Shearer

Summary

Shearers harvest wool from sheep using power-driven handpieces that are fitted with combs and cutters.

Duties & Tasks

Shearers may perform the following tasks:

  • take sheep from catching pens and hold firmly while shearing fleece in one piece
  • select shearing combs to suit the type of sheep and wool
  • ensure the wool is harvested with the least possible stress on the sheep and in accordance with strict animal welfare guidelines
  • return shorn sheep to let-out pens for counting and checking
  • shear stud animals with hand shears or special combs
  • clean and sharpen combs and cutters
  • identify sheep with specific characteristics, such as black spots, as requested by the wool classer.

Working Conditions

Expedition shearers work in a team and may be responsible to an overseer or shearing contractor. These shearers travel long distances from property to property to work. Others may work within their own district and travel daily to the shearing shed, returning to their own homes each day.

Accommodation is usually provided in shearers' quarters either on the property or in a nearby town. Shearers supply their own work clothes, combs and cutters.

Personal Requirements

  • able to work as part of a team
  • able to work quickly and consistently with hands for long periods
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • willing to live in remote areas
  • able to handle sheep with confidence
  • able to cope with the physical demands of the job.

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