Why do sheep need to be sheared?

Funny sheep. Portrait of sheep showing tongue.

In spring, there is one activity that no sheep farmer should deviate from: shearing sheep. Indeed, as soon as the good weather arrives, these domestic herbivores must lose their wool. Note that this practice is completely painless for the animal! If the shearing is not done, the sheep may see their wool thicken until they can no longer move around and therefore die. Explanations.

Shearing is mandatory for the animal’s well-being.

When winter ends, and with it the risk of frost, the sheep of our countryside are sheared. Indeed, in spring, the sheep will not be too cold without their fleece since they can withstand temperatures above 10°C. And when summer arrives, their wool will have grown back enough to allow them to protect themselves from the sun.

If these ruminants are shorn, it is not for aesthetic reasons, but for life or death. Indeed, the wool fiber of the sheep never stops growing. Dirt and parasites accumulate over the days as well as moisture and mold. It is therefore necessary to shear their wool at least once a year to renew it and ensure a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise, it would become more and more bulky, preventing even sheep from moving around to feed themselves. Thus, the survival of the sheep depends indeed on the hand of the Man.

Moreover, after shearing, the animals feel lighter and therefore have more energy. Their appetite is stimulated, especially that of the lambs, which find their mother’s udders more easily.

What happens to the wool?

After shearing, the sheep’s wool is sold by the farmer. It is important to know that a sheep can produce 2 to 5 kilos of wool per shearing.

Then, everything depends on the quality of the wool. It can be used to fill mattresses or armchairs, to knit clothes or as insulation in the building.