The Sheep Shearing is a popular activity with the commentary being heard throughout the Showground and drawing the crowds!
Shearing is an essential part of a Sheep Farmer’s Annual calendar. There are two reasons to shear sheep. Firstly, to harvest their wool, and secondly, for welfare reasons: a heavy fleece not only causes a sheep to overheat in the summer, but it also provides an ideal environment for harmful parasites. Shearing starts during May, slightly later in northerly counties, when the weather gets warm enough for the sheep to be able to do without their ‘woollies’, and before the fly population really gets going.
The shearer will tip the sheep onto its rump, in a ‘sitting’ position. First, he’ll shear the belly wool, which comes away from the main fleece. Then, working around the sheep, the entire fleece will be shorn off in one piece and left neatly on the board, ready for you to remove to the table for rolling and packing. If your sheep do have woolly legs, these will be shorn off separately – leg wool is usually ‘hairy’ and should not be included with the fleece.