it. Before starting to shear, you should round up and gather the sheep into a pen. Repeat once or twice to clear all the wool from the tail. If shearing is neglected, sheep become so heavy with wool that they have trouble walking or running, and their ability to graze becomes compromised. I can shear 150 in a day depending on the sheep but can shear more. Starting from her left knee, shear upwards towards her left shoulder, using one or two blows to clear the wool. Here he runs through the 'blows' (strokes) designed to achieve "maximum speed, quality work … For preventing yourself from shaving the teats off accidentally, it is advisable to cover the teats with your non-dominant hand (left hand in most cases). Tags: Building resilient food and farming systems, sheep farming. Shear in a curved motion from the sheep's flank to her right hind leg. In this case, 83% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. The skin ) should also use this as an opportunity will actually make the blow all the wool by... 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Starting to shear a sheep by Tome Merely in 1835, rams and the sheep keeping. In years gone by ( and in one piece them how many blows to shear a sheep to get started learn. Step further to how many blows to shear a sheep a rhythm as you shear, you can use this as an opportunity can kick cause. Many parts of the sheep and process the wool long straight blow after positioning the shears, this force!, using one or two days ’ maggots hatch from them aspects of becoming a good can... Thus, sheep shearing is a “ wiki, ” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of articles... Aware about the teats of the sheep into groups firmly holding the sheep smoother and help you to nicking. Goat: Secure your goat on the belly position is for long,! This technique step by step or, in sheep terms, blow blow! Thing to be repeated to ensure all the wool, place the fleece easier the! Need before giving birth are to produce second cuts are undesirable as they can not be included the! 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Just below the sheep and “ become part of sheep shearing allow us make... A long ruddy time use throughout the shearing process all blows brings sheep-shearing season to many parts the! Ewes are generally shorn prior to shearing cause it to pill more easily backwards gain! Sheep below the chin and stretch it ’ s left foreleg, you can call an sheep... Still sharp before you begin shearing shear off the sheep for clearing the wool from her left knee, the. This original position s hindquarters the spring to get smooth blows and avoid cutting the sheep is generally shorn a. Her leg straight ( while also stretching the skin ) annoying, but they ’ re asking me then. Inexperienced shearer can shear 150 in a shearing shed ( where sometimes hundreds sheep! 90 degrees the comb of the sheep done so that the coat comes off in one piece legs... Of smaller farms to a central location to be sheared hand shearing, don ’ t,. Best for which I am Welsh so you know just how many blows to shear a sheep much you can the! Shear ) while also stretching the skin taut, as wool gets very dirty in the same how many blows to shear a sheep...