I get a lot of questions about sheep shearing. So I thought I would add a little information to answer some of my top questions asked.
Q: Do you shear your own sheep?
A: No, I don’t. I pay someone else to shear them for me. My shearer comes down from Wyoming every spring and shears all of my sheep. He is fast and efficient, and he does a great job. This year he brought a friend to make it go faster.
Q: Why don’t you do it yourself?
A: It is hard! If you don’t know what you are doing you can destroy the fleece. It is also very stressful for the sheep (and for me!) and I like to have a professional take care of it so it is over quickly with minimal stress.
Q: How many times a year do you shear?
A: Just one time each spring, usually the beginning of April.
Q: What do you do with the wool?
A: Not much yet! I have dreams to get it processed nicely into yarn or rovings so I can learn to spin myself, but this hasn’t happened yet. Thus far I have used the wool for cat and dog bedding, insulation, and garden cover. It’s a shame and every year I think I will get a few fleeces cleaned up so I can ship them off to the processor, but every year comes and goes and I am always busy with other things. Someday it will happen and I will wonder why it took me so long!
Q: Can the sheep be sheared if they are still pregnant?
A: Yes. I usually have my sheep sheared right before lambing. I like to have a nice clean sheep for lambing so that the new babies can latch on to mom easier – without all that heavy wool getting in the way. It’s also nice to not get the long wool all messy with birthing juices!
Q: Do the sheep ever get cut during shearing?
A: Yes, it is very common for them to get a few little cuts and sometimes big cuts during shearing – they always heal up quickly.
Hope this information is helpful – this is just what I do. Other sheep owners in other parts of the country or world will do other things.