How to Shear a Sheep in 20 Steps

Learn how to shear a sheep with the help of 20 simple illustrations.

 Step 1 Step 2  Step 3 
1. Slip your left thumb into the sheep’s mouth, in back of the incisor teeth, and place your other hand on the sheep’s right hip.

2. Bend the sheep’s head sharply over her right shoulder and swing the sheep toward you.


3. Lower the sheep to the ground as you step back. From this position you can lower her flat on the ground or set her up on her rump for foot trimming.
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4. Start by shearing the brisket, and then shear up into the left shoulder area. Place one knee behind the sheep’s back and your other foot in front.

5. Here, the sheep is on her left side. Trim the top of her head, then hold one ear and shear down the cheek and side of the neck as far as the shoulder, into the opening you made for the brisket. 6. Place the sheep on her rump, resting against your legs. Shear down the shoulder while she is in this position.


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7. With the sheep in this position, hold her head, as shown, and shear down the left side. 8. Hold her left front leg up toward her neck, and from this position shear her side and belly. 9. With only a minor shift in the position of the sheep, you are now ready to shear the back flank.
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10. By pressing down on the back flank, the leg will be straightened out, making it easier to shear. 11. From this position, the sheep is shorn along her backbone and a few inches beyond, if possible. 12. By holding up the left leg, it is possible to trim the area around the crotch.
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13. The job is half done. The shearer’s feet are so close to the sheep’s belly that she cannot get up.

14. Holding one ear, start down the right side of the neck. Hold the ear firmly but not tightly — you don’t want to hurt her. 15. Hold the sheep with your left hand under her chin and around her neck and shear the right shoulder.

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16. Pull the sheep up against you to expose her right side, so that you can shear down that side. 17. Shifting position, as shown, shear farther down the side and the rump. 18. Shifting position again, finish the right flank and shear the sheep’s rear end.
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19. Shift position, holding up the rear leg, and shear the right side of the crotch. 20. The job is done, and within a minute the sheep is back on her feet and eating grass.  

Read more: Learn even more about how to shear a sheep in Shearing Sheep Made Easy.

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