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RusticWildFire 02-12-2009 03:56 PM

Sheep Shearing
I was wondering if anyone here knows anything about shearing sheep and what the best kind of shearers are?

Angel_Leaguer 02-13-2009 03:11 PM

what fun!!!! (or

Are you going to shearing the sheep for showing or just give it a cut? Your clippers can vary from regular hand clippers to very expensive electric clippers. If you are showing the sheep the ewes (females) need to be hand clipped and carded, and trimmed, etc... intensive work basically... where the market weathers or market ewes need to have a really close shear with basically no wool.

When I showed, we would do a general shear job with our clippers and then wash the lamb, and then borrow a really nice clippers to finish the job up. Here is a decent article on shearing a market lamb for show

RusticWildFire 02-13-2009 03:35 PM

Thank you for that!

It doesn't have to be a nice job. They just haven't been sheared since 2 summers ago so this spring they need to be done. We haven't been able to get someone to come do them since our 4-H leader got rid of all of her sheep. Well, we got one 2 summers ago but he cut them up so bad that I will not allow him back. There was blood all over the floor and the sheep were afraid of us for weeks. It was a terrible experience.

Just anything to get the wool off. Some sort of semi-cheap hand held clippers would be best. We've been looking around on Ebay and such just don't know what to look for!

wild_spot 02-15-2009 07:48 PM

Most shearers will cut the sheep, its how it is unfortunately. Some places, such as the ears, bleed buckets from tiny cuts, making it look much worse than it is! It depends on how dirty/sticky the wool is and how sharp the handpiece is on how much the sheep gets cut up. If you take is reallly slowly on a clean sheep it isn't too bad, but if they haven't been shorn for two years they will have a lot fo wool on them, which may make it harder to get a clean clip. My dad used to shear and woolclass, nowadays he only shears the three sheep that live at our PC, and will lend a hand at crutching time. For general shearing an electric handpiece is used. Do you have a shed or somewhere set up for shearing? If not you might need a generator.

Have they been crutched or wigged in the time since they were last shorn? If not, you should look into it for the future... if they aren't shorn and crutched regularly they can go wool blind, get floyblown, get dags... Mostly its not nice! :] Crutching is a quick job, just taking the wool off around their bum, pizzle for the guys, and around their head so they can see. What breed of sheep are they? Sheep such as Suffolk, Dorset etc won't need to be wigged but Merino's will.

RusticWildFire 02-15-2009 08:05 PM

Thanks for the info!

They are Navajo-Churro/Clun Forrest mix. We do clip the fur around their bum sometimes. Usually when we do the feet.

When we had the other sheep shearer he would nick them a bit here and there. I understand that that is going to happen and that's fine. But this guy shaved off large patches of their skin. Mostly on the shoulder and rump area. Really really deep. It took a few weeks to heal it was so bad. We had to do our bandage them because they were just gaping wounds. And let me tell you, bandaging a shoulder is tough!! lol I'm sure you could imagine though.

Anywho, We do have electricity in the barn and a big open space to do it so that is no problem. I'm thinking some sort of handheld electric clippers would be best. I don't want something huge and fancy that costs a lot.

wild_spot 02-15-2009 08:19 PM

Ah so you are planning on buying clippers and doing it yourself? I just goggled those breeds, as we don't have them in Australia... The Navajo-Churro breed seems to have a more carpet type wool. I'm not sure of any differences in shearing the more carpet type wool as opposed to the super-fine wool we shear here. You would need clippers with a wide head, otherwise it will take you forever!

Just through a google search... Actual Shearing handpieces are very pricey... You could try horse/dog clippers. Not sure how they would cut through wool though.

RusticWildFire 02-15-2009 08:56 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Hmm Okay. When we had just one a guy did her for us with small clippers and it did take a while. We only have 4 though so it's not toooo bad if it takes a little while. I don't want it to take forever though for the sheeps sake.We have been looking at something sort of like this
Shearmaster® Single Speed - Oster Clippers
They do have thick wool.

The first two aren't the Navajo Churro/Clun forrest mix. I don't remember exactly what they are though. We got them from some friends a while back.
In the second picture the white one in the back has really really thick wool. The black one is more stringy.

wild_spot 02-15-2009 09:57 PM

Okay. They actually look pretty similar to the wool off our crossbreds here (Merino/White Suffolk cross). Do they live in thos pens most of the time? It's winter over there yes? So that would mean they would have pretty clean fleece, not too much dust and dirt in the wool, which will be a bit easier on the clippers. Those clippers look pretty good. Do you have a whetstone to sharpen the cutter if it gets dull? A dull cutter is the surest way to take chunks out of your sheep! If not, maybe see if you canbuy a spare cutter or two with the clippers, and replace it when it gets dull. They have a fair bit of fleece on them so it will be a longer than normal job anyway.

RusticWildFire 02-16-2009 09:08 AM

They are only in those pens for the winter. It's much easier for us as it gets so cold in the winters. We have to break ice pretty much every day and such. I don't have a wheel for that so I'm thinking we may need to buy a few extra cutters.

They do look similar to the breeds you mentioned. And after a quick google search I rememberd that the first pair have dorset in them. I can't remember what else still though.

Again, thanks for all of your help!

wild_spot 02-16-2009 07:12 PM

No problems :]

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