Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: seriously, how difficult can it be.. shearing..??  (Read 5468 times)

Big Benny Shep

  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Skipton
Re: seriously, how difficult can it be.. shearing..??
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2014, 09:58:30 am »
i would either get someone to show you or do a course as you can easily ruin your back fighting a awkward ewe. i got my handpiece stuck into my right hand yesterday when fighting a 100kg mule ewe, and she got away with a daft tuft on her bum!

so be careful! i bled everywhere!
We have 80(ish) texels and texel x suffolks, 10 lleyns, 21NE Mules, 2 Dexters with calves, Monty the labrador, Dottie, Bracken and Poppy the collies and 30 assorted hens.


  • Joined Aug 2013
  • Cornhill, Banff
    • The Roundhouse
Re: seriously, how difficult can it be.. shearing..??
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2014, 10:17:55 am »
I learned to shear by helping the guy who used to shear mine. He has bad hips so the smaller ones were harder for him to bend down to. He showed me how to shear blind from the breast up to the neck with my hand shears and the rest was easy after that terrifying experience. I refused to start with electric shears and only used my electric shears for the first time this year - still find I get a better finish with hand shears. Best tip for you would be to keep the shears flat to the skin and keep the skin taut if possible.
A good shearer can shear blind and work by feel, you have to for some areas as the fleece just obscures the shears completely. I wouldn't have confidence in a shearer who said the blacks were harder to do personally, it makes no difference at all.
See if you can get some 'hands on' with someone who does their own and just go for it. You will get neater and faster as the years go by. I just do a couple a day, it's too hard on my hands and hips otherwise and as long as they all get done what does it matter.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 10:19:59 am by JulieWall »
Permaculture and smallholding, perfect partners


  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: seriously, how difficult can it be.. shearing..??
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2014, 07:13:19 am »
I learnt to hand shear as that was all I had available, think it took me about 2 hours to do my first sheep, but was very pleased with myself even though she looked like she was having a bad hair day! Never thought about going on a course (wish I had)  but managed to progress eventually to the electric sheep clippers which made my life much easier. The majority of my sheep were easy to handle and I knew how to hold them, once saw someone clipping their own sheep and the amount of nicks was unreal and they had been doing it for years. I take a long time to do it and they may not be perfect but it does the job. I would suggest a course too like everyone else, then if you get really good you could do all the other smallholders in the area and barter for goods  :) 

I still watch the shearers come in to one of the farms I help at that time of year and marvel how quickly they do them!


  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: seriously, how difficult can it be.. shearing..??
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2014, 05:45:49 pm »
I would also invest in a shearing belt, its marvelous for posture. :thumbsup:
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.


  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: seriously, how difficult can it be.. shearing..??
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2014, 07:59:59 pm »
thank you everyone for the tips and input, much appreciated, Ive the shearer coming tomorrow so he is going to show me... think a course might be necessary though


  • Joined Jul 2010
  • orkney
Re: seriously, how difficult can it be.. shearing..??
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2014, 08:27:25 am »
I went on a course and the most useful thing was a poster they gave me with diagrams of each stage. At first sight the poster seemed strange because all the pictures were upside down. But if you stick it to the wall opposite it is as you are shearing it makes it easier to copy each position. After a bit of practice you learn that its one continuous movement rather than a set of stages. Having said all that what I really learnt is that the 1per sheep I pay to the shearer is money very well spent. If I did it myself it would take twice as long and I would still need to find someone else to roll the fleece and catch the sheep. The proper clippers are also very expensive and I couldnt justify spending all that just to do 50 sheep a year.


Seriously difficult lambing

Started by SallyintNorth (7.89)

Replies: 14
Views: 2397
Last post April 22, 2018, 05:47:17 pm
by hexhammeasure
Difficult lambing

Started by NewLifeOnTheFarm (7.89)

Replies: 12
Views: 2011
Last post April 21, 2018, 07:42:17 pm
by Marches Farmer
Dagging difficult

Started by Shire1980 (7.89)

Replies: 14
Views: 2461
Last post May 13, 2018, 11:06:12 am
by landroverroy
Are soay's more difficult to castrate?

Started by egglady (7.81)

Replies: 5
Views: 2431
Last post May 21, 2010, 08:43:57 am
by egglady
Is it always this blimmin' difficult?! (Castrating)

Started by kate7590 (7.81)

Replies: 18
Views: 5237
Last post January 28, 2015, 10:22:13 pm
by Dogwalker

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2021. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS