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Shearing Store Lambs

8 November 2017

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A shorn animal eats 10-15% more than an unshorn animal resulting in a quicker finishing period. However it must be remembered that most abattoirs will penalise for shorn lambs at about £4/head.  Shearing a lamb using a contractor costs on average £1.10 per animal, the wool yield from lambs is pretty small at about 0.5 kg per lamb, an average cost for cross lamb wool is 84p/kg resulting in an income of 42p, less shearing is a cost of 68p.  The benefit is the lamb will convert efficiently having high growth rates and being on farm for less days.

To prevent the cost of shearing and the penalty from the abattoir, simply crutching and taking off the belly and neck wool will have a positive effect on feed consumed and conversion.  This costs in the region of 75p/head using a contractor, this is no extra cost as the abattoir would normally charge you this at the time of killing, which would not be required if already done.

This year has been very wet and lambs on outdoor systems and forage crops may be very dirty.  Remember abattoirs can charge about £4/head for full shearing of dirty lambs.  Crutching and removing belly and neck wool will aid in keeping lambs cleaner.

Kirsten Williams,

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