My new shearer

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Maura, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    At my spinning guild on Monday we were talking about whose sheep have been shorn and whose haven't as there is a shortage of good shearers. Well, one of the ladies agreed to come out to my place and shear my sheep. She and her ex-Marine son came over and the work commenced. I soon realized that, because their animals are so tame, neither knew how to grab and hold a sheep. Her shears may do fine on llamas, but are no match for wool, especially wool with matting. She doesn't know how to hold the shears and uses a little dab dab motion (lots of second cuts). Some of the wool on my shorn critters is over an inch long, in fact one fellow looks like he was shorn two months ago! And slow. In five hours, three sheep got clipped, two while in the stantion, but my big ram was too big so he was cuddled during his suffering.

    But, she was being very careful. My only problem with the slowness was the added stress to the animals. I did use Rescue Remedy and lavender E.O., so the sheep were much calmer than they would have been. And, I used the opportunity to dredge them with Ivermectin and spray some neem oil mixture on 'em (to keep flies away).

    I was hinting that if my friend took a class she'd probably learn how to catch and hold sheep, etc., and that there's a severe shortage of shearers who are careful with the flock, so she could earn some money. And on a really bright side, her son really liked my sire ram and maybe she will take him off my hands. :)
     
  2. Ana Bluebird

    Ana Bluebird Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like you would have been okay to have just done it yourself, hugh? Lots of people do although I haven't as yet. How about getting the training and getting into the business yourself? Luckily we have several very good shearers in our area so we can pick and choose. I like those odds.
     

  3. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    I foundout about a shearer in my area-- only does sheep-- stays away from the alpaca people. Frankly, i don't blame him--- the local alpaca people are a bunch of snobs. been to their "Alpaca lifestyle" workeshop, and quire frankly-- it's a pyramid scheme. And I have seldom seen so many ways to try to get a person to buy something he does NOT want--
     
  4. dazza

    dazza Member

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    If we ever get to America I will get everyones names and come shear all your sheep :) My husband was a shearer for 8 years and I can certainly shear more than 3 in 5 hours! Even when I first learnt it only took 20min to shear 1. 2-10min usually depending ie merino, xbred.

    Can you do a class yourself? Even if you only do your own they are very helpful.

    Michaela
     
  5. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    At least they got shorn. 3 in 5 hours!? Using the old scissor type of shears or electric? That is slow, too slow, like you say the stress was a consideration. What's Rescue Remedy and how did you use the lavender EO? I'm no speed demon but then I don't have to rush and get called away between sheep, plus I catch and skirt/bag wool too, still 10 every two hours from catch to bagged, with minimal second cuts. That's using an old Sunbeam cable driven handset, if I used my new Heiniger motor in the handpeice clippers I keep for crutching it'd cut production in half. Better tools do make the job go easier.
     
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would be happy to do it myself, but I have back problems that make such activity pretty stupid.

    Rescue Remedy is a Bach Flower Remedy. It has clemetis, impatiens, helianthemum, and a couple of other flowers in it. You can buy it in a liquid, using drops under the tongue, or a spray. I have the spray. It is used in animal shelters to help calm down distraught dogs (apparently is extremely successful with impossible dogs), and at weddings for the bride (which is why I have it, DD was married at the end of May). This is the first year I've used it.

    I place a few drops of the lavender essential oil onto a wet paper towel and place in a zip lock. I put the bag over the sheep's nose and let it breath in the vapors for about ten seconds. Lavender is noted for it's calming effect. Last year I forgot the lavender and the sheep were all wiggly.

    My friend who did the shearing called me last week to let me know she had found somebody else. This woman or her son is to come out next week. Thank goodness. I'm going to have the two rams that were shorn clipped again.
     
  7. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    My first shearing experience was with shears-- not electric clippers, on sheep that had not been touched in at least two years. I have mobility issues that would put most people in a nursing home forever-- Tere is something out called a sheep chair that looks like a good way to get some sheep work done. Of course, if the animals are used to being handled, any job will go much faster.... My docs have given up on telling me what not to do-- I let my SD tell me when it has had enough-- If I listen-- the task has to wau=it-- so I have hair sheep just to avoid the shearing issue-- but at least I know how, and can do it in a pinch....
     
  8. Ranchermom

    Ranchermom Sam at the Pecan Ranch

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    Gosh you should have seen hubby and I a few weekends ago trying to shear for the first time hahahaha. We had only a book to follow and memorys of guys shearing small angora goats years ago when I was younger.

    "Get it on its rear" the books said but it didnt tell you how to get it on its rear! I got a hoof mark on my arm for my troubles.

    We ended up purchasing an electric shearer. It cost us so much its going to take three years to get our moneys worth on it.

    We tried for a month to get local shearer down here, we found two but they were too busy to do are two sheep, one didnt even bother showing up. We were willing to pay $20 a HEAD!

    There is a video out there we want to get on shearing that should help us plus just practice.

    There is a shortage of shearers, there is also a shortage of Vets that do housecalls around here. We have three around my small area and they all work with the cattle and horses but dont want to make house calls for smaller livestock.

    Hubby and I predict soon especially when the babyboomer generation start retiring here soon that more little mini farms are going to pop up and the need for shearers and housecall vets will be in demand I am already seeing it!


    Sam