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Sheep clippers

Posted by val f 
Sheep clippers
01 February, 2008 12:08AM
i am looking for some help to find some elecric clippers that are suitable for the dartmoor fleece. After spending the morning dagging with my 5th set of hand held ones i cant stand any more blisters, i look after them but they seem to only last a couple of months. Has any one bought electric ones that they can recomend. Also what sort of blade would you use on legs. My shearer never does the legs as he says it ruins the blades. Is this usual or is it just him. i would be very greatfull for any advice you have to offer.
Re: Sheep clippers
01 February, 2008 07:35AM
Funnily enough i am looking for similar, so maybe a double plea will find a response. I have been looking at the clip on battery jobs as you can use them anywhere, but they are bloomin' expensive! It is getting increasingly difficult to get good shearers, i always tell mine to leave the legs anyway as they look awful shorn bare, but one shearer insisted on doing them then wished he hadn't. My guess is any sheep clipper will do the job, but it's down to the type of comb how well!
Re: Sheep clippers
01 February, 2008 05:17PM
I know they are expensive but i thougt if you keep having to buy dagging shears then eventually they would be an investment if you also take your time into account.i dont show my sheep its just a hobby so i do like to have the legs shorn to keep them clean as it gets very wet and muudy here. The battery ones sound like a good idea but would they have enough power. i have asked for money for mothers day and birthday so hopefully if i save some as well i will be lucky enough to get some. thankyou for your reply Val
Re: Sheep clippers
01 February, 2008 05:38PM
Bear in mind with electric shears there will be costs for running and replacing cutters and combs, so apart from saving hands, i don't see a lot of potential saving money wise!
Re: Sheep clippers
07 February, 2008 01:03PM
I originally bought a Heiniger 12volt clipper (with motor in the body. It was ok but cable was always in the way. I now use a Horner 12 volt conventional shearing machine which is brilliant. I use a deep winter comb which leaves a good covering of wool on the animal. Costs of sharpening cutters and combs are reasonable - 50p per cutter and 75p per comb at one of our local animal hardware stores - done while I wait. However I now regret getting rid of the Heiniger because it would have better to shear my Alpacas.
The motor in the handpiece type is probably more convenient for trimming sheep if you are not shearing in the traditional way and yes they are expensive - you can get cheaper ones but I would go for well know brands such as Lister or Heiniger. You can get a new unbranded machine similar to the Heiniger on Ebay for about £85 but I don't know what the quality is like.
Re: Sheep clippers
08 February, 2008 03:10PM
i have a Horner 3.2 12v system and it's great.

i prefer to run it off a 36A 12v DC supply normally used for powering ham radio gear. good old ebay - think it was 22 quid and far cheaper than a car battery.

i bought the gear 2nd hand off Horners. was about 180 for the machine and another 100 for the hand piece. remember a new handpiece alone is 220+VAT!

at 300 quid all in it's still a significant outlay, but it's like rams - the more sheep you have the more value you get out of it. i also clip regularly for a mate before he gets his animals away and through his butchers shop. then there are all the people with 2 acres and 2 sheep who want stuff clipped. i reckon it's paid for itself in 2 seasons with just that. then of course i can clip mine whenever i want.

most shearers would do the legs as part of simply doing the job properly. they don't want to be driving past your field for the next 6 weeks afterwards and looking at a mess of tassels knowing it was their doing smiling smiley

Pete - how does that thick comb run? i imagine it would pull a bit, being clear of the skin and having just 9 teeth. they're ANOTHER 20 quid...

BTW 99% of the combs in the UK will be a short bevel (3.5 mm) longer bevels are for stuff like merinos. so the quality of the job you get is down to the shearer and your sheep, not the comb.

