shearing suggestions?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by tavia, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. tavia

    tavia Well-Known Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    I have to do some sheep shearing. I don't have electricity. I have some big scary hand shears. I've never been shown the "proper" way to shear with the holds and all that. I don't think I can learn from the pictures in my books.
    A few years back, a friend showed me her method where you put them on my goat's milking stand, and part their wool down their back and shear going down each side with scissors. I'm not fond of this method. It takes forever (2 hours a sheep)(does it always take forever by hand?) PLus you end up with pieces intead of a nice continuous fleece.
    Should I stick with what I know or try to learn the right way. Any websites with good shearing info? Is it really best to take a class or something to learn the holds and stuff?
    Thanks, Tavia
  2. kesoaps

    kesoaps Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2004
    Washington State
    If you've already done it one way, and it works for you, stick with it. I do it more like your friend, and it really doesn't bother me to have the fleece in pieces. But there are folks who do it rather the same as with electric clippers...standing the sheep up on it's behind and just truck right along!

  3. MommaSasquatch

    MommaSasquatch Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    I shear standing too. I don't feel confident trying to hold the sheep in position and not injure them with the hand shears at the same time. OK, so I don't have worlds of experience, but I average about 30 minutes per sheep. Only one took an hour, and she was being very, very uncooperative. I haven't done it with them in a stanchion, just tied to a fence post. I use household scissors for some of the difficult parts where I'm afraid I'll hurt them with the big shears.
  4. dave85

    dave85 dave85

    Feb 26, 2005
    Sunnyvale, CA,wanting to get to MO
    are you shearing? What kind/breed?
  5. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    Saw a picture depicting life in the 1200's.
    A couple guys with contented smiles were shearing sheep. The sheep were in their laps like big dogs. I told my sheep about this, and they all thought it was so very funny.
  6. DocM

    DocM Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    NW OR
    I've witnessed a guy shearing by hand, in Australia, and he would just flip it over and start from the belly, snipping away like mad (must have been hella sharp hand shears), did the entire sheep in about 6 or 7 minutes - it was crazy. Flipping them is too hard on my back, and I find the fleece gets pretty dirty, I use a sheep fitting stand, or a milk stand in a pinch, start from the hind end, get the dingleberries off first, then work forward, rolling the fleece as I go. It takes me a good hour with hand shears, about 12 minutes with my oster sheeps head. Those shears really need to be sharp. The only ones I've ever bought that were sharp enough out of the box were from Sullivans.