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(Abc.net.au)   Biological defleecing to save farmers from the back breaking labour of shearing   (abc.net.au) divider line
    More: Cool, Wool, Merino, merino sheep, Emeritus professor Phil Hynd, Research body, Mulesing, Domestic sheep, wool producers  
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649 clicks; posted to STEM » on 21 Jun 2022 at 3:55 AM (23 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



15 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-06-21 12:45:06 AM  
 
2022-06-21 1:01:39 AM  
Yeah, because what the hell are we using wool for anyway?
 
2022-06-21 1:25:48 AM  
All shearers have soft, smooth hands.
 
2022-06-21 1:54:07 AM  

OK So Amuse Me: All shearers have soft, smooth hands.


Except for Harry.  😛
 
2022-06-21 3:15:21 AM  
I would think that with the value of fleece in the toilet because the wool mills and other textile industries going offshore the solution would be more of a conversion to hair sheep for the meat sheep industry. Most sheep are shorn at a loss in the west. Hair sheep shed their coat without needing be sheared where wooled sheep MUST be sheared regularly.
 
2022-06-21 5:14:52 AM  
When did fleecing stop working as a word?
 
2022-06-21 5:16:24 AM  

Circle Girl: OK So Amuse Me: All shearers have soft, smooth hands.

Except for Harry.  😛


But he has great voices

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-06-21 5:25:58 AM  

Kat09tails: I would think that with the value of fleece in the toilet because the wool mills and other textile industries going offshore the solution would be more of a conversion to hair sheep for the meat sheep industry. Most sheep are shorn at a loss in the west. Hair sheep shed their coat without needing be sheared where wooled sheep MUST be sheared regularly.


Wool isn't a synthetic product, you can move a wool mill offshore but that doesn't change where the wool itself comes from.

NZ and Australia are doing absolutely fine producing wool.
 
2022-06-21 10:03:54 AM  
Wool is an amazing material. I do not think about it much, frankly, but it has an important niche.

Neat article and of course it is labor intensive.

I am not excited about going for chemicals, but not for any particular reason. As long as everyone is careful about it and the material is not affected.

I wonder if anyone has tried a different approach of "half automating" the process, with mechanical shearing of the broad surfaces, with some guy or guys doing the faces and difficult contours to clean the animals up. I wonder if you could train the animals to come to stalls for regular automated brushing so that they like it and feel comfortable with it, and then one day, they come in and get snipped instead of brushed. They might not even know the difference untll it is all over.

Certainly not an expert, but those are pretty high rates for shearing.
 
2022-06-21 12:27:50 PM  
Allow me some edit corrections for more accurate reality representation here:

The shearer shortage greed at the top of the economic stack has wool producers looking for out-of-the-box, alternative ways to harvest wool.replacements to the labor that there is no money left over after their profits to pay for.

The situaiotn is the same everywhere there is labor.
It s not the labor that is in short supply, it is the necessary sorceresses to compensate/purchase the labor.


If your life is going to be poverty anyway, why be in poverty with a 40+ hour a week hard labor job, when wiht or without that you're still in poverty.


Do not forget the western POV on 'fairness'
the game of "negotiation' where one of us has all the monye, then we make an offer on how we will split it with one other person. But if they reject the offer, no one gets any monye at all, game over. If they take the offer, we split the monye as said and also game over. And no one had wot work for any of it , it is all free monye to  the player.

And yet if the offer made is not close to a 50/50 split, better than 90% of the time , the offer is rejected.
the one who stared with nothing, and was offered to not have much more than nothing in the deal. Is ok to reject getting anything at all, in order to be sure you also suffer getting nothing with them.

So there we are, we alrady know they can and will choose to have nothing, if they see it also harms those who would be so greedy anyway.
 
2022-06-21 12:28:51 PM  
auto spell edit correction

The situaiotn is the same everywhere there is labor.
It s not the labor that is in short supply, it is the necessary sorceresses resources to compensate/purchase the labor.
 
