Shearing the sheep is the most tiresome, sweaty, and dirty job that every sheep owner has to go through. There are several tools that you can use to shear a sheep but using hand shears is the most common and effective way. Hand shears can remove more wool easily without injuring the sheep and that’s the reason maximum sheep farmers preferred this.
But using this tool is not an easy task, you should know what you are doing while shearing. It requires practice and proper procedures to complete the shearing process safely and ensure minimal stress to the sheep. To help you in this, we have come up with this guide that will show you how to shear a sheep with hand shear.
Are Sheep Still Sheared by Hand Shear?
Yes, most sheep owners still sheared their sheep by hand shear. Though there are several types of sheep shearing techniques are available now, but most of the shearers use hand shears. It’s the most effective option to get an effective shearing. Mostly, beginners start their shearing journey by using hand shears.
Before starting the process, you should make sure that your sheep are clean and not wet at all. Wet sheep can not be sheared, also, you can’t roll up the wet wool and sell them. If possible fast the sheep for a day before shearing. It will ensure minimizing their discomfort while rolling on the floor on their backs.
How To Shear A Sheep With Hand Shears
If without proper knowledge of shearing, you try to shear your sheep, it can hurt them. Therefore, you should learn the techniques and processes first. In this section, we will show you how to shear a sheep with hand shear. So, follow the following steps to shear your sheep with a hand shear.
1. Make Your Equipment Ready
Make sure to have good-quality heavy duty sheep shears. This will be beneficial for both the shearer and the sheep as the process will become much easier and safe. The hand shear should be sharp enough otherwise the dull equipment can harm your sheep. However, with the dull shear, your task will become much harder as you will find it difficult to use.
2. Get the Sheep in a Comfortable Position
Get your sheep out of the pen and walk to the shearing area. You should put the sheep in a comfortable position so that you can shear the wool easily. So, gently tipping onto the sheep over the back and then support its shoulders by putting it between your legs.
At this time the belly of the sheep should be exposed and its four legs should be in the air. The more comfortable your sheep will be the less it will struggle and helps you by making your job effortless.
3. Start Shearing from the Belly
The belly’s wool is normally the dirtiest also, they are not valuable for selling. That’s why it will be better to start with this area. Now use your one hand to hold the shear and another to tighten the sheep’s skin.
Make sure to hold the skin tight; it is the correct way to remove the belly wool intact. Use long shearing strokes, in this way, you can get all the fleece in one place.
4. Shear the Legs and the Crotch
Once done with the belly wool, now it’s the legs and the crotch’s turn. Hold the shoulder tight between your knees and lean further forward. Now, bring the hand shear up to the right leg, move it across, and start removing the wool.
It is advised keeping the teats of the sheep covered with your less dominant hands. This will help you to prevent shaving them off accidentally. After that, move for the left leg and the tail and finish shearing with the backbone.
5. Move to the Neck, Chest, and Chin
Step up your right foot and place it in the sheep’s legs and hold its body firmly in between your knees. Grab the sheep’s chin with your left arm and stretch it slightly backward. Then, slowly move your hand shear towards the neck, chest, and chin.
6. Shear the Left Shoulder
Balance your weight on the sheep and ensure a comfortable position. Since the shoulder area is wrinkled, at first use your hands to tighten the skin hen apply the shear.
7. Sheer the Back, Leg, and Hindquarter
Now, change the position by sliding the sheep down and keep your right foot between the hind legs and right foot under the shoulder. Start sheering its back, leg, and hindquarter.
So, once following these processes and techniques sheep shearing for beginners or other sheep owners become much more convenient.
Advantage Of Using Hand Shears
The advantages of using hand shears are plenty. Now, that you know how to use hand shears on sheep let’s see the advantages of these tools.
- Hand shears cut the wool leaving a short layer on the sheep’s skin. In this way, it prevents the temperature shock and leaves a bit of insulation on the sheep.
- As the hand shears are very quiet thus sheep become more relaxed during the shearing process.
- With the slow and deliberate shearing, you will get the less damaged fleece.
- The hand shears carbon footprint is much smaller also no electricity is needed. This means using hand shears is better for the environment.
Shearing the sheep is essential to keep them healthy as dust and pests are trapped in them. Also, having excess wool makes them feel hard to regulate their temperature and the feces or urine get trapped in the wool. Thus, the perfect way to keep them clean and healthy is by shaving their wool frequently.
To make the shearing process easier it should be done with the right tool. And nothing can work as a hand shear. In this guide, we have shared how to shear a sheep with hand shear. Hopefully, this guide can make your work easier, and once getting the technique you can shear your sheep whenever you want.