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Author Topic: Sheep Shearing  (Read 3305 times)


  • Joined Mar 2009
Sheep Shearing
« on: May 11, 2009, 10:17:19 am »
I was having a discussion with OH the other day and mentioned that I thought sheep used to be sheared twice a year, not just once, at which point he looked at me as if I was mad and berated me as a fool!!

Ok, I will admit I'm not the most knowledgeable shepherd in the world, but can anyone tell me if I was halucinating, or if this does (or used to) happen?  I guess the cost/work involved for minimal return make shearing once a year the more attractive proposition but are there any advantages to doing it more than once, eg comfort for the sheep, selling the fleece?


  • Joined Aug 2008
Re: Sheep Shearing
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2009, 11:01:25 am »
I would ask my resident shearer, but he is out shearing at the moment.

As far as I know, some people do shear twice a year for a variety of reasons. In some countries I would think it is due to climate but some people winter shear here as the sheep take up less room when housed and apparently grow better too.

He will probably come back and tell me that is all wrong now though! Handspinning, knitting, crocheting services, spinning tuition and demonstrations at events nationwide.


  • Joined May 2009
  • Knowstone, North Devon
    • West Kidland Farm
Re: Sheep Shearing
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2009, 11:44:56 pm »
Hi - we shear our lot twice annually for a variety of reasons. First up is that they are Longwool sheep, and therefore grow big, heavy fleeces, so during the spring months if they were in full fleece and we had a hot spell, they would basically overheat, not to mention they are more prone to fly-strike than most, regardless of how much pour-on we apply. Also, we house them in winter, and generally shear towards the end of January / beginning of February in order that when they lamb, we can see what's going on at the rear end, and also so the lambs don't end up strangling themselves in the long fleece. Due to the remarkably low price that one gets for wool these days, this is not particularly cost effective, but does ensure that the sheep have a better quality of life, and makes lambing a whole lot easier..
Hope this helps.


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Sheep Shearing
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2009, 08:47:58 pm »
Angora goats are sheared twice a year. I knwo thsi 'cos someone told me at the Smallholders' Show at the weekend. So much to learn.


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • I really love my life, especially when its sunny
Re: Sheep Shearing
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2009, 11:25:28 pm »
You can shear more than once to bulk up the animal, they will put on weight as keep eating to keep warm (so I have seen). I have mine sheared in May because of the temperatures are often high, but don't get them done again until the following May.
Enjoying life making the most of whats available. My kids were little yesterday, today they are almost adults, where on earth did that change happen?


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Sheep Shearing
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2009, 12:26:08 pm »
We took delivery of our sheep last week - 21 Ewes and 21 lambs (yes, 21 - we asked for 20 but the farmer couldnt count!)  The ewes had had their bellies shorn.  Not really sure why but I guess it makes it easier for the lambs to suckle.  They will be shorn again in a couple of weeks.


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