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Author Topic: buying sheep shears  (Read 4380 times)

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
buying sheep shears
« on: April 14, 2016, 11:24:16 am »
We have just three sheep and last year (first year of shearing) we used the dog clippers to shear them. It was a long old job!
So we're thinking about buying some electric sheep shears but obviously don't need big expensive ones that can cope with a whole flock.
Are the ones I see on Ebay for around 50 any good? Will they do a better job than the dog clippers? I don't want to waste the money if not but clearly it's not worth spending over a hundred just for three sheep, once a year.
Thanks very much
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

kate7590

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Powys
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2016, 11:30:33 am »
We bought some off ebay last year for our little flock of 8. they were about 70 if i remember rightly and are great. They run off a car battery so wouldn't lat long enough for a big flock but perfect for us.
Living the 'Good Life' in our little Chapel in the rural welsh countryside.
Proud owner of 3 Border Collies, Giant Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chickens, Runner Ducks, 3 'pet sheep' &  Jacob Sheep.
Loving life :)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2016, 11:50:17 am »

Hand shearing with old fashioned hand shears is easier than you think, and shears are only a few s
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2016, 12:01:06 pm »
Fleecewife - I'm interested to know how tricky it would be by hand.
My worry would be that I'd accidentally cut the skin. I wonder if there are any good Youtube videos about hand shearing?!
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 19 chickens, 2 donkeys, 2 Shetland ponies and 2 dogs

kate7590

  • Joined Jun 2014
  • Powys
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2016, 02:00:37 pm »
I bought a pair of hand shears and found them bloody hard work! I only had to dag around a ewes back end and my thumb and finger were blistered. Might give it another go sometime but I wasn't impressed.
Living the 'Good Life' in our little Chapel in the rural welsh countryside.
Proud owner of 3 Border Collies, Giant Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chickens, Runner Ducks, 3 'pet sheep' &  Jacob Sheep.
Loving life :)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2016, 04:20:27 pm »
I'm no hand shearing expert (that's what Mr F is for  :sheep:) but if you're getting blisters your technique is wrong, or the fleece isn't ready for shearing, or both (dagging is different and horrible, needs dagging shears not shearing shears).  The shears should glide through the 'rise' - you don't cut unless you can see what you're doing, you don't pull the fleece away from the skin, you keep the skin taught, you cover particularly vital bits with your hand.  The exception is to open the neck wool, when you can't see, but you lead with your other hand, so you would cut yourself before you cut the sheep.

It's the electric shears which scare me - far more likely to cut the animal, as they go so close to the skin.

I can't point you at a you tube clip (ha) but I'm sure they're out there.  It's the sort of thing you watch 20 times then you still can't remember which way you turn the sheep next.

There are folk on TAS who know far more about hand shearing than I do, so I'm sure they'll come along.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 04:22:30 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

benkt

  • Joined Apr 2010
  • Cambridgeshire
    • Hempsals Community Farm
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2016, 11:40:09 pm »
We started shearing last year with a pair of Jakoti hand shears. A lot of the farm members took a turn and we only had a couple of cuts - nothing worse than I do to myself shaving!  I could do a sheep in about half an hour on my own and doing a three or four a day was quite manageable, with a flock of fifteen that's doable. It is a knack, but when you glide the shears along the rise (where the old wool is lifting from the new) it feels fantastic and is very easy - as soon as it feels hard work stop and have a look at where you are cutting - its probably the wrong place!

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2016, 06:55:16 am »
I certainly wouldn't invest in a pair of electric clippers for less than 10 sheep, and I agree with F/wife that getting cuts is far more likely with the electric ones.

If your sheep are friendly enough, tie them up with a halter against a hurdle and just start at the top, only bit to do on their bums is the belly. But it s important to wait until you can see the rise. Some breeds are even good at shedding their own fleece - I have just roo-ed one of my Shetland hoggs, he had been loosing bits of fleece for a while, and it was a quick job to take the rest off.

Although we do get a shearer in to do our flock, there is always the odd one that decides that it's not her day to get clipped, and she needs doing later by hand anyway... I love doing a few by hand, one per day -it is quite a peaceful job with handclippers (usually) on a nice sunny day.

shotblastuk

  • Joined May 2013
  • Proper Gloucestershire !!
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2016, 07:59:36 am »
I've just bought a pair of Jakoti hand shears and must admit I'm sold. Very sharp but also safe and comfortable to use. These get through the felted and matted parts on my Cotswolds alot easier than traditional shears!

Maxxum120

  • Joined Apr 2016
  • Scottish Borders
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2016, 09:22:40 am »
Electric shears are dangerous if your nervous about cutting! You need to be confident to use them or you can quite easily give a nasty cut or even hamstring a ewe.

I use a pair of jakotis for dagging fat lambs before they go away to market and they do a very tidy job and cut incredibly well.

Also after shearing we usually end up with 20 or so ewes that have a escaped the process and I have found the jakotis to be easy enough to use (5-6 mins per ewe unless its a gimmer) they look almost as neat as if an electric clipper had been used and its kinder on the ewe in my opinion.

 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2016, 09:25:18 am by Maxxum120 »

Scotsdumpy

  • Joined Jul 2012
Re: buying sheep shears
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2016, 12:10:33 pm »
After years of using hand shears I bought some electric shears off ebay for around seventy pounds. The first year I wasnt confident even trying to use them but last year I gave them a try and was well pleased. I'm not as fast as a professional but it makes the job much quicker on the couple of bigger sheep that I have - especially the one aptly named rag rug. In my opinion you can do a lot of damage using blunt hand shears both to yourself ot the sheep. Wether you have one sheep or one hundred its up to you and what is comfortable for you when you choose what to use. I only have a small flock of mainly shetlands and some of them get hand clipped (for spinning). The electric shears are much heavier, vibrate, and can be hot to the touch(this is in the instructions) so you need to develop a sweeping movement.
I would advise you to give them a go - you can always sell on if they aren't for you!

 

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