Did you see on Facebook, our sheep got haircuts?
In many ways, shearing a sheep is a lot like getting a haircut. Just like your hair grows and grows until it hangs in your eyes, sheep wool is always growing. Wool has to be shorn at least once a year to keep sheep comfortable, especially in warmer climates—like how some people get shorter haircuts for summer. We don’t want our sheep to overheat! And just like a human haircut, shearing doesn’t hurt the sheep. Shearing does leave sheep vulnerable to the elements, so extra care is needed to protect them until their wool grows enough to insulate them.
A skilled shearer, like you see in the picture, is needed to quickly and efficiently take the wool without nicking or injuring the sheep. Most shearers use electric shears or shearing machines, but some choose the more delicate art of shearing with a manual tool, like scissors. The best sheep-shearers can remove the wool in one whole piece in under two minutes. How’s that for efficiency? There is even a natural chemical that allows sheep to drop wool on their own!
If you’re visiting Rawhide Ranch for summer camp, you’ll be able to see the beginnings of new fleece on our shorn sheep. By the end of summer, their wool will be all bushy again!