NZ Lifestyle Block - - Down On The Farm -

SHEEP GROW wool and they con­tinue to grow wool at the same rate, even if they have enough to keep them warm. Un­less you're will­ing to learn to shear them your­self – a highly skilled job which takes a lot of prac­tice to do well – you'll need to find and pay a shearer to cut it off twice a year. If you live in an area where there are many life­style blocks with sheep, there may be some­one lo­cal who makes a busi­ness of tend­ing to small flocks of sheep.

If there is no such ser­vice avail­able, visit your neigh­bours who have sheep and ask them for help. It’s pos­si­ble you can ar­range to co­or­di­nate a shear­ing time with them and their shearer, which makes it more eco­nomic. It might mean you need to trans­port your sheep in a trailer to their prop­erty nearby so the shearer only has to set up his gear once.

Sheep with long wool may of­ten have lice, usu­ally a prob­lem you’ll see in late win­ter. They will rub against trees, gates and fences to try and scratch, which causes their wool to break – it will look rough and won’t sit neatly. If you shear a lousy sheep, it will spend the first half hour af­ter shear­ing scratch­ing it­self against any­thing it can find, since the long wool is no longer pre­vent­ing good con­tact with its skin. Lice and ticks don't bother shorn sheep nearly as much as they do sheep in full wool.

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