A herd of sheep has always accompanied man. History does not know a civilization that could do without this animal. Useful meat is obtained from a sheep, its milk is used, and sheep's wool is used to make clothes and many household items. Since the beginning of the 21st century, sheep breeding has become a popular pastime again. People began to return to the earth, to remember many forgotten crafts. They are learning the art of shearing sheep again. Farming revived.
Sheep breeding in Russia
Our ancestors from ancient times mastered the art of raising sheep in a harsh climate. They learned how to process wool long before the emergence of statehood. In our conditions, the climate did not allow growing fine-wool breeds, but the dressing of coarse wool reached significant heights.
The art of shearing rams was owned by almost everyone, given that at the end of the 19th century 129 million peopleaccounted for 15 million sheep. For export alone, the country sold at least 34 thousand tons of wool, which accounted for more than half of the total production of England and more than Australia had. According to 2016 data, Russia produced only 55.8 thousand tons, which is almost 4 times less than more than 100 years ago.
When wool is harvested
The room for increasing production is quite obvious, but a novice farmer has to learn almost everything from scratch. In order not to look like a Griffin when shearing a ram, it is worth mastering the theory a little.
It is quite natural that with our winter frosts, no one will be engaged in harvesting before winter. But the summer heat is also not the best time. It is best to start after the establishment of stable warm weather: the second half of May - the beginning of June. Many breeds of sheep have time to grow well over the summer and the second favorable period for shearing begins: the end of August - the beginning of September. A truly Russian breed of sheep Romanov in the South manages to get under shears for shearing rams three times a year - March, June, October.
When choosing the time, do not forget that the animal is subject to molting. This period must be taken into account.
Preparing for a haircut
The choice of place and time for processing sheep depends on their age, he alth status and a number of other factors. In any case, before using the clipper, the sheep must be prepared. Approximately a day is not recommended to feed. Water stop to give for 12 hours.Each animal is examined. Patients are not allowed to the procedure, and with wet hair they are removed for the time of drying. The length of the coat in young animals should be more than 4 cm.
Preparation of the premises
Before the procedure, the workplace must be carefully prepared. It should be dry, well lit and clean. Drafts are not allowed. You can make a low table - about half a meter high. It will be more convenient to work on it. In the absence of a table, the ground is covered with a tarpaulin. Work is carried out indoors or under a canopy.
All the necessary tools are located nearby:
- sheep clipper;
- wound care products;
- preparing a chest or bags for receiving wool.
Tool for the job
The choice of instrument should be treated very carefully. For small farms, it is enough to have special scissors, one of two types:
- Double, made in the shape of a heart. The tool fits well in the hand, it is easy to operate, it allows you to cut the sheep short enough.
- Single straight lines. They are equipped with a blade resembling a knife. As a rule, only professionals use such a tool. They are very traumatic, but they allow you to treat the animal with high quality.
Large farms have been using electric tools for a long time. It is more expensive, but they are convenient and fast to work with. The requirements for professional equipment are lower than for manual processing. A farmer with more than 2-3animals, it is worth having a sheep clipper.
Lacoste might be an example of this technique. She uses carbon steel blades to handle any type of wool. Apply pressure adjustment. The price is affordable for any farmer.
Processing a sheep requires not only skill, but also great physical strength. The main thing is to properly fix the animal. Usually their legs are tied crosswise, but the most experienced are tied only by one leg, the other three are held by hand.
Let's look at the step-by-step instructions for shearing a lying ram:
- The animal is cleaned of dirt and laid on its side.
- First of all, the limbs are cut, then the head.
- From the head they move to the back, moving towards the tail. It is important that the movements are smooth, without jerks.
- From the back go to the sides and finish with the stomach.
- Special care should be used when treating areas near the nipples and scrotum. The skin there is very soft and fragile. Usually these places are covered with a hand.
- At the end of the work, all cuts are treated with disinfectant.
- Immediately after work, all tools, including the ram clipper, are cleaned of hair and wiped.
Sheep care after shearing
After shearing, the animals are sanitized and released into the stall. Start feeding carefully so as not to overfeed. It can cause stomach upset.
- Exposure to insect infestation when walking in a distant pasture.
- Delicate animal skin without coat protection should not be exposed to direct sunlight.
- Sheep should not be overfed.
Otherwise, your pets do not need special care. If everything is done correctly, they will soon be covered with new wool, and you will be the owner of excellent raw materials for the production of various products.
Primary processing of wool
After shearing the rams, work with wool is just beginning. It absolutely cannot be stored dirty. You can not wash only in one case, if you immediately transfer it to wholesalers for further processing. In any other case, it is worth washing. By the way, in the washed state, it costs much more. The washing procedure is not very difficult:
- Wool is pre-sorted, removing all debris. You can use a regular dog brush to comb out foreign objects.
- For 30 minutes treated in a hot solution of water with a degreaser. Do not allow lanolin to remain on the wool. Do not stir or wring while rinsing.
- Next step: high temperature wash. As a washing powder, you can use any one designed for woolen products.
- After washing, without wringing, place in hot soapy water for 1.5 hours. When cooling, the water is changed.
- Rinse gently, changing water frequently, until all soapysolution.
- After rinsing, the wool is carefully disassembled and dried on a mesh with a layer of no more than 1.5 cm in a well-ventilated area. Can be under the sun.
- Follow-up treatment consists of combing until strands are formed. The wool is ready for further use.
How to store
Prepared wool is carefully rolled into rolls. Further storage is carried out in canvas bags. The room must be dry and well ventilated. Temperature doesn't matter much. The main thing is that the wool does not dry out.
Thus, the prepared fleece can be used to make numerous products and can be done in winter, when there is less work on the farm. And you can sell to wholesalers. As already noted, the price of washed wool is significantly higher than that of raw wool.
What can be made from wool
Sheep wool is a valuable raw material for the production of many useful things:
- It is impossible to imagine the carpet industry without sheep wool. Such carpets are not electrified, repel dust, store heat well. Create comfort and beauty at home.
- Wool blankets and blankets are not only comfortable to use, but have healing properties. They are recommended for patients with sciatica, help with circulatory disorders, suffering from nervous disorders.
- Mattresses stuffed with wool are a little hard, but very useful for patients with osteochondrosis and arthritis, as well as for a number of other diseases.
- Woolen clothing has excellent "climate-control." Air easily passes inside, and heat is retained, excess moisture and sweat are quickly removed.
- Recently, the fashion for felt wool products has begun to return. Masters make exclusive items of clothing, shoes, toys, various accessories and much more.
This is just a small selection of wool items.
When choosing a subject of activity, farmers should pay special attention to raising sheep. Be sure to remember that this is not only meat, but also high-quality wool. Shearing sheep is easy to learn.