When To Shear Your Animals - A Guide by
Farm Shearing World Store
The time of year you shear your animals can have a tremendously different effect on your shearing.
Generally, you should shear sheep, goats and alpaca in the spring time as the weather is warming up and the last of the lambs or kids are about one month away from being born.
The reasons to shear at this time of year are:
Prevention of Flay Strike (maggots) which usually occur in sheep
When your animal gives birth this puts a lot of stress on the mother animal and the stress usually causes a break in the wool. If you were to shear within one month of birthing, you would find that your will not be able to get your comb underneath the break of the wool, therefore, making it extremely difficult to shear. This results in unwanted skin cuts and a poor shearing job....not to mention shearer's frustration!
By shearing after one month of the last birth of the flock, the break in the wool will have been pushed up by the new wool coming, making it easier to shear.
You can decide to crutch or shear any lambs at the same time and prevent fly strike or grass seed contamination leading into summer.
Your animals will be much cooler going into summer. Your livestock will, therefore, be a lot less stressed.
When to Crutch or Dag (Removal of dirty wool around the animal's back-end)
Crutching twice a year will greatly help prevent fly strike. If you shear in the spring, crutch in February and then do a pre-lambing crutch as well.
Fly Strike is a cruel thing for any animal and regular removal of dags from the back-end of the animal will go a long way to avoiding maggot infestation.
In our opinion, there is no need to crutch an alpaca.
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