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5 signs you've been shearing sheep
Agridirect puts together a list of 5 signs you've been shearing sheep this month.

Farmers on the shears: the telltale signs

Well folks, the shearing season is now well and truly underway. And not before time, because this is maggoty weather. The humidity of the last couple of weeks makes for perfect breeding conditions for the blowfly. Here at, we’ve been talking to farmers in the throes of shearing their flocks. To mark the season, we’ve put together a list of 5 the telltale signs that you’ve been shearing sheep. Here they are:

  • You can’t move from the hips up. Shearing sheep, like footing turf, is murder on the back. The lower back gets a pounding from the constant crouching, and obstreperous sheep don’t help matters. If you didn’t take the age-old advice of easing yourself into the job, you might have to be lifted out of bed these mornings. Take it easy for a day or two, lads. You have lots of sheep, but only one back!
  • You look like you're wearing war paint. It’s not that we don’t try to use the marking dye sparingly. But no matter how careful we are, it always seems to get everywhere. On your clothes, on your hands, even on your face. The fluid is no better than the aerosol spray. These days, it’s not uncommon to see farmers walking about like Aztec warriors, their faces spattered with blues and reds and oranges.
  • You’re finding tufts of wool in strange places.You’ve been handling dozens of sheep and now you might be turning into one. Depending on the breeds of sheep in your flock, you might be pulling lumps of wool out of your wellies, from under your sleeves and I won’t say from where else. Don’t worry. It’s a temporary thing. Just make sure you get rid of it all before going on any dates!
  • Lanolin hands.Sheep’s wool is notoriously oily. Lanolin gets everywhere during shearing, especially on the hands. It can be an advantage, of course. It stops the hands from drying up on the sheers, but it might not be welcome in the dwelling house. Lanolin-covered tea mugs is rarely welcome and doesn't make for a great flavour on sandwiches. Getting rid of it takes a good scrubbing at the end of the day, but it's worth it!
  • You’re too stink for the dinner table. Let’s face it, after shearing a few sheep you smell like a cross between a public toilet and a dung hill. Whoever cooks the dinners won’t let you sit at the kitchen table because you’re putting everyone else off their food. It’s straight to the shower with you, or you can eat with the dogs (if they’ll have you!).

Thanks for reading

So those are just 5 of the signs that a farmer has been spending time with the shears. We hope you enjoyed reading them. Can you think of more telltale signs? Drop us a line in the comments section to let us know your thoughts. As always, we’d love to hear them!