Sheep Shearing clinic

Raphaela is attending the sheep shearing clinic in San Angelo, Texas, put on by the Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Extension Center. Although most attendees are from various parts of Texas, there are a few out-of-staters and is from South Africa. Raphaela is getting experience on the ethical and humane practice of shearing on the latest equipment.

img_0414Humane treatment begins with staying calm with the sheep from start to finish. The shearer tries to keep the sheep comfortable during the process, and cause as little harm to the sheep as possible. A really comfortable sheep will relax completely in the arms of the shearer. The technical goal of the shearer is to obtain the fleece all in one piece in just 41 passes (strokes). High quality equipment and sharp blades ensures that the cuts are smooth and don’t yank at the wool. Shearers are taught to avoid skin tags and wrinkles that might get cut. It’s not that hard to do it right. The sheep walks away happy and clean, and ready for lambing!

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