Shearing

Alpaca shearing.

I provide caring and professional services to the fiber flock and hobby farm owner.  The kind treatment of the animal and the proper handling of the fiber are very important to me and to my clients.  My shearing methods are those used by most professionals and are considered industry standard. Please see section on “Humane Methods” for details.

Tools and Equipment

I bring a 4’x6′ rubber mat on which to shear sheep, and a 10’x5′ padded mat on which to shear alpacas and goats.  I use both hand-held shearing machines (primarily I am currently using the Beiyuan shears, although I also have many other machines such as Heininger and Premier and Oster) and a drop shaft shearing machine (Lister).  I ordinarily use 13 tooth combs, except on goats where I usually use a 17 tooth mohair comb.  I do have 20 tooth combs (for delicate and smaller animals) and 12 and 10 tooth combs for the tougher sheep but prefer, usually to use 13s (both flared and straight-edged).  I’ll usually ask you to look at your animals before I start so that I can determine the best equipment to use for them.

ANIMALS I SHEAR

  • Sheep
  • Angora & Pygora goats
  • Alpacas
  • Llamas
  • Camels

ANIMALS I CLIP

  • Horse and pony full body and trace clips
  • Donkey clipping
  • Cow clipping
  • Very occasionally I’ll clip an LGD although this is not a recommended practice unless they are hopelessly matted

HOOF CARE

  • Hoof trimming for sheep, goats, and pigs
  • Toenail trimming for alpacas, llamas, dogs, and rabbits

TOOTH CARE

  • Tooth trimming for alpacas and llamas (incisors, fighting teeth)
  • Pig tusk trimming

GROOMING

  • Livestock guardian dog brushing, de-matting, toenail trims

HORNS

  • Trimming sheep and goat horns that are growing into the head (diamond wire method)

I am not qualified to trim cow or horse/pony/donkey hooves; for clients in central Maryland I will be happy to recommend my own farrier.  For other areas, please ask me – my clients often give me referrals to their farriers/blacksmiths.