Purpose: To direct the audience on how to shear a sheep before their show Shearing sheep is fun and very easy if you know what you’re doing. I have sheared a lot of sheep within the past five years, and I have taken lambs to the fair. I learned how to shear my first year lamb. Ed Smolder, the old 4-H county extinction agent always helped out at the fair shearing the sheep. He once told me that I needed to flip the lamb and sheer it or go into the ring with your lamb looking nasty. I had to learn how to shear by myself, so if I can do it anyone can.
Shearing can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing but it can be easy if you can follow these steps. To get started you will need the following supplies, shears, oil and a cleaning brush. These supplies will be provided at the front of the lamb barn at the fair, if you do not have access to the right equipment. There is always help at the front of the barn if need any assistants with the shears, they will be glad to help you out. We need to make sure all the equipment is all working; find an outlet and plug them in and then find the switch turn on and off to check if working properly.
If the shears are not working properly they could cut or kill the lamb. Also we need to make sure the blades are working properly and even tightened up right. Make sure all the teeth are lined up the blades and then tighten the screws up tightly and then plug them in to make sure they stay on right. If so then you’re ready to start shearing. The second step is handling the lamb. We will start by learning how to handle the lamb; hold the lamb’s neck under its head. If necessary place your left or right knee in the breast of the lamb to hold it back.
Doing this will let the lamb know who the boss is. Don’t be afraid if the lamb bucks or jumps on top of you; this happens to every first year member, if this does happen stay calm and get the lamb down and under control. What happens if the lamb gets away from you. The way to get the lamb back is to stay calm, walk slowly up to the lamb and grab the inner back leg or the neck. Then get the lamb back under control and this will take several tries. Never get mad and run at the lamb because the lamb will out run you even more.
The third step is to get the wool wet before shearing; the reason is if the lamb has anything in its wool. It could be hard to shear the lamb or it could damage the shears. It is best to tie the lamb up to a post or a fence to get the wool wet. Another way to get the wool wet is to have a few bottles of water and pour the water on the wool and rub it in. The lamb barn as access to a wash rack if needed to wash the lamb it is located at the front side of the lamb barn. Then we will need to flip the lamb by holding the neck firmly with one hand and reach down and grab the hind leg farthest from you.
Pull the leg out from under the lamb and flip it. After the lamb is flipped place the lamb in between your legs and then put one leg between the lambs’ leg. This will not keep the lamb from jumping up. All exhibitors will need to be handed the shears; carefully shear down the belly and make sure not to cut off the penis or the tits of the lamb. By covering the parts this will allow you not to cut them. After the belly is sheared move to the side of the lamb, but keep your leg between the lamb’s legs and hold the neck tight and go down the side of the lamb.
Keep going down the side, and when you can’t shear anymore without cutting yourself keep moving the lamb to the side, but be careful and do not let the lamb up. Next, keep holding the shears tight and slowly move the shears over the wool. After, you are finish shearing the lamb, put the lamb back in the pen and clean up the mess. If you have cut the lamb, if it not a bad cut leave it alone; if the cut is a huge gash put iodine on it and allow it to heal on its own.