Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare  (Read 11897 times)

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2012, 06:52:36 pm »
On a commercial basis ROMNEY'S and their crosses have been clipped as lambs in the autumn for ages . Some farms clip x ewe lambs in the autumn to give them a growth spurt , and some clip in lamb ewes at housing jan/feb , and some clip fattening hoggs at housing to keep them clean , in all these cases you can use a Snow comb to leave a thin covering of wool and the sheep responds to the cold by eating more food so improving in condition .    Most rams sold in the autumn have been clipped late winter to have enough wool to dress for sale ,some are autumn clipped as lambs.

bigchicken

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2012, 08:27:06 pm »
Jaykay I totally agree pretty sheep don't make them any better. Fleecewife I agree with you about Shetlands at the Highland. To my mind there is for most breeds a time for shearing and that is when the weather gets hot


r
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.

SteveHants

  • Joined Aug 2011
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2012, 09:54:25 pm »
So the problem, as ever, is the showing business. Wanting things that aren't natural.

I don't like sheep being sheared early and I very strongly object to sheep being kept indoors to avoid them bleaching in the sun.

The answer is for the b$#$ judges to downgrade something that's clearly been sheared too early or not kept in a field, then the practice would stop.

Sorry to be  :rant: but the practice is self-perpetuating idiocy!


Lots of problems with stock are down to the show ring IMO.


Most producers of Romneys I know do shear twice, but believe me, the autumn shorn Roms have plenty of fleece back by now.

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2012, 11:23:51 pm »
I am of the opinion that the only time to shear a sheep is when it needs it :-\
If my girls suffer with a hot April, I shear then and provide shelter if the weather turns. If it stays chilly till June I do them then.


The only exception for me would be that I would shear a lamb if the fleece was worth saving right before it's one way trip and I wasn't keeping the skins.
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SingingShearer

  • Joined Mar 2010
  • South Yorkshire
    • Singing Shearer
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2012, 08:34:51 am »
Hi All,

Just thought I would pitch in and say that some sheep keepers shear in winter and put the sheep straight out and I have never seen them looking cold, also in the case of lambs it can help them to put weight on as they eat more to compensate for the fact that they haven't got the insulation of a full fleece.

The use of cover combs is more to keep the owner happy as much as anything, it only leaves a fraction more than a normal comb, the best way to leave a good covering would be to blade shear, in New Zealand they shear with blades in the mountains because no cover comb leaves enough wool on. 
Often shearing more than once a year is a good thing all round no mater when it is done as the fleece is often cleaner.

Philip :sheep:
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 10:02:59 am by SingingShearer »

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2012, 10:01:54 pm »
You can shear in the winter but need to house the sheep beforehand and for a week or so afterwards. They put down a layer of subcutaneous fat very quickly which keeps them warm. I am not suggesting that you should shear in sub zero conditions, but we regularly shear housed sale tups in mid February and then turn them out ten days or so later when we need the shed for lambing. Never had any problems, or seen the sheep looking miserable. They will also eat more.
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Small Farmer

  • Joined Jan 2012
  • Bedfordshire
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2012, 11:46:23 pm »
We lightly sheared the GFD ewes about six weeks ago because they get too much wool on them for our relatively mild climate.  If we don't their fleeces get horribly clagged up and seriously heavy.  The Llanwenogs don't have the same problem.  We find that after a couple of weeks there's a dense re-growth and by now there's plenty on top but a lot less underneath.
Being certain just means you haven't got all the facts

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2012, 10:53:56 am »
Small Farmer I think you have hit the nail on the head when you mention your local climate.  What suits in one area - and with one breed - doesn't necessarily suit elsewhere or with another breed.  A sheep with a heavy fleece will not do well in a very wet winter climate as it can easily cowp because of the weight of the fleece (not sure of the word used elsewhere - when a sheep tips upside down and can't get back up).  It should be possible to time autumn shearing to allow for sufficient regrowth of the wool, plus laying down that extra fat in breeds which store their fat externally (not primitives which tend to store any fat internally) if that is necessary on welfare grounds in your area and with your breed.
 
People simply don't shear in the autumn round here (southern Scotland) unless their flock is to be housed, as they wouldn't last long outside in freezing lashing rain or sleet getting straight to their skin.   Shearing before housing could help to reduce the incidence of pneumonia etc, but we don't house ours so that's not a problem here.
"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.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2012, 11:24:04 am »
I'm so glad I started this thread - I've learned loads.