GFDs are terrible shearing too. i can get 3 mules done in the time it takes to do a single dartmoor. they're big, they're heavy fleeced, loose skinned, have their ears burried in wool and have woolly legs where the wool joins the belly wool. it all adds up to being the hardest shearing sheep i've done. they're also darned slippery when you get them down to that pearly white under fleece.

so if your shearer is muttering or reluctant to come back after last year - that's why smiling smiley
Re: Sheep clippers
10 February, 2008 11:39PM
Thankyou all for your help. at least now i have some idea of what to look for. If you buy secondhand from Horners do the still come with a waranty say for a year or do you just take a chance. thankyou once again
Re: Sheep clippers
13 February, 2008 10:17PM
The winter/snow combs I use are Lister No 3 (bought from Horner Shearing - about £20), 13 teeth, and Lister No 5, again with 13 teeth but much deeper, about 8mm. They don't make the No 5 now. A local farmer gave me a box of containing 8, still in their wax paper wrappings. His father bought them about 40 years ago and only ever used one. These combs work well without pulling. They worked brilliantly on a shortwool breed like my Balwen Welsh Mountain but on a Dartmoor any mistakes show up more. I bought some Derbyshire Gritstones last year and I'll use the No 5 comb on them. They have a tight fleece so should work well.
A word of warning to Val F. Whichever type of shearing machine you buy, ask for some instruction on setting up the cutter and comb. An incorrect set on the blades can make it easy to nick the skin. If you get someone to show you first you'll remember and get it right each time.
Re: Sheep clippers
14 February, 2008 12:00AM
Thankyou for that info Tirion. When i get a clipper i am going to ask my shearer if he will spend some time with me to show me how toset it up, i am sure he wont mind as he will be glad not to have to do them for me anymore. He moans all the time as he says it takes so long. I did them by hand one year and it was back breaking. I have to laugh when i see the specsaver advert as it reminds me of that year altho i think i did a pretty good job of it. The shearer was really busy and the weather was getting hotter and i wanted to make them comfortable so i set to with the daggers. Thankyou for your help i will keep you posted how i get on.
Re: Sheep clippers
14 February, 2008 05:20PM
better still - do a wool board course


they also have a video/dvd (£15 or so) which includes a few minutes on hand piece set up at the start
Re: Sheep clippers
14 April, 2008 10:00PM
I've finally plucked up the courage to buy some clippers, i've got the Heiniger 12v. I used them last week to crutch out my (filthy!) ewe hogs, and they are brilliant! I've found if i halter each animal and take it out of the pen, the cord doesn't get in the way. Perfect!
Re: Sheep clippers
15 April, 2008 01:19PM
my clippers arived yesterday, i am about to try them i am a bit nervous i will let you know how i get on.
Re: Sheep clippers
16 April, 2008 09:24AM
My partner says Fearings the tag people sell a good electric clippers, you can buy up several types of blade to go with it, he says it is a good one.
Re: Sheep clippers
16 April, 2008 09:48PM
Tried the new clippers and was impressed how powerfull they were. I cant say the ewe would be impressed if she could see her dodgy hair cut, i am sure with practice i will get better. They are heavy to use and you wouldnt want to do too many in a day. I bought them from fearings, they are the Oster clipmaster sheep shearer.
Re: Sheep clippers
17 April, 2008 08:14PM
I find the motor in handpiece clippers are heavy, they vibrate strongly too. It is nice to be able to look at a row of clipped backsides (ignoring the bad hairdos!) instead of claggy bums which sound like an army of castanets coming up the field!
Re: Sheep clippers
16 April, 2009 07:54AM
Well, I have boldly used my clippers to shear two of my boys, and they were brilliant! (sheep & clippers!) Just haltered them up and did one side at a time, then sat them up to do their bellies. I leave the legs and do them with a curry comb when they moult. I did them on Easter monday as they were puffing in the heat! At least I won't have to pay the shearer to do them! Here is a shot of them wondering where they left their fig leaves! (4t ram left, woolled ram middle, and hog ram right)

