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Sheep Shearing

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                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 hand shearing.

2.            It causes a smooth  or uniform shave over the animal body as against hand shearing where         the wool cut is irregular.



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.