August 30, 2009

2010 Lamb Crop

Thank you to all of our 2009 buyers!

We're now taking orders for our 2010 lamb crop. Please drop us a line at if you'd like to be added to our mailing list.

We'll simply drop you a line once the ewes drop their lambs! There is no obligation.

Shearing Sheep

From: Susan
Sent: Saturday, August 29, 2009

... I would like to get a better understanding about shearing. Do they need to be sheared at least once a year? Does the heat in summer make them suffer with a full fleece still on since the year before? Can they get infestation or diseases from not being shorn? I have seen some that look very uncomfortable and ugly besides when they still have a full fleece in the middle of summer. Thank you for any information you can provide...

Hi Susan,

Most wool breeds should be shorn once per year. Some of the coarse wool breeds will need to be shorn twice per year. And hair breeds - such as our Barbados Blackbellies - need no shearing at all!

Wool is an insulator. Contrary to popular conceptions, it really isn't mandatory that sheep be shorn in spring; they can be shorn any time, including late summer. Wooly sheep - although they appear to us to be too warm - will generally do just fine in the summer.

A sheep doesn't get a disease or infestation simply from not being shorn; but too much wool will certainly hide the symptoms of any such problem. Unshorn sheep do become matted, messy, dirty, and unattractive. And unshorn ewes will certainly become incredibly soiled when they lamb. Their lambs also may starve for inability to make their way through the matts to the teats!

So back to what I think was your original query...what becomes of a wool breed that isn't shorn? Well, a sheep doesn't die directly for lack of shearing. But unshorn, wet wool tends to become messy and matted. Messy and matted, partially shed wool is a great place to harbor maggots, lice, and other highly icky things. It's possible that the wool will grow to the point where the animal steps on it and stumbles over it.

Basically, if you are raising sheep for sale and don't shear, no one is going to buy from you because you obviously can't manage your flock.
If you are raising sheep as decorative pets, you're not going to like the appearance or attendant problems.

If you're contemplating owning sheep and don't want to deal with shearing, a hair breed is a very good option.