Country Living
Country Living, Country Skills
Country People - A Country Living Resource and Community
Message Board
Country Topics
Trading Post
Memory Lane
Country Skills
Country Cooking

The Kitchen

Photo Gallery
Vintage Photos
Special Collections

Country Humor
Country Sounds
Coloring Book
Interactive Story

Farm Tractors
Tractor Parts
Tractor Manuals

Classic Trucks
Antique Tractors
Modern Tractors
Site Map
Links Page
Contact Us

Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Shearing sheep
[Return to Topics]

Tom A    Posted 05-01-2001 at 17:01:20       [Reply]  [Send Email]
OK, 'nother city boy trying to learn question so try not to laugh.

Need to shear my two pet sheep. Not worried about getting/saving the fleece, but don't want the critters suffering in the heat.

Retired farmer gave me a 55 year old 'Shearmaster' clipper set he used on his dairy cows...came with a sheep shearing blade, too. I changed the cord (insulation was cracking off the old one), honed the clipper blades on my razor stone and tried it out. Never seen a sheep sheared before, but I've seen the diagrams in the books and read about it.

My question: how hard/slow should these things clip? Seems to me like if you try to push the clippers through the wool very fast at all, it 'pulls' and the sheep jump around (and the wife yells!). I played with the blade tension adjustment some, and they seem to be better with higher tension, but they never seem to cut as fast as I'd imagined they would take 1/2 hour or longer to do a single sheep at this rate. Is that right, or do I need to take the clippers to get them sharpened/adjusted/fixed?


Marlys    Posted 03-16-2007 at 15:44:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Where can I get parts for a Stewart Shearmaster 31B-1? I have searched the internet with no results other than buying another one to use for parts. I need the retaining spring yoke. This clipper is over 40 years old, but runs great!

Kiwi Bruce    Posted 05-02-2001 at 14:19:52       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi guys. I'm new to this board.
Just commenting on your sheep shearing.
The easiest way to shear is by holding the animal sitting on it's tail upright holding between your legs. Shear off the belly first then around the legs to the tail. Do up from the chest along the neck and over the head. 3 or 4 blows from the left front leg up. Lie the sheep on its right side with your left hand holding the head, left foot against the neck and your right foot between the two back legs while holding the sheep down while shearing. The wool will fall away.
Shear long blows from tail to head, about 5 blows.
With sheep still lying on its side, stand over it facing it's head and pull the head up while shearing down. Pull the animal up straddling it between your legs and shear down the animals right side. Keep your left fist pushed hard into its right side just above the rear leg as you finish off the blows on the leg.
Yes the shearing gear needs to be sharp.
All the best!

corrine    Posted 06-27-2007 at 19:47:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am also looking for parts for a pair of stewart shearmaster 31b-3 clippers. Could you let me know where i can get them

cj    Posted 07-21-2004 at 05:17:10       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I am in a triva club, and the question is
the proper term for shearing sheep around the eyes?? I have looked everywhere, and can not find the answer.....anyone know this answer?
Thank you!

Aussie sheep owner    Posted 10-21-2005 at 04:23:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi cj - know this reply is about a year later but thought I'd send it anyway. Its called "wigging".

Michael Knight    Posted 06-20-2002 at 22:10:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks for the info re shearing sheep Kiwi Bruce. It's 12 years since I left the farm in NZ, and haven't shorn many anyway...but have a few to do here in the States, so was cruising the net and searched for "shearing+sheep" and up came your post:--))

I live in Washington State now. We have three Romneys, a black face Dorset X s.o.b. (she can run rings around anyone when it's time to go in the yards) and a couple of Jacob sheep (cool horned dudes with chocolate/white fleece and horns). Plus four ewe lambs and a young Jersey steer.

Not quite the flock we had in NZ, but hey...who needs 600 of them to deal with?

I did a shearing course at Flock House near Bulls about 15 years ago, for a week, but the memory is a bit faded, so your post reminds me of the moves I need to make - the "step-through" and the long blows, and that sort of thing.

Question: Does the first blow start above or below the brisket to take the belly wool off? Or do you deal with the brisket when going up the neck? (I think the latter is the right answer, right?).

Actually, I was so slow at shearing (and got so annoyed too) that it was more sensible to get a shearing gang in for the job, and I just did the crutching from time to time.

Those professional Kiwi shearers can take the wool off a sheep while I'm still getting one out of the pen!!! What's the NZ lamb shearing record in an 8-hour day now? I remember it was around 700 (yep, 700) about 15 years ago.

But I'll tell you one thing I've noticed about shearers here in the US. They do a VERY good job, and I have yet to see any red spots (blood) on most of what they do.

Mind you, they charge $15 a head (YES $15 US a HEAD) - which is why I'm thinking of starting my own little shearing run.

No really big flocks here of course - usually just no more than 10 or 20 here and there.

Thanks again.
Michael Knight.

Tim (North Wales)    Posted 06-28-2002 at 08:48:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Q: When do you do the brisket?
A: Very first thing when the animal is sitting up and before you start on the belly itself. The wool here is not up to much anyway.

Have been doing my own 100 for about 5 years now since getting fed up of waiting for shearing gang to finish their big customers before getting round to me. Used to take me about 15mins per ewe, now down to about 5-7mins. I do about 10-15 of an evening, it is surprising how quickly you get through them this way.

Get the handling right, set the machine up correctly with professionally sharpened cutters and combs, persevere and it will stop being a slog and start being a pleasure.

Good Luck

TW    Posted 05-02-2001 at 13:51:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Some of those clipper blades need to be sharpened in special ways that normal stones don't do. I would make sure that you were sharpening them right! --TW

mugsy3    Posted 05-02-2001 at 08:16:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
I don't know anything about shearing sheep but know a little about clippers and would also suggest that they need to be oiled. A little vegetable oil between the blades should do the trick.

Thanks F14...    Posted 05-02-2001 at 03:56:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks. Guess I figured that, but I had to ask.


F14    Posted 05-01-2001 at 17:57:15       [Reply]  [No Email]
They need to be sharpened. They should cruise right through without pulling the wool at all. Resist the temptation to tug at the wool with your free hand to "help things along", this lifts the skin and greatly increases the likelyhood of nicks and cuts. Properly sharpened and operating trimmers should go through that wool like a hot knife through butter, and the wool should naturally fall away from the sheep.

[Return to Topics]

[Home] [Search]

Copyright © 1999-2013
All Rights Reserved
A Country Living Resource and Community