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Watch: Steps to make shearing easier

Watch: Steps to make shearing easier

As we approach mid-June, the shearing season is well and truly underway. In terms of annual workload, shearing is one of the busiest days on sheep farms.

David Heraty of the Irish Wool Council provides some key tips in the below video to not only make the job easier on the sheep, the farmer and the shearer, but to also ensure the presentation of wool is improved – an important factor in improving the value of the product produced.

David’s key points are: ensure sheep are dry for shearing; fasted beforehand; draft ewes from lambs in advance of shearing; and remove daggs beforehand.

Where possible, ewes should be housed the night before. This serves two purposes: sheep will be empty, making the task of shearing easier; and the fleece will be dry to shear, provided the sheep were housed dry. House on slats or on bedding that has accumulated over a winter, as opposed to bedding on fresh straw, as it will get stuck in the fleece. Where housing isn’t an option, sheep should be held on a bare paddock before shearing.

Where available, additional help should be sought on the day of shearing to ensure one person focuses on the handling of the sheep, while the other focuses solely on wool handling.