NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: fly strike  (Read 687 times)


  • Joined Mar 2014
  • lower whitley
fly strike
« on: July 05, 2019, 07:40:37 pm »
We were late shearing 2 Zwartbles this year, but when we came to do it there we maggots on its back. none in flesh, just in wool, but in case anyone else is late shearing, its out there.
By the by, sheared the sheep ourselves for the first time. A success if not brisk at 2 per hour. Easier than I thought it would be, except on my back!
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: fly strike
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2019, 08:55:35 pm »
If you don't mind me asking - how did you shear them? Hand shears? Electric? Did you hire/burrow/buy them? Where they expensive?
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.


  • Joined Dec 2015
  • North coast of Scotland
Re: fly strike
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2019, 03:49:08 pm »
I've got one who evaded gathering to do when we get a break in the rain (north of Scotland appears to be experiencing markedly different weather to the rest of the country  :raining: :raining:) - I have a pair of Burgon & Ball hand shears and one of their sharpeners, total cost about £35.


  • Joined Jul 2019
Re: fly strike
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2019, 11:36:31 am »
Despite Fly Strike being, on the rise, in the two years, of keeping sheep, touch wood I have never had a case of it.
What I use is a Garlic lick bucket, and once a week, I put a garlic powder, over sheeps feed.
The neighbours who rear sheep, have been hit hard last 2yrs.
My pigs, goats etc all get it.
And despite getting a bit of dirty bottoms, when put on fresh grass. No maggots  :excited:


  • Joined Mar 2014
  • lower whitley
Re: fly strike
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2019, 12:22:06 pm »
I did the following maths. Annual shearer bill £60 for 7-10 sheep. He gives great advice but normally comes after promising to come at least 3 times! Shears from Sure-clip £95 plus shearing blade, total £110. So in 2 years they will pay for themselves. It took about 25 minutes per sheep to shear, but was seriously hard work! The results are ok, and only nicked each sheep a few times, so factor in a bit of blue antibiotic spray!!


  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: fly strike
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2019, 12:40:59 pm »
Sadly I'm a  bit old and knackered for wrangling my heavy pet sheep to self-shear. Usually get them done by a farmer who I met in't pub when we first moved down.
We did have one badly flyblown last year while waiting for shearing and I dug out the shears I'd bought (just in case) - ebay stuff but actually works well via an inverter and the car battery. Sadly after half a sheep the clipper blade fell apart. I did later find the screw and reassemble it properly but at the time I carried on using kitchen scissors. Now that IS hard work. It took probably an hour and a half of lying on my belly with V hanging onto sheep to get it done..all except for the tail which was impossible with hand scissors and covered in maggots. That was when common-sense kicked in and I nipped down the road and borrowed a pair of shears from a real farmer.
This year my usual go-to farmer for getting him to shear my sheep was unable to help. I did have a contingency plan from one local farmer I'd discussed it with last year but as it goes I was chatting with yet another farmer and it turned out his son was into shearing now and got volunteered. Better still he brought a dog to round them up instead of me chasing them around with the quadbike then efficiently sheared all 8.

I had no idea how much to pay him... previous guy used to get two bottles of decent thank-you whisky. So I asked the lad if £40 and the fleece was OK and he seemed happy enough to do them next year.
The point of that rambling saga is - get to know your neighbouring farmers.


  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: fly strike
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 11:25:47 am »
The point of that rambling saga is - get to know your neighbouring farmers.

Definitely and jump at the chance to do them any favour you can and generally be a good neighbour!


  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: fly strike
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2019, 01:21:44 pm »
Finally got my 2 sheared yesterday, just in time with this hot weather coming! Just one to do, she has half shed so I'll do her back with scissors! ;D 


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