Sheep Shearing Penn State Extension

Sheep Shearing Penn State Extension


♪ Music ♪ Okay, we’re going to
talk today about how to shear a sheep. And one of the most important
things about shearing is being able to control the
sheep with your legs. Taking the wool off with the
shears is actually pretty easy. The hard part is
controlling the sheep. So what we’re gonna do is go
through what I teach as the six basic positions of shearing, in
order to be able to control the sheep with your legs – having
your hands free at all times, in order to have the shears in
one hand and in your opposite hand we’ll be pulling skin
tight to take the wool off in one piece. First thing we have to
do is throw this sheep; throw this ewe. Get her on her rump so that we
can go to the first position. A sheep’s mouth is meant to be
able to put your thumb in it. She’s got incisors in the
front – no teeth on the top. And then she’s got her
molars in the back. And between there there’s a
perfect spot to put your thumb. And what we’re gonna do is
we’re gonna take her nose; we’re gonna turn it back,
over on her shoulder, while at the same time pushing
down on her rump – get her in that first position. And it’s important to
distribute your weight, so that as you turn, and I’m
right handed so I use my left hand to turn her, as you turn
her and turn her head in, you’re putting your weight on
her neck and not giving her an option to dance around. So you’ll notice
where I am standing. My feet to the side – her
shoulder is between my legs – and now I’m going to try
to turn her head in and push down on her rump. At the same time, I’m going
to grab – pull her up. And now we got her in what
we call the first position. You’ll notice where my
feet and legs are, so that I’ve got the shoulder
supported by my knees. We’re going to attempt to take
the wool off her breast, her belly, the top of her
leg, around the utter, and the very top
of that left leg, before we switch positions. Now, I want you to notice how I
keep my shears on the skin, with the back of the
shears in the air, and with my left hand, I’m gonna
be pulling the skin-tight. So, let’s see what we
can get done here. (Shearing) Ok, that’s all we need to
do in the first position. We’ve got the
wool off the breast, off the belly, and you’ll
notice that when I did the breast I did a little
kind of j-stroke, to open up the belly,
because there are a lot of folds of skin there. Then, I took a stroke
down the right-hand side, to open up the belly. Everything else
was across the belly. And as I went across the
belly, I raised my shears, so that the points stay
right on the skin. Notice that I had my left hand
pulling that skin tight. You don’t ever want
to pull the wool up, because then you’re
going to cut skin. So, with your left hand
you’re pulling the skin tight. That keeps everything
tight, so the shears can cut. Now what we’re going to do is
move directly to the second position, which is: I’m just
going to step to the right. She’s gonna fall
against my legs, and then I’m going to
do her lower leg, and the top of her head. So, all I do is
step to the side, and her weight now
is below my knees. I’m gonna bend mainly from
the waist in this position. I’m gonna do this leg, all
the way down to the rump, and then we’re gonna do
the top of the head and then switch positions. The key to this position is: if
she wants to bend her leg, you need to put your
hand in this joint to straighten out that leg. By putting it right in that
joint, it keeps the leg straight, and the
skin nice and tight. (Shearing) Now you’ll notice how I
did the leg, and I went down to the vulva, and on
the other side of the vulva. And you try to get one on the
far side of the vulva and one over the dock – just
one little stroke. Notice this leg is clean
now, and that’s as far as you need to go. Just up to the hip – the
leg of lamb, basically. Now, I’m going to take a couple
of strokes between the eyes, before I change positions. (Shearing) And that’s all you need to do. Now we’re done
with position two. I’m gonna take my left hand –
put it on it on her left foreleg; stand her up straight. I’m gonna insert my right leg
down in between her forelegs – my left leg around her backbone
– to get in the third position, in order to do her neck. So I stand her straight
up; put my right foot down around her utter.
The key is locking your knee between her
breast and this foreleg. And then, I step across the
backbone, so I have control. I don’t have to hold her. I’m going to
stretch her neck out. I’m going to clean off her neck
to start this position. (Shearing) Now, once you’ve gone
from ear to ear, you’ve cleaned that neck off. Now, we have to clean off this
side of the head, before we move on to the
shoulder and neck. So, I just bend her
out a little bit… (Shearing) You always go down, over
the eye. Never up. There’s a bony
structure above the eye, so as long as you’re
going down over, you’ll never cut. Once I clean off around that
eye, I’m gonna take her ear, cover
