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What is the shearing process of wool?

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Shearing of sheep is a process by which the woollen fleece of a sheep is cut off or harvested. Shearer is the person who removes the sheep’s wool. Normally, the adult sheeps are shorn once every year. The shearing of the sheep can be done in all seasons, depending on the climate, and the availability of shearers. Normally, ewes are shorn in the warmer months prior to lambing or in the spring season when the sheep no longer need their winter coat.. Considering the welfare of mabs, the shearing process is not done in the cold climate of winters.

The wool fiber does not contain any sensory structures as they are hardened protein. Shearing annually is beneficial to both sheeps and humans as shearing helps the sheep to grow their woolen fleece by winter. Because without shearing, sheeps may suffer from excessive wool growth and too much wool may result in accumulation of manure or feces accumulating on the wool which results in fly egg development. This may result in serious harm and infection to the sheeps. Moreover, during summers or warmer climates, excess wool may contribute to heat stress. Hence, the less density of wool allows the wool fiber to dissipate heat more quickly.

For the shearing process, different types of shearing devices are used. And these devices must be cleaned regularly to prevent the spread of disease amongst a flock. Some of these shearing devices are:

• Blade shears: Use of blade for shearing purposes is more common for sports purposes rather than commercial purposes. Shearing using blade shears is more popular in countries like Australia and the UK. Since blade shears leave some wool on a sheep hence they are more suitable for colder climates such as the Canterbury high country in the South Island of New Zealand, etc.

• Machine shears: Machine shears are also known as handpieces. They are very much similar to human hair clippers as they have a power-driven toothed blade, known as a cutter. To cut wool from the sheeps, the machine shear is driven back and forth over the surface of a comb.

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