Preparation for shearing

What happens before the shearer arrives can set up your shearing day for success.  Here are tips to be best prepared.

SUMMARY

  1. Have your animals penned and dry before shearer arrives.
  2. Be prepared – clean, flat, shaded shearing area with electricity.
  3. Tell us your preferences before we start.
  4. Keep the shearing area quiet and safe.

DETAILS

DO

  • Pen your animals in a small shaded area or in a barn stall close to where shearing will take place. Keep your animals cool and calm.
  • Lock up your animals the night before if rain is called for. I cannot shear a wet animal.
  • Be prepared to physically hand off your animal to me as I’m shearing.
  • Have the next animal ready to go by the time I’ve finished the previous one.
  • Alert us if you do not have facilities to shear indoors if it is raining.  Shearing cannot be done in the rain.
  • Make sure shearing area is FLAT.  I cannot shear on hills.
  • Have bags labelled and ready.
  • Make sure electrical outlets are close by and working (and/or heavy-duty extension cords are set up in case electric is a distance away).
  • Have a broom handy to clear shearing area between animals.
  • Be on hand at all times to observe the shearing and animals.  Skin conditions can be revealed when shearing takes place.
  • For sheep:  have someone on hand who is strong enough to bring sheep from pen to shearing area.
  • For alpacas: have at least 2 people to help:  one to gather fiber and the other to bring animals to shearing mat.
  • Be prepared to pay at the conclusion of shearing. Checks and cash accepted.  Credit cards can be accepted but there is a 3.275% surcharge.
  • Communicate.  If you have special needs animals or a special request, please let me know.  If there is something I am doing you do not like, please let me know.
  • Put the well-being of your animals first.  If there is someone present who is endangering or stressing them in some way, please speak up.
  • Enjoy this amazing process of harvesting your animal’s fiber.

DON’T

  • Don’t leave animals out in field until the shearer arrives.  We will not chase or round up your animals. It is stressful to them and to us.  We will reschedule your farm for later in the season if animals are out when we arrive.
  • Positively no dogs or small children should be allowed in the shearing area.  Onlookers are asked to be respectful and quiet. Sudden movements or loud noises can startle both animal and shearer and cause injury.
  • Please don’t try to make non-shearing conversation with me while I’m working. I love to chat – we can do that after we finish. However, if you have a question about the shearing or something you see on your animal please do let me know immediately.
  • Don’t pet your animal during shearing. The clippers have sharp blades and I work on a specific pattern – if you have your hands on the animal you will not only distract me, you risk getting cut.
  • For sheep:  do not feed them for at least 12 hours in advance. This includes hay and pasture.  They should be in a dry, shaded area with water only. Rumens need to be empty.
  • For all animals:  do not feed any grain 12 hours before shearing.
  • Don’t leave the shearing area to do something else. We need you there and present. If you need a break, we will all take a break.

 

Detailed Preparation Sheets

Preparation for shearing sheep [pdf]

Preparation for shearing goats [pdf]

Preparation for shearing alpacas [pdf]

Preparation for shearing llamas [pdf]