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Friday, April 17, 2009

Repost: How to Shear a Goat

I was asked about my masthead, so I thought now would be a good time to post about shearing. This post first appeared on my blog on 5/13/08.


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...

Now your blog picture makes sense to me. =) What do you do with the wool once it is sheared? Do you wash and then 'card' it? Not sure what the 'card' word means, I've just heard it used when peeps talk about wool.

Phelan said...

No washing only carding, which in essence means to comb. I will do a post on carding soon. After that you spin it or sell the wool raw.Angora wool has to be mixed with sheep's wool (once the angora is over 1 year of age) because the elasticity has diminished. This is called mohair.

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

Stephanie just reminded me last night the the sheep will soon need my attention as well.

HermitJim said...

Looks like a job that would be OH,so much fun to attempt in the rainy season!

Good article! Thanks!

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