Monday, May 9, 2011

Sheep Shearing

To obtain the fiber and to keep the sheep from overheating during the hot summer weather, farmers shear (give the sheep a haircut) the wool each year in the spring. Professional shearers can cut the fleece off in less than a minute with electric shears. Over the summer and fall the sheep will grow enough fleece to keep warm in the winter and provide us with a nice fleece in the spring.

Sheep shearing demonstrations are presented twice daily during the week at Lake Metroparks Farmpark
and once each day on weekends.
Dates: May 10 - 31

Click here to watch a video about sheep shearing and for more information including presentation times.

Shearing devices

Blade shears

Blade shears consist of two blades arranged similarly to scissors except that the hinge is at the end farthest from the point (not in the middle). The cutting edges pass each other as the shearer squeezes them together and shear the wool close to the animal's skin. Blade shears are still used today but in a more limited way. Blade shears leave some wool on a sheep and this is more suitable for cold climates where the sheep needs some protection from the elements. For those areas where no powered-machinery is available blade shears are the only option. Blades are more commonly used to shear stud rams.

Machine shears

Machine shears, known as handpieces, operate in a similar manner to human hair clippers in that a power-driven toothed blade, known as a cutter, is driven back and forth over the surface of a comb and the wool is cut from the animal. The original machine shears were powered by a fixed hand-crank linked to the handpiece by a shaft with only two universal joints, which afforded a very limited range of motion. Later models have more joints to allow easier positioning of the handpiece on the animal. Electric motors on each stand have generally replaced overhead gear for driving the handpieces. The jointed arm is replaced in many instances with a flexible shaft. Smaller motors allowed the production of shears in which th
e motor is in the handpiece; these are generally not used by professional shearers as the weight and heat of the motor becomes bothersome with long use.

Source: (Wikipidea)

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