Whether you have one or more sheep, at a certain time you have to shear them. But what does it cost to shear a sheep? And if you are planning to keep sheep, what cost can you expect do they really cost?
We did some research, and in the following list you can see what the average cost is per country:
- United States: In the US the costs per head are around USD $3.75.
- United Kingdom: In the UK the costs are around £2 per head.
- New Zealand: For a crossbred sheep the costs are around NZD $2.20 per head, and for Marino sheep, you can expect a cost of up to NZD $3 per head.
- Australia: Shearing of flock sheep (wethers, ewes, and lambs) by machine costs AUD $3.10 per head, and by hand around AUD $3.34 per head.
These are all average prices and should give you an indication of how much you can expect to pay to shear your sheep. The price you will pay can differ by the type of sheep, the region you are living in (some regions are cheaper, some are slightly more expensive), time of the year, the amount of sheep and other special circumstances.
United States Sheep Shearing prices
Detailed Price overview for Sheep Shearing in the USA
The price to shear a sheep will depend on the volume, shearing more sheep will lower the cost (all prices in USD):
- Shearing of 1-5 sheep costs around $125
- Shearing of 6-5 sheep costs around $125 for the first 5, around $10 – $15 per head after that.
- Shearing of 16-25 sheep costs around $125 for the first 5, around $10 -$12 per head after that.
- Shearing of 26-50 sheep costs around $125 for the first 5, around $8 – $10 per head after that.
- Shearing of 51-100 sheep costs around $125 for the first 5, around $6 – $7 per head after that.
- Shearing of 100+ sheep costs around $125 for the first 5, around $6 head after that.
Detailed Price overview for other Services in the USA
Except for the shearing cost itself, you can also expect other associated cost, and cost for other services (all in USD):
- Driving costs around $75 per hour
- Catching your sheep for you, or waiting while you catch them costs around $75 per hour
- Half-day rate is around $375
- Full day rate is around $600
- Demonstration of sheep shearing costs US $ 250 – 400
Australian Sheep Shearing prices
Detailed Price overview for Sheep Shearing in Australia
The price to shear a sheep will depend on the type of sheep, and the volume. Shearing more sheep will lower the cost (all prices in AUD):
- Shearing of rams (other than special stud rams) and ram stags costs around $621 per 100 by machine, and around $668 per 100 by hand
- Shearing of stud ewes and their lambs costs around $388 per 100 by machine and around $417 per 100 by hand
- Shearing of double-fleeced sheep: Flock Sheep costs around $414 per 100 by machine and around $445 per 100 by hand
- Shearing of double-fleeced sheep: Rams costs around $828 per 100 by machine and around $890 per 100 by hand
- Shearing of double-fleeced sheep: Stud ewes and their lambs costs around $517 per 100 by machine and around $556 per 100 by hand
Detailed Price overview of other Services in Australia:
Except for the shearing cost itself, you can also expect other associated cost, and cost for other services (all in AUD):
- Full crutching costs around $90 per 100
- All other crutching costs around $71 per 100
- For wigging or ringing, around $34 per 100
- For either wigging or ringing in addition to crutching, around $9 per 100
- For wigging and ringing around $56 per 100
- For wigging and ringing in addition to crutching—crutching rate plus around $15 per 100
- For cleaning the belly of your ewe above the teats (no more than two blows of the machine or shears)— crutching rates plus around $8 per 100
- For all other crutching plus wigging around $80 per 100
- For all other crutching plus wigging and ringing around $87 per 100
- For full crutch plus wigging around $100 per 100
- For full crutch plus ringing around $100 per 100
- For all other crutching plus ringing around $80 per 100
- For full crutch plus wigging and ringing around $105 per 100
Detailed Cost to keep Sheep
When you want to start keeping sheep from a more business perspective it is good to understand how much they will cost you. The cost is not only the price you pay for a sheep, the food they eat, and the shearing cost. Also, expect the cost for an electric heater when it gets cold in your area, the maintenance cost of the perimeter, maintenance cost for the shed they live in, costs of butchering, worming, wrapping, and other vet services. The following table gives you an idea of what these costs are when you keep sheep in a more urban location. Of course, your cost can differ depending on the type of sheep, your location (urban area or not) and many other factors. All cost are just an indication, where applicable per sheep, and are in USD:
|Purchase price per sheep||Around $500|
|Hay (around $170/Ton, 5 Months)||Around $100|
|Grain, Whole Yellow Corn (around $0.128/lb)||Around $57|
|Manure Disposal (around $10 per hour)||Around $100|
|Salt + Minerals||Around $2|
|Pasture Maintenance||Around $8|
|Pressurized Irrigation||Around $8|
|Worming (Adult Sheep)||Around $4|
|Worming (2 Lambs)||Around $5|
|Building Maintenance||Around $6|
|Electrical, Water Heaters||Around $21|
|Electrical, Well Water||Around $34|
|Irrigation Tax||Around $3|
|CD-T: Adult Booster||Around $1|
|CD-T: Lamb Vaccination||Around $4|
|Security (Dog Protection)||Around $10|
The cost for the property, land, labor, and taxes are excluded in this overview.
Most Relevant Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Does Shearing Hurt the Sheep?
No. The only time the process of shearing will hurt the sheep is if the shearer is unsteady, rough, nervous, careless, or very inexperienced. There could also be injuries if the sheep are not restrained properly; if you allow it to kick, push, or struggle through the process. Otherwise, shearing is very beneficial for the sheep because it gets that heavy coat of wool off and makes the sheep more comfortable in the summer heat and scorching sunshine. Expert shearers are very good and fast at shearing the sheep without hurting them at all.
2. How do I Wash and Dry a Sheep?
If you have a breed of sheep that are used for wool, you can use a vet-approved conditioner. It is just like bathing a dog; you rinse, then scrub with soap, and rinse again. Experts recommend letting it dry out naturally, not by blow-drying, as this can affect the quality of their wool.
3. How do I keep my sheep healthy?
Some of the most common ways to keep your sheep healthy are:
- Shearing them at least once a year. Sheep with longer fleeces will need to be sheared twice a year. You must consider shearing your sheep before the onset of warmer weather and avoid shearing before cold weather. You want your sheep to be comfortable during the shearing, so you must keep your sheep off the pasture for at least 10 hours before shearing. This will allow their stomachs to become empty. Shearing wet sheep can cause health problems, so you must avoid doing that. Not shearing sheep and allowing their fleece to get waterlogged can make them more prone to flystrike.
- Crutching means trimming the wool around the crutch of the sheep (area immediately around and below the tail, down the hind legs and halfway to the underside of the body). Urine and feces can soil this area, so keeping it clean can prevent problems like flystrike.
- Dagging removes all the dirty wool around the rear end and belly of your sheep. Dags are basically the clumps of soft or hard fecal (or mud) material that has become bound into the wool of the sheep. Dags can attract blowflies, so you must try to remove the dags as soon as possible while they are still soft and the blowflies have not found them yet. You can use hand shears or digging shears.