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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How to Shear a Goat

Meet Delilah

Picture 1004

She is an Angora goat, and our host for today. You will need a goat for today's experiment. You will also need to wonder through your local farm store purchasing items such as bleed stop, sprayable iodine and bandages. Try not to look frighten as you give these items to the cashier, she/he might think you are up to something. And a nervous giggle is something you should avoid as well boys and girls. Cashier's are able to give you the evil eye without lifting their heads, it's spooky.

Now that you have your wound care, and your goat, you need a pair of shears. For educational purposes only, we have gone the route of manual shears.

Purchasing a goat wrangler comes in handy as well. Look around, it is worth it to find one to your specific likings.

angora wrangling

The floor of your barn should be clean, no mud of straw to get into the wool. But for this experiment, we will forgo the sterile room.

prepping to shear

Many people and books tell you the once they are on their backs, they are passive. This is not true. Goats will spit and buck while on their backs. Just a gentle holding down of the horns to keep their heads from moving seems to be much better then some of the other techniques I have read and seen.


Starting on the front right shoulder, you cut as close as is comfortable for you. The book I have said to flip the animals back and forth, going from right to left and back again. This however, boys and girls, doesn't seem to work for these goats, for as soon as you attempt to roll them, they attempt to get up on their feet and run away.

ready, set, SHEAR!

just a little off the top

Just curious. But, does this goat make my butt look big?

Does this goat make my butt look big

Sometimes your Angora wrangler is done for the day, even if the job isn't. It then falls on you to do the rest of the shearing. Not to worry boys and girls. The goat isn't being sat on, merely straddled into compliance. (I wonder what kind of google hits I will get from that statement)

When your goat is down, now is the time to trim hooves and look for any problems. This goat shows signs of neglect from previous owners. We are in the process of fixing that.
This goat is also pregnant, that or she has an alien about ready to burst from her stomach.

touch up

I know, I know, this was horrible. We did a bad job with the shearing, but it is our first time. We will hopefully get better as time goes on.

NO goats were hurt in the making of this post. just our pride.


Anonymous said...

Hi there! Are you thinking of selling any parts of the fleece?


farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

Truthfully, considering you used hand shears, that's not a bad job. It does get easier and quicker---besides Angoras are harder because their fleeces is so "slippery". Oh yes--invest in the special sharpener for the hand shears if you don't have it yet. It's a small handy thing for sharpening right while you are shearing.
Now, come over and look at my post for today.
P.S--I know goats look skinnier than sheep--but she looks as if the previous owner wasn't feeding enough from this perspective especially considering she's preg.

jeanne said...

Oh My! Love the pic of D sitting atop the goat.

chuckle, chuckle

Phelan said...

Persian pen name, We are, but not from this goat pictured.

Monica, the skinny was a shock to us, this is part of the neglect I was reffering to. We are making sure that these two have what they need away from my sheep and other goats. She will be fattened up.

lisa said...

That was fun! (Well, maybe moreso for me :)

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

The farmer is right, that looks good. I am jealous. I have to invest in clippers my self my sheep are begging to be shorn. That's a great picture!

Cheryl said...

"Does this goat make by butt look big" *Snicker*
Love that.

Wow, I go away for a month or so and you get up to all sorts of fun stuff - goats, bees - what's next?

Love the new header by the way!

Phelan said...

MOnica, I forgot to mention, thank you. I am glad to hear we didn't do too bad of a job. I told my husband what you said, now he is all pleased with himself "I've got skills"

Jeanne, :D

Lisa, we had a good laugh while doing it. It took about 4 hours to do the one.

Tim, thank you. And good luck!

Cheryl! Long time my friend. Bees, angoras and cows, soon a bull. DOn't think we can do too much more livestock after that without exhausting the land though.

alrescate said...

I think you and D. did well considering it was your first time & you were using hand shears.

What are you going to do with your fleece?

Celeste said...

Excellent job. Get that sweetie some real good feed. The babies will be in dire need of it. Just in case because of the neglect I would have some goat milk replacement on hand.

abbagirl74 said...

It looks as though the goat was about ready to bite Dan's booty!

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