The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: kate7590 on May 26, 2015, 09:38:39 am

Title: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: kate7590 on May 26, 2015, 09:38:39 am
We've been let down by our 'friend' who said he would shear out 4 sheep for us so now we're looking for someone willing to travel and shear our 4 sheep or advice on how to do it ourselves.
This is the first year we've had sheep needing shearing so are completely dumb about it.
If we DIY we wouldn't want to spend a fortune on shears (before electric shears are recommended lol)
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: Me on May 26, 2015, 09:39:30 am
Hi Kate I will send you a PM. Me
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: Thyme on May 26, 2015, 09:51:59 am
Hi Kate I will send you a PM. Me

If you go to Kate, then perhaps stop in Mach and do mine as well?  Sent you a PM.
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: Dogwalker on May 26, 2015, 01:38:43 pm
Aren't you surrounded by sheep farmers.
Could you take yours to a neighbour when theirs are being done?
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: kate7590 on May 26, 2015, 02:36:40 pm
We haven't really met or been involved with our neighbours so would feel very rude asking them for a favour.
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: devonlady on May 26, 2015, 02:43:16 pm
It need not be a favour, Kate. A sweet neighbour came and picked up my three Jacob ewes and their lambs and a Ousseant wether, sheared them, did their feet, wormed and clic-ed them and brought them back. £30 plus the promise of a woolly hat!!
Ask your neighbour what the price would be for a similar kindness. (I owe this neighbour about 2,000 favours  :-[
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: Marches Farmer on May 26, 2015, 03:41:26 pm
Our farming neighbours are brilliant and endlessly kind and helpful.  It's the ones that aren't farmers or smallholders that are the pain in the ****!  If the request begins with a smile and includes an acknowledgement of how much you have to learn .....
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: jward on May 26, 2015, 04:28:15 pm
Hand shears for £5.50 new on Amazon, they're called "topiary clippers" on there - I've just bought 2 sets and I'm clipping 14 sheep, including 3 very wooly Mules.  They do the job perfect and it's great so long as you've got someone to help hold them until you get the hang of it. :)
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: devonlady on May 26, 2015, 05:05:37 pm
You need strong, young hands and wrists to hand clip!!
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: Buttermilk on May 26, 2015, 05:45:38 pm
It took me three hours to do the tup, a big zwartble, and I had a bad back for days.  Only another six ewes to do now.
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: princesslayer on May 26, 2015, 09:41:33 pm
 :wave:
Hubby and I went on a hand shearing course last weekend (we have four Jacob ewes) so here's my experience!

Its physically hard work on your back, and we found it a two man job.  Once you have the ewe positioned on her hip she is usually pretty calm, but if you make a mistake and let her feet hit the ground she struggles and you need another person to catch the ewe or take the shears off you quick so you can grab and re-position.  Also, because we're beginners, we did it 'tag team' when we got knackered!

There is a right way of doing it.  If you don't care how the fleece ends up, you can probably clip it off any old way, but we were under instruction and still ended up with a sack of bits all over the place.  There is a proper order of doing it, and the correct way to position the sheep for each stage which makes it quick and relatively painless for the sheep, and less hard work for you.

You need really sharp shears or it takes ages.  After reading on here, I got a pair of Jakoti shears which were new and razor sharp and really did the business. My hand didn't ache after four hours shearing.

Most important thing to remember is to pull the skin tight to avoid cutting the skin, and never pull the wool.  The skin tents and you can easily clip a slice in it.

We were working on mule ewes.  They were mostly very obliging.  Our four jacobs are a different kettle of fish and we won't be hand shearing them - they fight like crazy!  So my parting shot is, let someone else do it!  The course was great and if you can find one next year it's well worth going on, just for the handling experience.  If I was forced to shear one of my sheep, I would do it with the sheep standing up as much as possible, tied to a fence, and not care what they looked like afterwards!

Best of luck
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: Dogwalker on May 26, 2015, 10:31:40 pm
I've learned on my angora goats and now use the jakoti shears.
Get a very sore back and bruises on the back of my arm from their horns.

Last year I did four shetland ewes and found them easy compared with the angoras but I don't think I'd manage the mules or shetland ram.  My neighbour does those for me,  we  walk them up my track down his to his shed.  He shears, I pack and walk them back. 
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: jward on May 26, 2015, 10:56:20 pm
I've found it easy on my hands so far.  The worse part is the bending over - worse with the Shetlands but a lot easier with the Mules.  Having never been on a course or had any prior experience, the first couple I did came out a bit shaggy, but I'm getting it off all in a whole fleece now.  Can manage the Shetlands on my own but have to have help holding the "big ladies".
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: devonlady on May 27, 2015, 06:53:49 am
It helps if you're short, you haven't so far to bend!
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: Dogwalker on May 27, 2015, 06:49:36 pm
My neighbour last year was complaining about the castlemilk moorit ewe.
He knelt down to shear her in the end. 

He's 6foot and big.  Texel rams are a better size for him. :roflanim:
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: Me on May 27, 2015, 07:30:31 pm
Small Lleyn are about right for me, I'm 63kg and anything heavier than that is hard going (purely down to size/weight), also little sheep eg. small ewe lambs I find hard to hold and then they tend to fight more.
Title: Re: Shearer needed for our 4 sheep…or how to DIY??
Post by: Heather Fullwood on May 27, 2015, 11:17:44 pm
I found hand shearing my hebrideans easier than using the clippers.... they have thin skins which nicked easily with the clippers..... they are now used to being tied up using a collar and rope, and i sit on a chair which saves my back..... i find it very theraputic actually and take my time with each one, i end up destressed myself, and with stress free sheep