What does it Cost to Shear a sheep? We checked it for you…

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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.
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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):

Amount of sheep
Cost indication USD
1-5
$125
5-15
$125 for the first 5, around $10 – $15 per head after that
16-25
$125 for the first 5, around $10 -$12 per head after that
26-50
$125 for the first 5, around $8 – $10 per head after that
51-100
$125 for the first 5, around $6 – $7 per head after that
100+
$125 for the first 5, around $6 per 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):

Other Services in the USA
Cost indication USD
Driving costs
$75 per hour
Catching your sheep for you, or waiting while you catch them
$75 per hour
Half-day rate
$375
Full day rate
$600
Demonstration of sheep shearing
$250 – $400
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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):

Australian Sheep Shearing prices
Machine/Hand
Cost indication AUD
Shearing of rams (other than special stud rams) and ram stags
Machine
$621 per 100
 
Hand
$668 per 100
Shearing of stud ewes and their lambs
Machine
$388 per 100
 
Hand
$417 per 100
Shearing of double-fleeced sheep: Flock Sheep
Machine
$414 per 100
 
Hand
$445 per 100
Shearing of double-fleeced sheep: Rams
Machine
$828 per 100
 
Hand
$890 per 100
Shearing of double-fleeced sheep: Stud ewes and their lambs
Machine
$517 per 100
 
Hand
$556 per 100

Detailed Price overview of other Services in Australia:

Except for the shearing cost itself, you can also expect other associated costs, and cost for other services (all in AUD):

Other Services in Australia
Cost indication in AUD
Full crutching
$90 per 100
All other crutching
$71 per 100
wigging or ringing
$34 per 100
wigging or ringing in addition to crutching
$9 per 100
wigging and ringing
$56 per 100
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
all other crutching plus wigging
$80 per 100
full crutch plus wigging
$100 per 100
full crutch plus ringing
$100 per 100
all other crutching plus ringing
$80 per 100
full crutch plus wigging and ringing
$105 per 100
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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:

Type of cost per sheep
Cost (USD)
The purchase price per sheep
Around  $500
Hay (around $170/Ton, 5 Months)
Around  $100
Grain, Whole Yellow Corn (around $0.128/lb)
Around  $57
Bedding
Around  $6
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.

What does it Cost to Shear a sheep? We checked it for you... 7

3. How do I keep my sheep healthy?

Some of the most common ways to keep your sheep healthy are:

● Shearing

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

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

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.