How To Crutch A Sheep

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How To Crutch A Sheep

by Farm Shearing World Store

Crutching is a very important part of a farmer's sheep husbandry work.  It is a vital procedure in the sheep's short terms and long term health.

Crutching does help to prevent maggot infestations by clearing away dags or urine stain from around the rear end of the sheep, in turn will not encourage the blow fly to lay maggots.  The sheep blowfly loves a dark, unexposed, moist, smelly environment in which to lay their eggs.


To start

Inspect the sheep before crutching to identify how much wool needs to come off. 


Some breeds such as merinos will need to be 'Wigged' as well as crutched.  This is taking wool off from both face cheeks of the sheep and the top notch, so the sheep will not get grass seeds in it's eyes and to prevent the sheep growing 'wool blind'.

If you have the type of sheep that requires to be wigged.  Do this before crutching.

How to Wig - Put the sheep's left front leg behind your left leg next to your clipper.  With your first blow run a shot from the ear to the mouth on the left cheek.  Then clear the top notch by starting a blow on the left side going towards the nose and the same for the right side.  Then clear the right cheek in the same way as you did the left.


Clear the wool away from the Ram's or Wether's pizzle by  starting on the right side of the belly and placing a blow across the pizzle, then clear the left side.  By placing a blow across the pizzle, you won't cut it.  If you shear down onto the pizzle, you will cut the pizzle.  You do not want to cut the pizzle.

The crutch area

Start between the sheep's legs on the right and run the first blow through the sheep's crutch area.  Be careful of any teats at this stage.  Then place a small clearing blow over the tail.  Next place a blow by running down the inside of the right leg.  After that a blow under the sheep's vulva.  Be very careful not to cut the vulva/  Then do a blow from the top of the tail running out on the inside of the sheep's left leg.

Clear all the wool away so the sheep has no dangling bits of wool  or dags left on around the rear-end.

Handy Crutching Tip

Comb Selection for Crutching - try to use a ground down comb with not much Scallop left.  This makes it easier to enter into the wool as well as get underneath any dags on your sheep.

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