Projects and Activities:
|Farmer Anne shearing Parsnip the sheep, resident at Star Gazing Farm|
Sheep: I normally shear sheep using the New Zealand method (animal on the ground), but I can also bring a shearing stand and can shear the animal standing, if need be.
Goats: I have shorn goats New Zealand method and on shearing stands; however, the best way has proven to be the same method as shearing alpacas - on the mat, with feet tied. This allows the best fiber to come off easily with skin stretched. I use a 20 tooth comb on goats which makes nicking very unusual.
Alpacas: I use the the Pro-Tie shearing restraint with a thick mat, and shear the animal on the ground. Two helpers are required for this process. If you are unable to provide helpers, I can bring one assistant with me at the cost of $12 per hour (including travel time).
Llamas: I normally shear llamas standing up. You will need to place a halter and have a lead rope available for the llama. One helper is required to ensure that both shearer and animal are kept safe.
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.
If I am required to wait for or assist in animals being rounded up, a charge of $25 per hour will be added. I nearly always work at multiple farms in one day, and rely on you to have your flocks organized and ready for the job to be done so that I can take care of all the animals on my docket for the day. Thank you!
Sheep being shorn. It's not so bad after all!
You need to provide:
Shearing involves using a set of sharp, fast-moving cutting shears and the danger of cuts on both animal and shearer is ever-present. Shearing is, however, a necessary activity to maintain the health of your animals. Should I cut myself during the process of shearing for you, I will not expect you to pay my medical bills. Likewise, should your animal be accidentally cut during shearing, it will be your responsibility to determine whether veterinary care is needed and to provide it.
I do not shear:
If I are not in your area, or are unavailable to help you, please check with the American Sheep Industry Association's online shearers database or contact me for a referral of other excellent shearers in your area.
I can help you skirt the fiber, and will be able to give you a brief assessment of the fiber's condition, although I recommend that you send it to a professional mill for evaluation and processing. If you do not want the fiber, I are happy to take it away for you and can provide a tax-deductible receipt from Star Gazing Farm. Your animal spent a year growing it and we use any fiber donated to us in our rugs program.
Please call 301-349-0802 to schedule your shearing, or fill out my shearing request form!