Treat Your Sheep Shearer Well |

Finding a ShearerFor new breeders of fiber livestock, finding a livestock shearer may be very perplexing because shearing is not a service that is likely to be listed in the local phone book. For breeders with small herds of sheep, llamas, alpacas, or goats, another difficulty is that it is not economical for a professional shearer to service a small farm operation with less than 50 animals–especially with the current cost of gas. Fortunately the online Livestock Shearers Directory lists farms in the United States and Canada, and it also lists farms that host an annual shearing day.Combining Resources for Small FarmsHosting an annual shearing day enables several small farms to bring their animals to one location. That way, there will be enough animals to justify the travel and setup expenses for a shearer to get to that location. In addition, there will be extra people to assist with all the various chores associated with shearing. An added benefit is that the hosting farm can charge extra over the shearer’s cost to help cover all the other expenses associated with shearing.Responsibilities of the Hosting FarmTo treat your shearer well and attract him or her to return another year, you need to fulfill certain responsibilities.
Be there at the agreed upon time. Your shearer needs to get to his or her next appointment. They usually want to start early in the morning. So spend a few days prior to the shearing day getting the facilities ready, check lists, bags, etc. cleaned, organized and ready to start promptly.

Have the animals penned, lined up, and ready to be shorn. The shearer does not want to stand around waiting for you to chase animals out in the pasture.

Make sure the animals are dry. Put them in a dry, unbedded barn the night before if it is dewy or looks like rain. Alternatively, use a blower to blow out vegetable matter from their fleece. Set up fans at blanket height to help dry out moisture.

Have enough helpers. This may include catching animals, sacking wool, sweeping the floor, running errands, etc. There’s plenty of jobs to go around.

Do NOT trim feet, worm animals, etc. at shearing time, unless agreed to by the shearer in advance. Most shearers want to shear as many animals as possible in a given time. Doing herd management chores in conjunction with shearing slows down the shearer’s job. Some shearers will worm your sheep and trim feet at shearing time; for a fee. Ask in advance.

Call your shearer when an unforeseen event that prevent shearing.

Keep dogs away from the shearing area floor. If you use dogs to herd livestock, try to keep the dogs away from viewing the shearing. Dogs may cause the livestock to get nervous and difficult to handle.

Provide beverages, snacks, perhaps even lunch.

Periodically ask the shearer if he needs a break.

Have a checklist of every animal being shorn. That way, there will be no disagreements on the tally of animals.

Pay the shearer promptly when the job is complete.
What to Expect From the Shearer
A good shearer will be dependable, do good work, shear your animals the way you want, and charge a fair price. You can expect your shearer to do the following:
Call if he, or she, will be late. Sometimes a previous shearing job takes longer than expected. If so, the polite thing to do is notify those next on the list.

Be very careful in not spreading disease from farm to farm.

Charge a fair price. Shearers are paid on a per head basis. They should not be asking for additional tips.

Handle the animals, especially pregnant females safely.

Avoid serious cuts, especially on the ears, vulva, teats, penis, and scrotum.
If a shearer does not live up to your expectations, make a note not rehire him or her. Most shearers are good people and work hard.

Why Choose a Non-Electric Automatic Waterer? |

There is a lot of talk about the use of electricity in and around waterers. Primarily because there is in reality a safer and improved way to get clean water from waterers. Some even consider it foolhardy to incorporate electricity in animal watering strategies nowadays when there are products available that will save you money, provide a safer environment for your livestock, and are more environmentally friendly.If you sit back and think about it, you may even end up summarizing the overall costs of running your entire business. What is good learn is that there are methods you can employ to not only save money, but increase the safety of the environment in which your animals live.If you have one or if you have 200 head, you can take advantage of using a watering system that’s easy to manage and energy free. There’s a way to get water straight from a pressurized water line and keep the actual waterer from freezing all year round.Implementing non-electric automatic waterers is not only good for your pockets but also to the overall safety and security of your livestock. Almost everyone knows about the dangers of using electricity in conjunction with water sources. In fact, most people can tell you of a story they have heard, or perhaps experienced first hand, in which drinking water for cattle has become electrically charged. When they attempt to drink they are literally electrocuted! One of the biggest threats of this that it may appear there is ample water available, so it may go unnoticed for some time. This brings with it the very real danger of impaction colic due to lack of water intake.So why would you subject your livestock to these potential hazards when animal deaths can easily occur because of electric shock in the drinking water? There’s really no more point in using the outdated methods of watering when modern alternatives can lighten your financial obligations and ensure your livestock is kept at a distance from danger.In addition, the newer method gives your livestock the enjoyment of savoring cooler water in the warmth of the summer months and warm water during the freezing winter season. In all truth, the reality is that the water produced is basically 50 degrees year round. So, in the winter it appears to be ‘warm’ and in the hot months it appears to be ‘cool’. In addition, a non-electric automatic waterer guarantees that your livestock are receiving spotless and sparkling water every time they drink from it.Consider using a non-electric automatic waterer. You’ll have no trouble finding one for your specific needs because they come in a variety of sizes and heights so there’s a suitable waterer for every type of farm animal you have. There is really no reason not invest in primitive and less cost effective waterers.Assuming you’re looking into an innovative watering system for your horses, there is no better option than to go green, and at the same time, control your expenditures and keep your animals protected! All it takes is some of your time to browse over the Internet and check out the numerous providers of non-electric waterers. Surely, you’ll find one in no time.After testing these non-electric waterers yourself, surely you’ll still be in awe on how remarkable the change has become in your farm. You can reduce your workload and start generating some substantial savings for your hard earned business. And with the use of a non-electric automatic waterer, you can surely meet all of these objectives. Overall, three entities will be made happy: first is your livestock, next is yourself and last is mother earth (non-electric waterers are also eco-friendly). So go ahead and enjoy the benefits of utilizing a non-electric automatic waterer now!