Do Sheep Like Being Sheared?

Sheep don’t usually like being sheared, as they will fight off the attempts of shearing.

But with the proper shearing techniques and tools, shearing can be made easy. After sheep are sheared, they will feel relieved and better.

Shearing is a necessary process with sheep that should take place at least once a year. It’s encouraged to keep the wool of the sheep healthy and fibrous, as well as to prevent various infections that might be caused by the buildup of manure and urine.

Additionally, shearing is necessary to keep the sheep cool.

Do Sheep Like Being Sheared

Do Sheep Like Being Sheared?

No, sheep tend not to like being sheared, but a necessary process that is actually very good for the sheep.

In the wild, sheep shear their wool naturally by pressing against rocks and trees, but with domestic sheep, shearing needs to be done by the farmer.

Even though shearing might seem to be cruel for the sheep, it provides them with relief. After shearing, the sheep will feel cool and fresh.

Nevertheless, they might resist the act of shearing, which might make it seem as though it is harmful.

Shearing needs to be done professionally to ensure the sheep isn’t harmed.

Shearers have proper holding techniques and the right tools to make it easy for the sheep. They also need to hold the sheep in a proper way to prevent the sheep from injuring itself or its shearer. While this might seem as though it is cruel for the sheep, it is a necessary process that might take some force at times.

Without shearing, sheep would feel hot and they might get infections.

So, not shearing might be more cruel than shearing, even though it seems like a struggle for the sheep, and some sheep might resist the process of shearing.

As a result, shearing a sheep is not cruel, but actually, a necessary process that almost any domestic sheep needs to go through.

Does Shearing Sheep Hurt Them?

No, the shearing of sheep is not painful unless the farmer accidentally clips the sheep’s skin.

Sheep wool is similar to hair. It does not have nerve endings so sheep will not feel pain when they are sheared.

However, inexperienced shearers or shearers using old and blunt tools will often clip the sheep’s skin, causing it to bleed.

This is a lot like cutting yourself shaving, although because shearers are larger, the cut is likely a lot more painful.

Experienced shearers, however, would not cause harm to the sheep. For the sheep, it’s just like getting a haircut.

Why Do Sheep Seem Calm When Shearing?

Some sheep might remain calm when they are being sheared, while others might resist the shearing altogether.

With the right techniques and proper holding, sheep will remain calm during shearing because in a certain position during shearing, the sheep will remain calm.

Sheep shearers need to learn how to hold the sheep when they are shearing them.

If an untrained person would attempt to shear the sheep on their own, it would likely not go easily.

The sheep still might resist attempts of the farmer to shear them, which might result in bad shearing and even injuries.

But in a certain position, the sheep will generally give in to the shearer and might even remain calm. In the specific position that the shearer puts the sheep in, the sheep will remain calm because it will increase their cortisol levels.

This “forces” the sheep to stay calm and relaxed when shearing, which will make it easy for the shearer.

Ehile this process might seem to be straightforward and easy at first sight, it is one that takes some practice and knowledge to pull off.

Experienced shearers know what it takes to keep a sheep calm when shearing and more importantly, to shear them in a way so they aren’t hurt.

Why is Shearing Good for Sheep?

Sheep should be sheared annually because this will allow them to stay cool during the summer, replenish their wool and make it of higher quality, get rid of bacteria, and prevent infections that might occur inside thick wool.

If the process is done in a proper way and without the use of too much force, the sheep will not resist shearing and might even enjoy it. The fact is that sheep need to be sheared at least once a year to get rid of the excess wool and allow the new wool to grow back, which will improve the quality of the wool.

An additional reason why sheep must be sheared is the wool itself. Farmers keep sheep because of the wool, so they need to make sure that the shearing is made at least once a year. This will take professional shearing to make the wool useful for other tasks and processes later on.

Additionally, shearing is necessary to prevent various infections that might occur inside the wool. When this is done properly, shearing will get rid of the buildup and the bacteria that will happen inside the thick wool, so with proper shearing, these problems will be solved.

If the sheep are not sheared regularly, the wool will grow too long to the point of obstructing the movement of the sheep. They won’t be able to move around as much, and they might start to get too hot during the summer, which will significantly decrease the quality of life for the sheep.

Summarized Benefits of Shearing Sheep

Shearing has the following benefits:

  • It provides wool for the farmer so they can make a living from raising the sheep
  • It helps remove infections and fights off potential infection
  • It allows the sheep to stay cool
  • It keeps the wool clean and higher quality

Are Sheep Drugged when Shearing?

No, sheep should not be drugged when shearing. They might appear as though they are calm and relaxed, but that is because of the natural processes that happen when the right shearing techniques are used.

Shearing should be ethical and clean, without the use of drugs. Professional shearers know what it takes to keep the sheep calm when they are shearing the sheep.

This takes a lot of practice and know-how to keep the sheep calm, but it’s not because they use some chemicals or drugs to achieve this state.

The sheep will stay calm when they are in the right shearing position, which is only done through proper training and with a lot of practice. That’s why shearing should be done by people who know how to do it.


Sheep shearing is a process with a long tradition. Sheep don’t like the process of being sheared and if it is not done properly, they might fight off shearing attempts. But when done correctly, the sheep will be docile and calm during shearing.

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