Fiber animals need to have their fiber removed on a regular basis in order to remain healthy. This process need not be stressful or unpleasant, but sometimes past bad experiences make an animal wary, fearful, or even violent. I love animals and will treat your with the same care that I do my own. I try to work quickly and efficiently, but speed is not my primary goal: safe and painless removal of the fleece is, and sometimes this requires taking a break or changing the shearing position in order to accommodate your animal’s particular needs, or even talking, humming, or singing to the animal.
I shear for both pet/hobby flocks and production flocks, and I use the accepted professional shearing methods based on my training. If you or your animals have special needs, please let me know. I have disabled sheep at my own farm and understand that accommodations need to be made.
I’d like you to stick around
Shearing time is a good time to evaluate your animal’s body condition. I am not trained in veterinary medicine, and so any observations I may report to you are from a shepherd’s point of view. Shearing allows me (and you) to access to most of the exterior areas of your animal and so it is an optimal time to do close observation and I will be glad to report to you anything that I see. I encourage you to stay close by during shearing so that you can also observe. Ordinarily I also do hoof trims at the same time.
A productive partnership
Shearing is an act of partnership, and I need your assistance to make it a positive experience for everyone. I keep my equipment clean and disinfected, and try very hard not to nick the animals during the shearing process. However, I bring a full first aid kit in the event that anyone (me, included) gets cut. I ask you to be ready for shearing, with animals penned in on empty stomachs in a clean environment.
Let’s do herd health another day
I do not recommend administering shots or worm medicine at the same time that an animal is sheared. Shearing is a stressful experience, and the adrenaline in the system can either negate the value of the vaccine, and/or cause unwanted reactions in the animal. I have witnessed extremely negative results of de-worming anemic animals at shearing time, including death.