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SHEARING OF SHEEP
Sheep make a valuable contribution to the
livelihood of the economically weaker sections of the society especially in the
mountainous areas by its multifaceted utility of producing wool, meat, hides and
manure etc. Wool is an important product of sheep which continuously grows on it
and its utility and value depends upon its quality. The fibre fineness and the
staple length are two very important characteristics of the wool determining its
value and utilization. The finest wool with good staple length is used in the
worsted system of yarn production and for manufacture of best quality suiting.
Kashmir Merino developed in Kashmir is a fine wool breed of sheep comparable to
the best wool breeds of the world. Its wool has a fibre diameter of 21 to 22
microns which is considered as the best by all standards.
The act of cutting or removal of wool from the body of
sheep is termed as ‘shearing’. ‘It is generally done twice a year in Kashmir
during spring and autumn months. The traditional way of clipping wool is the
hand shearing by using shearing scissors. It is now an out dated practice and
is getting replaced by machine shearing which has got multiple overriding
advantages over the former like:
1. It is less time consuming as it requires just
4 to 5 minutes for shearing of each animal against 20 to 30 minutes by
2. It causes a smooth or uniform shave over the
animal body as against hand shearing where the wool cut is irregular.
(MECHANICAL SHEARING BRINGS DUE PRICE TO WOOL)
3. Staple length is more in mechanical shearing
than in hand shearing.
4 Chances of injuries and wounds in mechanical
shearing are less than in hand shearing.
5. It does not exert stress on and is convenient
for the animal as compared to hand shearing.
6. Machine shearing is a value addition to the
wool and it fetches more prices.