When to shear January lambs?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by ovsfarm, Jun 14, 2005.

  1. ovsfarm

    ovsfarm Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 13, 2003

    So I got those Cormos that I have previously mentioned and I think I am really going to like them. Their fiber is incredible and their personality is quite sweet. And if I am in top form, I am actually, occasionally, faster than they are!

    My question is when to shear these guys. They were born early in January and seem quite wooly to me now. Should I shear them now or wait until next spring and do them then? Would there be any health risks associated with waiting? (It does get very hot and humid here in the mid-Ohio valley during the summer.) Since all my other sheep are Soays that shed, I am not sure how to proceed with these "regular" sheep. And I would hate to ruin their lamb fleeces.

  2. backachersfarm

    backachersfarm Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2005

    Most lambs wool is too short to do much with. You can do some blending with it if you are going to try to spin it. The only lamb fleeces I try to work with are what i get from the Romneys. We always shear them off when it starts getting hot. They grow better and are more comfortable. If you leave it on them till next yr the chances of it being brittle on the tips is very high. Brittle is a bad thing for spinning wool and requires going thru and cutting them off before you process the wool. If you don't cut them off they will turn into little nips in the yarn.


  3. livestockmom

    livestockmom Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2005
    We sheared all our lambs ( wool sheep too ) and they were Dec, Jan, Feb lambs.
    makes them more comfortable and they will grow out better.
  4. stellie

    stellie Well-Known Member

    Nov 14, 2004
    How long is the staple now? If they've got wool you're interested in doing something with AND have a long staple (3" or more) you can trim their belly wool completely off and they should fair well for the summer. Belly wool is generally inferiour to the rest of the fleece and should be skirted from the fleece when shearing. The most heat from a sheep comes from their belly, as they're constantly working those stomachs.

    Once their bellies are shorn, you'll find they'll eat better in the heat than previously. If they're friendly and you've your wits about you, take a pair of decent scissors and do the job yourself (unless you're able to shear your own with electric shears).

    If the staple is short, it's probably best to have the lambs shorn completely and then again in March. Generally first wool has tight staple ends and is undesireable for most things. By March, the fleece will have grown out to a good length. Your choice, of course :) Good luck.