Sheep clippers

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Mark T, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. Mark T

    Mark T Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Central Virginia
    What does everyone use for sheep clippers?

    The local tractor supply has only one model - a Wahl - which sells for $250 plus $40 for blades.

    Someone please tell me that there is a cheaper alternative. I only have four sheep that need to be sheared.
  2. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2005
    I just recieved my new pair of Oster Shearmaster clippers from Jeffers today - $250.00... I use them for fitting for shows....Yes, they are expensive, arent they? then comes all the "goodies" that come along with them to buy, blades, cutters, in all the different sizes...yikes!
    Have you thought about shearing them with hand shears? only $14.00 or so?
    How about contacting your local 4H office and asking the sheep leaders if they, or someone they know will shear them for you?

  3. ovsfarm

    ovsfarm Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2003
    Does anyone know if the "people style" clippers would work for two normal wool sheep, a little clean up here and there on some Soay, and an annual barrel cut for a couple of llamas? I got a great deal on a Wahl clipper set from dh's aunt who is disposing of some of her excess beauty salon stuff. If I can't use them for the critters, then I will put them to use on dh!

    And I would only be using the clippers once a year. However, the wool sheep are my new Cormos, with very thick, fine fiber. My Soays pretty much shed, but I like to be done with all the fiber gathering at the same time, so I cut whatever hasn't dropped off itself from them. And then the two guard llamas just need a barrel cut for cooling down in the heat. Is there a way to keep these clippers clean enough to make them work? I used a "real" clipper a couple of years ago and it was too heavy for me to control very well (one of the $250+ kind). Last year we used scissors--and I got the blisters to prove it. Also I would have preferred not to have so many second cuts as I use the fiber for felting and hate the lumps. My life would be much simpler if I can use these lower end Wahl's for the little bit I have to cut per year.

  4. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2005
    In my experience, unfortunatly no.... I thought the same thing, I didnt want to use my heavy sheep clippers (Oster ) just to do the bellys of my lambs for show fitting... no such luck.. even on the 3 month old lambs, wouldnt even take the fuzz off... nothing... nada, zilch! Tried on the llamas as well and got the same result... shew, I guess I would say you need to use those heavy 'ol things or back to the scissors (ouch!)
  5. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

    May 11, 2002
    Now in Virginia
    With "Listers" biggest shears (The orange ones) you can change blades to be able to do any kind of shearing you want. And enough power to go through the toughest sheep fleece.
    Was the only shears I could find that could do it all.
  6. luvrulz

    luvrulz Well-Known Member Supporter

    Feb 3, 2005
    I'm a lefty - hubby is right handed. Will we have to buy both left and right handed combs or blades or whatever. Or is that going to make a difference. (We're new to this shearing thing and need *all the help we can get*!

    Many thanks! Joellen
  7. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

    Jun 29, 2002
    River Valley, Arkansas
    We just call a couple of 4H kids and they shear ours for $7.00 each and since we only have two that are wool sheep it's cheaper for us this way.

    Our other sheep are hair sheep and don't require shearing.
  8. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

    May 12, 2002
    New Zealand
    Joellen, as you can see from this link some combs have longer and curved teeth and are not symetrical. For a left hander I suggest avoiding this type as the longer teeth would be, in my opinion, more likely to cause nicks and even serious cuts. Otherwise, as far as I know, the shearing equipment would be the same for a left hander.

  9. stellie

    stellie Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2004
    We've been in the sheep business for ten years, now, and we've gone through two electric shears (both are still in use) and a couple sets of hand shears.

    I highly recommend this video -- Shearing Techniques with Fiona Nettleton Videotape -- we watch it a few times each year right before shearing season.

    I want to say we have an Oster shearmaster and we also have an over-head shear machine, generally seen outside the US. I can't seem to find a picture for reference, but the motor is raised up into the air -- usually with several different ropes; our's has it's own metal stand that my father constructed for it -- and the hand-piece is a LOT lighter and doesn't get as hot as fast as the other electric clippers.

    With time, if you only have a few sheep, you can easily shear them with just a regular pair of scissors (I've done it in a pinch and I've done it because I was bored -- it is, by far, my most favorite way to shear) -- not as easy to cut an animal was regular scissors as it is with a pair of hand shears (hand-operated sheep shearing scissors), although they do spring back open and keep your hands from tiring quickly.

    If you want to persue electric shearing, I MUCH prefer the over-head machine to the hand-held machine. Light and effecient, but much more expensive. By far, the best set of electric hand-held machines have been our Osters -- don't break, just get a bit hot to hold. I'm a 145-pound woman and I've been using that set since I was 13 years old and 100-pounds. That's how good they are.

    To reduce your chances of cutting an animal with your electric shears, be sure the fleeces are not felted, are reasonably clean and don't hide wrinkles in the skin. A 21-tooth goat comb for the electric shears is the best way to keep from cutting the animal -- the more teeth, the less chance. Blades for should be kept sharp and tension must be correct. Highly recommend the video for any beginning shearer.

    If you do not wish to shear, request names of shearers in your area from your local extension office/agriculture agency. Prices for shearing are per head and run between $3 to $7 -- some ask for the fleeces when they charge lower prices. Some ask for lunch or light snack with access to drinking water and ice. Have your sheep dry and locked up in a holding pen the night before the shearer is to come so the sheep empty out - they'll struggle less and they won't empty out on the shearing board, contaminating the newly shorn fleece.

    Good luck.
  10. CountryFried

    CountryFried Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2003

    I just finished shearing 7 sheep by hand, and the only thing sore is my arms and legs from wrestling them to the stand. My hand is fine !

    I have a Premier 4000 electric setup, but.... I keep having trouble with getting it to cut the fleeces well. Last year we broke a part on it , so came the introduction to hand shears.

    I like hand shears because they are quieter , and I can get the best cut to make the most of the wool for spinning.

    I'd like to get the book that describes it in better detail as I hear it is really good. I think that is by Kevin Ford.

    Good luck !