Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Clipping and Shearing

We receive a few calls/emails throughout the year on what clippers or shears folks need for their livestock. The answers depend on what the individual is shearing/clipping and for what purpose (ex. range shearing or show shearing/clipping).
(photo above) A Premier 4000c Clipping Machine.
(photo below) a Premier 4000s Shearing Machine

Farm/range flocks for meat or fiber have their wool removed via shearing. We recommend a Phantom R comb for folks just starting out with shearing. For intermediate shearers, the Spirit or Blackhawk 92 are advised. Professional shearers tend to use a flared comb based on the bevel needed or a 9 tooth comb (Apache) with the Storm cutter.

Show stock—meat lambs are slick shorn to accentuate their muscling. Slick shearing (slick clipping) is done with a set of clippers with Fine, Surgical or Super Surgical blades.

Fiber animals and some breeding animals are blocked with a shearing machine. Since blocking occurs off the skin, a Phantom S comb is recommended.

Meat goats in the show ring should have their hair removed with a clipping machine rather than shears. Typical blades are the Fine, Medium or XtraCover.

Goats raised for the fiber- use a shearing machine with the Phantom R or Mohair combs.

For blocking cattle use a Phantom S comb with a shearing machine.
Peeling is usually done with a Medium or Coarse set of blades on a clipper. If using a shearing machine, the Phantom R should be used.
Shaving is usually done with a clipping machine with Fine or Medium blades.

Horses can be clipped with either Fine or Medium blades.

A clipping machine with XtraCover blades should be used.

Guard Dogs:
We typically clip our dogs with Coarse blades and a clipping machine.

Llamas and alpacas:
When clipping llamas and alpacas use Coarse blades.
When shearing the following combs can be used: SpiritCamelidMohairPhantom R and Blackhawk 92. If more fiber is to be left on the animal, a Comb Lifter can be used to keep the comb off the skin.

*Blocking: Removal of wool or hair off the skin. The comb or cutter of the shearing machine does not touch the animal.
*Peeling: Removal of dirty body hair with clippers or shears.
*Shaving: Removal of hair from the head, brisket and tail.
*Clippers/Clipping machine use clipping blades (Super SurgicalSurgicalFineMediumCoarse and XtraCover).
*Shearers/Shearing machines use combs and cutters. The combs are Spirit, CamelidApacheMohairBlackhawk 92Blackhawk 94Phantom R and Phantom S. The cutters are the SpitfireStorm and Ceramic cutter.
All combs except for the Apache should be used with the Spitfire cutter. For efficient shearing, we recommend using the Apache with the Storm Cutter, but only if you are an experienced shearer.