The friend on the moorland farm has bought a few Wensleydales this year.  I did wonder how they are going to fare through a wet or snowy /icy winter up there...  I'll suggest to her that next year she gives them a trim in September maybe - I wonder if there'll be anyone local with some hand shears who would be willing to take a few inches off their locks for her...  :innocent: :eyelashes:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2012, 11:33:51 am »
, plus laying down that extra fat in breeds which store their fat externally (not primitives which tend to store any fat internally)

This a very good point and one which I am begining to notice  with my sheep. having had a problem with my skinny ewe this year I have concentrated my efforts on getting her to put on some weight. Things I have learnt it is possible to tell my sheeps condition ( fat or not )  by their faces! and that as they put on weight it tends to go to their bellies. Fleecewife do you have any references to this as i am quite interested to learn more.  sorry to hijack the thread.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 12:20:25 pm by kanisha »
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quiltycats

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Ooop North
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2012, 02:15:43 pm »
I'm so glad I started this thread - I've learned loads.

The friend on the moorland farm has bought a few Wensleydales this year.  I did wonder how they are going to fare through a wet or snowy /icy winter up there...  I'll suggest to her that next year she gives them a trim in September maybe - I wonder if there'll be anyone local with some hand shears who would be willing to take a few inches off their locks for her...  :innocent: :eyelashes:

I can vouch for Wensleydale getting its fair share of wet and snow and ice.  :raining:

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2012, 02:25:12 pm »
I'm so glad I started this thread - I've learned loads.

The friend on the moorland farm has bought a few Wensleydales this year.  I did wonder how they are going to fare through a wet or snowy /icy winter up there...  I'll suggest to her that next year she gives them a trim in September maybe - I wonder if there'll be anyone local with some hand shears who would be willing to take a few inches off their locks for her...  :innocent: :eyelashes:

I can vouch for Wensleydale getting its fair share of wet and snow and ice.  :raining:

 ;D  I bet.  But is it stoney/craggy underfoot, or is it bottomless peat bog?  The latter is where these ones have gone...    And do you know if they trim 'em up in the autumn in their homeland?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

quiltycats

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Ooop North
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #27 on: December 01, 2012, 04:27:37 pm »
http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/full/gallery/274/the_buttertubs.003.jpg
stony, craggy and definitely bottomless pits... The Buttertubs. Swaledale /Wensleydale. The moors have their fair share of peaty swamp but TBH I think most breeders would be keeping theirs on lower bottom pastures. The ubiquitous Swaledale is the breed of choice for most farmers over here. With mules a close second and Mashams being popular.

I might have a potter over to The Wensleydale wool shop soon and have a chat with Anne Bolam. AFAIK no extra trimming beyond dagging.

What ever the rights and wrongs of showing sheep one thing shows do enable, are breeds that are less popular commercially, to survive. Ryelands, when I got my  first lot, were on the rare breeds list, and moved to minority status there after.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2012, 02:24:23 am »
, plus laying down that extra fat in breeds which store their fat externally (not primitives which tend to store any fat internally)

This a very good point and one which I am begining to notice  with my sheep. having had a problem with my skinny ewe this year I have concentrated my efforts on getting her to put on some weight. Things I have learnt it is possible to tell my sheeps condition ( fat or not )  by their faces! and that as they put on weight it tends to go to their bellies. Fleecewife do you have any references to this as i am quite interested to learn more.  sorry to hijack the thread.

I hadn't really thought about looking at their faces, but you're right they are fuller faced when in good condition.
 
I don't think there's much written about it, apart from people's opinions and observations.  Primitives tend to stick at a condition score of about 3 but can continue to put on weight.  One of our first ever Shetlands did that and dropped down dead - our neighbour did a quick pm for us and found lots of fat deposited around the vital organs.  In our defense, she was in lamb so it was difficult to tell that she had got too fat, but we are much more careful now.
I suppose another way to tell is to be there at the abattoir and see what the innards are like - I'm too much of a woos to do that, so we just keep an eye on condition score and estimated weight (my OH picks them up  :D )
"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.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: "Unseasonal" shearing / fleeces / spinning / welfare
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2012, 09:12:50 am »
Somebody (may have been you, FW!  :D) told me that a Swaledale can live for a fortnight on the fat in her tail - one reason they don't dock Swales  :thinking:
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

 

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