I don't think it's a bad job for an amateur with a dodgy back!
Re: Sheep clippers
19 April, 2009 09:40PM
nice job
Re: Sheep clippers
19 April, 2009 10:30PM
It helps when the sheep stand as quietly as these two did! I have since sheared a ewe who was looking miserable in the heat, she has really perked up since!
Re: Sheep clippers
25 April, 2009 08:45PM
Maybe it's time all you intrepid people wielding the clippers should get practicing and work out what rates to charge. Apparently the Australian government is regulating for Aussie shearers to apply in person in Canberra for a visa/permit, and stump up £200. So of the 600 who usually apply to come over to the UK, only 1 has so far got the permit. Maybe this is just a shaggy dog/woolly sheep story but even if partly true could make life very difficult for the UK flock this Summer.
As recommended elsewhere on the forum, I bought a pair of Jakoti hand shears and found them a huge improvement on the traditional variety. I'm still VERY slow and the sheep don't look to good when I've finished with them, but the shears are certainly easy to use and comfortable to handle.
Re: Sheep clippers
27 April, 2009 08:45PM
Machine sheared a week ago ready for the shows.

My shearling ewe - still needs her legs washing a bit.

An old ewe with dirty knees but clean back legs. I've just noticed - I missed a bit behind her ear!

Apologies for the poor quality of the photos - the sun was going down fast!

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 27/04/2009 08:46PM by Lynne Jackson.
Re: Sheep clippers
27 April, 2009 08:50PM
And one more. Old ewe with her ewe lamb - born March.

Re: Sheep clippers
27 April, 2009 10:33PM
Here's one of the ewe I sheared the thursday after easter, her ewe lamb was born 12th march.

I admit there's still work to do on those legs!!
Re: Sheep clippers
05 May, 2009 02:49PM
i just thought i would let you know that when buying new combs and cutters for yor sheep clippers, shop around, i bought my clippers from fearing and one spare blade is £41.25. Horner shearing do a pack with 4 combs and 8 cutters for £ 39. 00 a masive difference, They are really helpfull , The tel No for Horneris 01200427419. www.hornershearing.com
Re: Sheep clippers
10 May, 2009 11:03PM
Well, my back could take no more so I got the shearers in to do the rest on 5th may. All ewes and lambs are now done, just a small 'show team' left in the wool.
Here's some of the ewes and ram lambs (looking scraggy!)..

and one of a ewe lamb who is growing in to quite a poser!

They were certainly glad to get their fleeces off!
Re: Sheep clippers
11 May, 2009 08:43PM
Yes, the weather is certainly getting a little warmer now so I am sure they were all glad to get those heavy fleeces off! Some nice looking lambs there too, crazy sheep. Looks like one of them is shouting "Hip, hip, horray, our fleeces off today!"

I only have two ewes to do now and the lambs so don't feel at all stressed with it this year. My two two shearling rams have been sheared off last week.

I haven't sorted their leg wool out yet - I will do that this weekend. That's a job in itself, I fear. I left it all on and will tease out and trim as I see fit but not just at the moment..........................one step at a time!!!!smiling smiley I really wanted to see how they had filled out over the winter.

It's funny how they suddenly grow up, isn't it!?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/05/2009 08:59PM by Lynne Jackson.
Re: Sheep clippers
11 May, 2009 10:14PM
They're nice butch looking fellas! Whose the father?
Re: Sheep clippers
12 May, 2009 05:06AM
Yes, they aren't bad! Their father was a Cardwell ram - Cardwell 692
Re: Sheep clippers
05 June, 2009 11:44AM
Well, I was full of enthusiasm to get the show team done after the Bath & West. I managed to shear the old ram, old ewes, ram lamb and one of the shearling ewes. However, whilst clipping the belly on the second shearling ewe, she decided my eyebrows needed doing and kicked the clippers up in my face. I was rushed in to theatre for a 3 hour eye operation, and spent the next 2 days having eye treatment every hour. I am home now, but will not know the result until monday. Fingers crossed hoping they've saved my sight in that eye. So maybe goggles should be advised when shearing!!! I can't wait to see the health & safety lot raise their eyebrows at this one! I am not allowed to bend forwards, lift anything or do anything, daytime t.v is torture, so coming on here to read old posts is a real treat!
Re: Sheep clippers
05 June, 2009 07:35PM
Oh dear that's terrible. I do hope your eye is OK. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Re: Sheep clippers
06 June, 2009 03:30PM
How is the eye today?

When are you allowed more freedom of movement?

I didn't realise you had such dangerous sheep! confused smiley

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