2022-06-21 1:27:38 PM  

Kat09tails: I would think that with the value of fleece in the toilet because the wool mills and other textile industries going offshore the solution would be more of a conversion to hair sheep for the meat sheep industry. Most sheep are shorn at a loss in the west. Hair sheep shed their coat without needing be sheared where wooled sheep MUST be sheared regularly.


Incorrect! The adult sheep, which are mostly Ewes are shorn, (yes we also shear the Bucks) but a sheep rancher gets a payday for selling wool and then another payday when he sells lambs. One more payday than cattle ranchers. Ewe lambs are sold as breeding stock and wether lambs(castrated males) are sold for meat. Yes, some ewe lambs are sold for meat too, you can't predict how many lambs will be born male or female. Sheep ranchers aren't going to cut one of their biggest paydays out!

After a lamb goes past a certain age and weight they go from lamb to mutton, and lots of folks don't care for the fat that mutton has, it's a heavy, bitter-tasting fat. Some folks are okay with it but I've never cared for it. Lamb, real lamb (under 90lbs./under a year old) is a light, delicate-tasting meat. We worked for a man that spent a lot of years buying ewe lambs from other ranchers that had good wool and bred his sheep until he consistently had the best wool in the area and he was paid top dollar for that high-grade wool too.
 
2022-06-21 2:33:01 PM  

OK So Amuse Me: Kat09tails: I would think that with the value of fleece in the toilet because the wool mills and other textile industries going offshore the solution would be more of a conversion to hair sheep for the meat sheep industry. Most sheep are shorn at a loss in the west. Hair sheep shed their coat without needing be sheared where wooled sheep MUST be sheared regularly.

Incorrect! The adult sheep, which are mostly Ewes are shorn, (yes we also shear the Bucks) but a sheep rancher gets a payday for selling wool and then another payday when he sells lambs. One more payday than cattle ranchers. Ewe lambs are sold as breeding stock and wether lambs(castrated males) are sold for meat. Yes, some ewe lambs are sold for meat too, you can't predict how many lambs will be born male or female. Sheep ranchers aren't going to cut one of their biggest paydays out!

After a lamb goes past a certain age and weight they go from lamb to mutton, and lots of folks don't care for the fat that mutton has, it's a heavy, bitter-tasting fat. Some folks are okay with it but I've never cared for it. Lamb, real lamb (under 90lbs./under a year old) is a light, delicate-tasting meat. We worked for a man that spent a lot of years buying ewe lambs from other ranchers that had good wool and bred his sheep until he consistently had the best wool in the area and he was paid top dollar for that high-grade wool too.


I don't know how many people you know with sheep but I assure you, they are sheared at a loss almost all of the time here in western north america. Most mills domestically won't even take new clients for either washing or spinning. The local people I work with typically compost their wool because it costs more to ship it than what it would fetch, their value is in breeding stock, and meat. So since they're paying the shearing, it by default is a loss and it's almost never a great payday once you factor in shipping and labor costs. Sometimes some states, and provinces have wool co-ops that do ship that stuff out by the giant bale overseas but again, usually at a pittance for raw greasy wool.
There is some specialty wools that do have some good garment value (merino is pretty hot right now) but most textile or carpet wool is a net loss industry. If you read anything having to do with the US or Canada wool markets you'll read about finding niches for sales, export markets, and even how to best compost it.
Also, goats have bucks. Uncastrated male sheep are called rams.
 
2022-06-21 3:32:06 PM  

2fardownthread: Wool is an amazing material. I do not think about it much, frankly, but it has an important niche.

Neat article and of course it is labor intensive.

I am not excited about going for chemicals, but not for any particular reason. As long as everyone is careful about it and the material is not affected.

I wonder if anyone has tried a different approach of "half automating" the process, with mechanical shearing of the broad surfaces, with some guy or guys doing the faces and difficult contours to clean the animals up. I wonder if you could train the animals to come to stalls for regular automated brushing so that they like it and feel comfortable with it, and then one day, they come in and get snipped instead of brushed. They might not even know the difference untll it is all over.

Certainly not an expert, but those are pretty high rates for shearing.


