Shearing a sheep is hard work,
and it requires a strong back, patience, and stamina. But anyone
can learn to shear! You must control the
sheep and at the same time maneuver the shearing equipment so that it cuts the wool
efficiently. Because of this, the position of the sheep is
paramount so that it is a) immobilized, and b) positioned with its skin taunt to
minimize cuts. The method presented here is one that is fundamentally based on
how they shear sheep in New
Zealand. There are other ways to shear -- but we have found this to
be the best, especially when using electric hand clippers that do not have the
same power and cutting ability as commercial
clippers. In the end, any way that you get the wool off so that it is
useable and the sheep gets shorn, you are successful! If you shear
for any time at all, you will develop your own style and methods. Use
these instructions as a guideline and starting point.
As you begin your course on
"How to Shear a Sheep," use the navigation links to the left to find the various
sections. You can come back as often as you like, print these pages for
reference, and certainly send us an email if you have specific questions.
Click on any of the images to see a more detailed and enlarged view - it will
Begin your path to shearing by studying the diagrams,
and even print them out for reference. Then read the descriptions and study the
photos, comparing them to the diagrams. Finally, grab a sheep and get
started. And don't start with the Ram -- save him for last!
Good Luck. Happy Shearing.