This year we decided to have ALL of the sheep (ewes, lambs, ewe hoggets and rams) shorn during the period given:
- Experience last year with some lamb losses due to the impact of seed burden from the native Corkscrew Grass. These plants are currently seeding. This year we are managing the grazing plan differently to (hopefully) avoid a repeat and have been assured by many that shearing the lambs (not done at this time last year) will help.
- Forecast for a relatively wet summer (although not as wet as lat year) which can mean ideal fly strike conditions. Having the wool short should help. That said, our sheep have been bred to minimise the risk of fly strike - plain bodied (less wrinkles to trap moisture) and more 'open' wool (able to dry out faster after rain)
- Shearing the lot at once means that all the animals are aligned and we thus minimise the number of times we have to arrange for shearing each year - hopefully to just the once. We do have them crutched on a needs basis.