Why Do I Need To Shear My Sheep?

If you have sheep, odds are, you're selling their coat to people that will turn the wool into clothing, blankets, or other fabrics. Shearing a sheep is the best way to remove their thick wooly coat, and it keeps them from overheating in the sun (this can happen if it gets too long).

Even if you don't plan on selling their coat, you still need to shear them at least 1-2 times every year. You don't want your livestock overheating!

It's important to have the right equipment that doesn't hurt your sheep and makes shearing easy for you. The motors in our Pet & Livestock HQ sheep shears and clippers are powerful and stable, great for getting the job done efficiently while making your sheep feel at ease.

What Can The Wool Be Used For?

Wool, or wool fleece, is valuable because it's used to make high quality yarn, clothing and bedding that's extremely insulating and keeps you very warm.

Pro Tip: Make sure your sheep are dry before the shearing process, it makes it much easier to roll up the shavings.

People have different strategies for shearing their sheep, so we consulted some shearing experts on the best way to get the job done effortlessly. Now, let's jump right into how to shear a sheep, the right way!

Step 1:

Stand next to the sheep and put your thumb in their mouth. With your other hand, wrap it over and around their back and hold the sheep by the hip.

Step 2:

Move the sheep's head toward their hip, step back and gently lower the sheep to the ground.

Step 3:

The first place to shear is always the sheep's belly. Make sure all four legs are facing up along with the belly. Lean the sheep against your legs, sitting them on their bottom.

You can hold the ears for extra control, make sure the sheep is nice and relaxed, this is going to make your job a lot easier.

Step 4:

When the sheep is completely relaxed, start shearing the belly. This part is usually the dirtiest part of the coat, not ideal for selling. That's why we get it out of the way first. 

Step 5:

Start from the bottom of the belly and take one long blow, coming up all the way to the breast bone and stopping there. Place your shearer at the bottom of the belly, next to the blow you shaved, repeat this same motion, kind of like mowing a lawn.

Step 6:

After you shave the belly, shear in-between their back legs and around their crotch.

Lean forward a little more for this shave, you can wrap your arm around their torso for extra support.

Step 7:

Work your way around the left leg, then the right leg, then shave everything in-between. Make sure you watch out for the ewe's teats.

Pro Tip: Cover their teat with your non-dominant hand so you don't knick them.

Step 8:

Reposition yourself so your legs are in-between their front leg and placed on the brisket to secure them.

First, shear the back upper leg, all the way around. Move the leg closest to the hind legs, back a few inches to get a better angle on the sheep's tail.

Move the shears along the end of the tail, upward towards the backbone. Repeat a few more times until you remove the wool from the tail.

Step 9:

Prop the sheep back up on their bottom. Wrap your arm around the sheep's head, shearing down the same side of the sheep.

Step 10:

Hold their arm up and shave around their front arm and any other spots on that side that you might have missed. Make sure to get around the top of that hind leg as well.

Step 11: 

Lay the sheep back down and shave around their backside. Remove their coat past their spine until you can't reach any farther.

Step 12:

Make sure your feet are close to the sheep's belly so they can't wiggle out and run away. You're almost finished, now the sheep's coat should be more than halfway removed.

Step 13:

Hold the ear enough so they can't slip out, but not so tight  that you're causing them pain. Shear around the shoulder while holding there chin with your other hand. 

Step 14:

Pull the sheep up onto their bottom and lean them against your legs while you're back in a standing position. Now you have access to their unshaved side.

Work your way down that side with long, straight blows, just like you did in step 5.

Step 15:

Lean down to make shaving around their bottom where the coat is still attached easier for you.

Step 16:

Come closer to the sheep while still keeping them secure. Shave around their backside and any parts that are keeping the coat attached to them.

Step 17:

Pull the upper hind leg up, exposing the wool on their backside. Shave the remaining coat.

Step 18:

The coat is now completely removed from the sheep. Great work! Now your sheep is free to go and eat grass and you have valuable sheep wool, well done!

Final Words: 

Now you're ready to shear like a pro! To get the most wool from your sheep and make the process easier for you, make sure you have the right tools.

Take a look at our sheep collection for the best equipment to help you get the job done. We offer professional-grade equipment for affordable prices, and all of our products are built to last.

March 08, 2022 — Nick Flint