Tips for a Successful Shearing Day
Shearing is one of the most important tasks you have to do when taking care of sheep. However, it could really be a challenge if you’re still practicing the process. Although you can do it yourself with the help of the right tools, you also need the knowledge and experience to do it properly and more efficiently. The more you do this task often, the more skilled you can get.
Before the shearing day, there are some simple steps you should do to be sure that it will be a successful and hassle-free day. Whether you’re shearing sheep by yourself or let it done by a professional shearer, these tips will surely help a lot during the big day.
Don’t Feed Before Shearing
It’s harder to shear sheep when they have a full rumen because more curves it forms on the body. On the shearing day, it is best not to feed them first before they get sheared. If you’re worried the sheep may get hungry, you could leave some hay for them to eat overnight but remove all the feed during the day. After shearing, you could resume feeding as usual.
Keep Them Dry
Before shearing, be sure that their coat is dry. Collect all the goats and sheep that you are planning to shear and keep them in a pen sheltered from rain and moisture. It is a lot easier to shear dry sheep coat than a wet one.
Prepare the Working Area
Before the shearing day, be sure to prepare a clean area where the shearer will work. It is best to work in the barn if there is enough space. However, you could also work outside in a shaded area if there is no barn space available. Have some bags or boxes ready to hold the wool after shearing. Be sure that the area is clean as much as possible to avoid dirt and other stuff sticking into the shorn wool. Don’t forget to prepare regular or electric sheep shears to be used on the day.
Look for Signs of Stress
When you’re shearing during a hot day, be sure to look out for signs of heat stress in the animal. Shorn sheep are still adjusting to the new temperature without their wool covering them, making it a bit stressful for them during hot days. If it is extremely hot, you could opt to reschedule the shearing day to avoid stressing your sheep.
Keep Away Distractions from the Area
Although you can have other animals and may people on regular days, it is best to keep the shearing area free from distractions on the shearing day. Keep away all the other animals from the shearing area. It is also best not to have much people around since it could agitate the sheep and add stress to them.
With these simple tips, you can surely make the shearing day a successful one and have less hassle for the shearer as well.