Monday, March 2, 2015

Sheep Shearing-Scheduling and Facts about Sheep Shearing




March is here! I can't help but be excited.

March means Spring, and with spring comes sheep shearing, lambs, and warmer weather (we hope).

With sheep shearing on the schedule for the end of this month, I thought I would do some "repost" of shearing and wool post.




Facts about Sheep Shearing

Sometimes I am surprised by some of the "rumors' that fly around about farming.

One example of that is about sheep shearing. I have read articles that talk about the horrors of shearing sheep.  Last I checked, all of my sheep survive the shearing experience. Actually they handle it better than my toddlers did during their first hair cut!

I have heard that sheep are abused while being shorn,  even experiencing bodily injury. An experienced shearer knows how to handle a sheep,  and most of the time the sheep handle it pretty well. The lambs and yearling ewes are a little more high strung about it, but the shearer does not harm them.  Occasionally a ewe will get a nick from the clippers, but an experienced shearer usually doesn't leave a scratch! 
A good reason to hire an experienced sheep shearer. They do make the experience easier on everyone! 
( I think I  have received more injuries during shearing days, than the sheep :) )




I have heard about the unnecessary stress that sheep are put through by shearing because  a sheep will only grow the amount of wool it needs. False!  I keep sheep, we have missed shearing times, the wool gets VERY long, matted, dirty, and collects manure tags.

I have heard claims that sheep would shed their wool, naturally before summer. If only! I have never had a sheep shed its wool. If they did we wouldn't have to hire a shearer every year.

Our sheep will grow fleeces that weigh between 7-11 pounds annually.  After shearing, our sheep bounce around like lambs. I personally think they appreciate that hair wool cut! 

If you visit a farm on shearing day, you will see the sheep are handled with care, and the shearing experience takes but a few minutes.( We have our home school group coming out on shearing day, I assure you, there will be no children watching on in horror as the sheep get their annual clipping.)

Any smart farmer will not want harm to come to his/her animals. Why would they? They are an investment! It only makes sense to take care of that investment. If I had a shearer that abused my animals, or left them injured, I would be looking for a new shearer.

We pay for these sheep, they are not cheap. Most of our  ewes live their lives out here, we take good care of them. In return, they give us beautiful wool fleeces and lambs. Win, Win!

11 comments:

  1. I love it! Wish I were closer to see them sheared...beautiful.

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  2. As a handweaver who loves natural fibers, I say "Wear wool!" too! It just amazes me how so many people are so far removed from how the things they use every day come about, that they would think sheep are harmed in shearing.

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    1. I agree! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment :)

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  3. Very good post...it is sad that people have such a misguided view of normal and humane management of livestock. [I bet they eat chicken and we know how 90% of them are raised] We had a small flock of sheep when I was at home, we were very careful when we got them sheared and they were like yours...they were happy to be free of the weight of fleece.

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    1. yes, it s is true! That is why we must share our experiences, to educate!! :) Thanks for commenting.

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  4. Great info. Glad you care for your sheep. It isn't that way for most large sheep ranches.

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    1. I have never seen how big operations do it, but I still feel they would not want harm to come to their investment.

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  5. Good information, Sandra.
    Shearing is an important maintenance task to caring for sheep.

    I don't know what you consider a big sheep operation; I do know that we have neighbors with quite a few ewes. We also have a good friend that operated a sheep shearing business for many years. The sheep ranchers I know take very good care of their livestock and shearing day is no exception.

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    1. Thanks Robyn, I agree-I am sure there are abuses, but most shearers that' we have met have a healthy respect for animals, and they travel out west to shearer for the big sheep producers.

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  6. How neat! Growing up we had two seep that were sheared once..... it was interesting to watch the guy work. Thanks so much for sharing on the (mis)Adventures Mondays Blog Hop. I look forward to seeing what you will share next.

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