You have obviously never worked sheep. Sheep are dumb, honestly and truly dumb(except for one thing*). First off someone would have to invent this 'machine' then you would have to convince the ranchers to buy it. Good luck with that one, they are a stubborn lot that hates change. Ranchers are not going to spend untold amounts of money to buy 'automatic shearing machines' that their stock is likely going to ignore and you aren't going to 'teach' a sheep to do a damn thing! They would be prohibitively expensive too, being new tech and all.

How many of these machines would they have to buy per x amount of sheep? What powers these machines? Ranchers aren't going to be able to get electricity to every corner of their ranches. The last place we were on was 250 sections, that's 250 square miles! Where and how are the fleeces being gathered and stored after it's off the sheep? Will these machines sew up a sheep if they flinch/jump and are cut by the combs? (No, but a human shearer will) Sheep are generally sheared in February so the ewes are not heavy with wool, as well as lamb, come lambing season in March, and the fleeces are all uniform in size/weight as well.

Not to mention that once the sheep are all rounded up, the boss, the hands, and the shearers can spot any animals in trouble. Your machines aren't able to do that and no rancher is going to lose the chance to see and catch potential issues. Shearing is one of the few times in a year that you see all of your stock in one place. Shearing is also when we pull the Bucks out and put them in their separate pasture because you don't want to be lambing year-round.

*Sheep and Buffalo will walk into a storm, meaning they come out of the back of the storm sooner. Most herd animals will drift with the storm so they are 'in' the storm longer.
 
2022-06-21 4:02:38 PM  

Kat09tails: OK So Amuse Me: Kat09tails: I would think that with the value of fleece in the toilet because the wool mills and other textile industries going offshore the solution would be more of a conversion to hair sheep for the meat sheep industry. Most sheep are shorn at a loss in the west. Hair sheep shed their coat without needing be sheared where wooled sheep MUST be sheared regularly.

Incorrect! The adult sheep, which are mostly Ewes are shorn, (yes we also shear the Bucks) but a sheep rancher gets a payday for selling wool and then another payday when he sells lambs. One more payday than cattle ranchers. Ewe lambs are sold as breeding stock and wether lambs(castrated males) are sold for meat. Yes, some ewe lambs are sold for meat too, you can't predict how many lambs will be born male or female. Sheep ranchers aren't going to cut one of their biggest paydays out!

After a lamb goes past a certain age and weight they go from lamb to mutton, and lots of folks don't care for the fat that mutton has, it's a heavy, bitter-tasting fat. Some folks are okay with it but I've never cared for it. Lamb, real lamb (under 90lbs./under a year old) is a light, delicate-tasting meat. We worked for a man that spent a lot of years buying ewe lambs from other ranchers that had good wool and bred his sheep until he consistently had the best wool in the area and he was paid top dollar for that high-grade wool too.

I don't know how many people you know with sheep1 but I assure you, they are sheared at a loss almost all of the time here in western north america. Most mills domestically won't even take new clients for either washing or spinning. The local people I work with typically compost their wool because it costs more to ship it than what it would fetch, their value is in breeding stock, and meat. So since they're paying the shearing, it by default is a loss and it's almost never a great payday once you factor in shipping and labor costs. Sometimes some states, and provinces have wool co-ops that do ship that stuff out by the giant bale overseas but again, usually at a pittance for raw greasy wool.
There is some specialty wools that do have some good garment value (merino is pretty hot right now) but most textile or carpet wool is a net loss industry. If you read anything having to do with the US or Canada wool markets you'll read about finding niches for sales, export markets, and even how to best compost it.
Also, goats have bucks. Uncastrated male sheep are called rams2.


1 Only most of the sheep ranchers in Southeastern New Mexico, I can give you names. Now I will admit I haven't kept up with wool prices as we don't work ranches anymore so I have no idea about price status now compared to ten, fifteen years ago. It was a profitable endeavor at that point.

2 I know what a "Ram" is ffs, I also know that folks around here use Buck and Ram interchangeably and they always have. Are you going to tell an old rancher they are wrong if they tell you to go to the Buck pasture? Are you going to tell them they have to rename it to the "Ram" pasture? LOL Good luck with that.
 
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