Sheep shearing in South Africa

Sheep shearers in South Africa

On a good day Paulus (in picture) shears about 120 sheep with manual blade shearers. Although he took it easy yesterday when we visited the Nampo agricultural show in Bothaville, South Africa, he still got the wool removed from one sheep in a pretty decent time.

With electric clippers, one top sheep shearer can remove the wool of more than 320 sheep in one day!

Sheep shearing takes place in South Africa about three times in a two-year cycle. About 4000 workers are employed to harvest the national clip of about 50 million kilograms.

The welfare of the sheep is always carefully considered. Skilled, trained shearers ensure the correct application of the shearing process, while also monitoring the quality and integrity of the clip. Shearing teams move from one farm to another, spending roughly one week at each farm. A wool classer and handler works alongside the shearers, sorting the wool into different categories of quality and thickness/fineness.

With the use of a national shearing management system and app, farmers can provide feedback and ratings on the shearers and the work they do. In turn, shearers can also rate the facilities they find on the farms where they work (Source: Cape Wool)

Last year, South African blade shearers Bonile Rabela and Zwelamakhosi Mbuweni scooped victory at the finals at the Golden Shears World Shearing and Woolhandling championship in Scotland on Sunday.

Rabela and Mbuweni who were pitted against four other finalists took gold and silver in the championship in Edinburgh.



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