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Why We Shear

There is a lot of misinformation about sheep shearing, specifically around animal cruelty. Removing the fleece does not hurt or kill the sheep and the wool will grow back in roughly 6 months. Shearing today is seen as a welfare issue rather than for profit for the majority of farmers. Diversification into specialist markets not served by the wool boards does offer the possibility of achieving a fairer price.

Shearing prevents blowfly attack in the summer months. This is when flies lay eggs on the fleece and the maggots that hatch will basically eat the sheep alive. It also helps prevent against lice and sheep scab.

Additionally if the sheep is not shorn it will likely become what is known as a "double fleece" where the sheep will produce new wool on top of the existing fleece. Untreated the sheep will become more susceptible to parasites or due to weight imbalance roll onto their back where they will become stuck. If this happens and the sheep is not helped back onto their feet they will swell up with gas and die.


The majority of the time you will see a sheep stuck on its back, will have been caused by the ewe being heavy in lamb, so be a good citizen and roll them back onto their feet and steady them for a while till they regain their balance.

Failure to shear sheep resulting in harm caused by subsequent ill health could lead to prosecution under the "animal welfare act".  


Profit from Wool?

Wool used to be highly profitable, in fact it used to be the main source of income to the sheep farmer but since the introduction of manmade fibres the price of wool has gone into freefall which is tragic as wool is such a fantastic natural product.

The price achieved from our traditional outlets (which includes a charge for collection)  does not cover the cost of shearing and is now a loss making venture (for the farmer at least). 

We have been actively exploring and talking with specialist fleece markets and are happy to announce that we are going to start offering "raw fleece" for sale in our online store.

Fleece Showing

Peebles show is probably amongst the last of the agricultural show's where you can enter your sheep  fleece in competition.

Any breed of sheep fleece can enter so winning or being placed in the rankings is a great achievement especially as its graded for quality and judged by a member of the British Wool Board.

We have had various success over the years with fleeces from Suffolks, Shetlands and Scottish black faced sheep with our best result to date of Reserve Champion with a Suffolk cross fleece.


What  Normally Happens to our Wool?

Once every year, usually between May and July we shear all our sheep. The shorn fleeces are rolled and put into large wool bags which are later tagged and sown closed. The bags are then collected and delivered to grading centers where it is sorted by breed type and by quality and from that we receive a payment. 

The processing center then cleans and processes the wool before selling it where it can be used for any of the following: 

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