her eye – I’m going to do the back of her ear – start down
the back of her neck. (Shearing) Ok. We’re in the
third position. We’re ready to
move to the fourth. I cleaned off the neck. I cleaned off just one
side of the head; we’re going to get the other
side a little later. I did on the ear; I cleaned
off the back of her neck, and I cleaned off that
shoulder that’s hanging there. We’re now ready to go to
the fourth position, which is a simple one. We’re going to take our left
hand – we’re going to grab her left foreleg. I’m going to step
away with my left foot, leaving my right foot
exactly where it is. I’m going to lay her shoulder
blade on top of my left foot, and then I’m gonna make
some nice long cuts. So, it’s a simple move. All I have to do is step away. Now I’ve got her with my right
foot between her two rear legs my left foot between
her two forelegs. The important point is that
you must have her shoulder blade on top of your left foot. Then you have complete control. Now, I’m going to
take nice long cuts, following my pattern,
parallel to the floor. Then I’m gonna try and get two
strokes past the backbone, before I change positions. When I need to, I’m going to
back up just a little bit – flip her two legs
in between mine, so that all four legs are
between my legs. Then I can see more, and get all
the way down to the backbone. (Shearing) Ok. That concludes
the fourth position. The key is keeping your foot
underneath that shoulder blade, and your legs tight
against her body. Now, I’ve got all this
wool in front of me, and what I’m gonna do is
step across that wool, and I’m gonna bend her head up,
so that I can clean off the top of her head and I’m gonna
start down her neck. And that’s the fifth position. So I step across,
pull that wool in, and I’m gonna bend her head up,
and I’m gonna twist her around a little bit, so that we can
see with the camera. In this position now, I’m
squeezing with my knees, holding her head. And I’m gonna finish off the
top of this head on this side… (Shearing) And again I’ll turn
her just a little bit, so we can see a little better. Now I’ve got this
wool in front of me, and I’ve got a natural
45-degree angle set. I’m going to follow that angle
45 degrees to the floor, squeezing with my knees. My toes are pointed in. Notice how my knees are bent. Notice how I’m
bent at the waist. (Shearing) Now once I clear this shoulder, I’m able to grab that elbow to
use as my leverage point. That keeps the skin
good and tight, so I can continue my
shearing and I won’t be cutting the flesh. (Shearing) Ok. That’s the fifth position. I’ve taken off the wool
around her head. I’ve taken off that
last foreleg, and I’ve done down her flank. Now, I’m ready to move to the
sixth and final position. To do that, all I’m gonna do
is leave my right foot, right where it is. I’m gonna step back
with my left foot. It’s a mirror image of
the second position, where she’s just laying
against my lower legs. And in this position, I’m going
to shear off the rest of this leg, then we’re gonna be done. (Shearing) Once again, if she really
wants to bend this leg on ya, there’s a
joint right in there. You stick your
fist in that joint, and that will straighten
that leg out, so you can continue to shear. (Shearing) And, if we’ve done
this correctly, all the wool should be off,
and when we stand her up, she should be about as
clean as a whistle. (to sheep) Come on girl. And that’s how you shear
a sheep. ♪ Music ♪ There a couple of things I
think we should go over: One is, you want to make sure
that your sheep are dry. We don’t like them
out in the rain. We don’t like wet wool. For a couple of reasons: one is
you have an electric motor in your hand, and if you’re
shearing through wet wool, it’s a possibility of a shock. The other thing is if you
take wool off that’s wet, when it goes to be stored,
it will mold on you. So we wanna make
sure the sheep are dry. We want to keep the sheep
as clean as possible. We don’t like to have
contaminants in the wool. So we don’t want things
like corn and feed and hay and straw. So as you go through
your normal year, try and keep the wool
as clean as possible. And then when you bring the
sheep up to get her sheared, you want to try to pick
off all that loose wool. The other thing I like to do
when I’m shearing is, I like to tell my customers
not to feed in the morning, before I get there. I like to have limited
fill in the gut, because the sheep tends to
be a little bit uncomfortable. So, it’s a good idea to feed
them the night before, but not in the morning that
you’re gonna shear. When we do get to shearing,
there are different grades of wool on the ewe and depending
on the breed of sheep you have, you might have wool that’s an
inch and a half long, or as long as six
or eight inches, on some of the British breeds. The key is, though, you want to
only keep the good clean wool, for either if you’re
gonna spin it yourself, or if you’re going to sell it. So we want to make sure
we keep the clean wool, and throw the bad wool away. ♪ Music ♪

