We bought a flock of 7 sheep:
One yearling ram
One lamb-boy (he’s fine, just looks dead)
One lamb-girl (two pics, one lamb)
One white ram
One yearling ewe
We did not plan on shearing this year. They were past due. We had to learn everything quickly. We also had to buy more. Suffice it to say, I did NOT learn quickly or easily, or quite frankly too well. We shopped online and bought a clipper at Tractor Supply.
This is the brand everyone said to get.
Oh what a nice little box
These were “sheep blades” according to the salesman there (that we are quite familiar with by now) of the same brand. Now, here’s where it gets complicated-GASP:
They sold us Lister Star-clippers of about 80 Watts for clipping horse manes and cattle for shows. The blades are for shears-specifically made for sheep and wool.
We took it all back and bought actual shears online from a US Lister dealer. Furthermore, EVERYTHING sheep comes from the UK…period. The company called us to tell us we don’t want shears, we want clippers b/c shears are for people who know what they’re doing…..BUT, the clippers they were selling us are the Lister Laser 2. A significantly more powerful machine (about 140 watts or so).
They also convinced us to purchase an extra set of blades as one pair will only do so many b4 you have to sharpen them.
So, yesterday morning, we set out, scared sheepless to have to shear these things. My main fear being of them getting hurt, or getting scared and hurting us. Marcus stayed in, but came out later around sheep #5 to watch. The first sheep took probably 30 minutes or more. You have to oil, oil, oil, and it’s good we bought them b/c I tried to roo more and they wouldn’t. Only that one ewe, only on her neck area…hmm.. SO, We did “Momma” first b/c we wanted to start with an easy one, but not a lamb. I got to her poopy rear and literally fought back wads of vomit and tears as I noticed maggots crawling out of her flanks. Blowflies. We have opted to shave all sheep all year around the rear to prevent this and to dock all lambs not intended for slaughter as well. Trust me, I love animals, and docking is far preferable to this. Look it up, I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures. Momma is a nursing mother, and we couldn’t eat an animal in that condition. We were worried.
I did a horrendous job. I got better and managed to trim up some of the first ones when I got done. I was truly grateful for the extra set of blades, and not having shears. I still have to clean them. I then found treatment for the blowflies and sped to get it and hoof clippers (the tin snips would not cut them) along with treatment for foot rot. I ran back and we treated Momma (who actually appeared grateful), and clipped all but Buck’s hooves as Buck will soon be ground lamb burgers. They have foot rot. I trimmed what I could and plan to trim again when I retreat Momma after 7 days and treat them for it. They were so overgrown, and I am so inexperienced, that I wanted to trim more later if that makes since.
The after pictures-no laughing please, I did my best. And I might add my entire arm from the neck down hurts like I ran the marathon on one arm-that thing is HEAVY! I give you my little Schnauzers.