54 thoughts on “Sheep Shearing Penn State Extension

  1. great vid thanks.dont waist your dags! dig them into your veg patch they make good fertiliser and you'll never get slugs in your vegies again! slugs cannot stand wool. great organic slug n snail control.try it.its almot unbelevable

  2. Yes I put mine in a shelter if it's going to rain to keep them dry mine are going get sheared on May 10th

  3. He's doing something funny… all the shearers I have watched get the whole fleece to come away almost like a sheet.ย  He has little bits falling off everywhere.

  4. 3:25 & 3:30 ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜ƒ jajajajajajajajajajajaja!!!!!!!!!
    ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ poooorrrrr animal!!!!!

  5. The sheep never resisted at all and was perfectly relaxed. If I didn't know any better, I'd say the sheep was enjoying herself!

  6. STOP!!!!!!!!! you're hurting the poor thing!๐Ÿ˜ฃ๐Ÿ˜ฅ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ซ๐Ÿ˜“๐Ÿ˜”๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜–๐Ÿ˜ž๐Ÿ˜Ÿ๐Ÿ˜ค๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ฆ๐Ÿ˜ง๐Ÿ˜จ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ™€๐Ÿ˜พ๐Ÿ™…your a๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ‘ฟ๐Ÿ‘น๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ‘บ

  7. Very good video! I tried a different method first and it wasn't working so I switched to this one and had much better luck. My only complaint is that a couple of times when the camera changes to the ewe's face instead of the shearing and then changes back to the shearing it skips some of what he does in some critical areas like the left front leg. I'm still struggling in some of those areas but getting better.

  8. Excellent upload, far surpasses any I've seen so far. His style of explanation is so wise yet simple. I've learned more from this video than any other. Coupled with Mike's/your upload, also from Penn State extension, on the set up of the machine, it may be all one needs to leave clean sheep and fabulous fleece to give to their wife.
    Now to get through the 16 raw fleeces, she says… LOL

  9. This video is very good, but would have been even more helpful with more closeups of the sheep being sheared. Thanks.

  10. ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹๐Ÿ‹

  11. This sheep didn't even squirm or kick once. She looked very relaxed. I think that some sheep squirm and kick because they're either getting sheared too roughly and getting nicked and cut a little, and/or some sheep more than others don't like to be restrained and held in one place where they're not free to move at their own will. Also, I've read that sheep don't like to be in any position where their legs and hoofs are sticking up and not on the ground. Sheep rarely at their own will leave any position where their legs are on the ground, they even sleep crouched down while still facing upright with their belly against the ground and legs curled up on the ground

  12. Happy ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š Easter ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿค๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ”

  13. I wish I had that machine my one is Chinese cheep crap one ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ but it helps a bit!

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