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Erin McAndrews
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I don't own sheep yet. Hoping to add them to my farm within 1-2 years. I'm still in the research phase, but still have pretty much no hands-on experience with sheep.

The opportunity arose for me to attend a sheep shearing school, and I jumped on it. I'm excited, but nervous. I'll probably be the only one there who doesn't actually own sheep.

Any advice for how to appear less foolishly noobish in front of the real sheep people?
 
Travis Johnson
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If it was anything like my sheep shearing school experience, you will fit right in so relax and enjoy it!

I am not sure anyone there had zero sheep, but few had more than 3-4. The reason is simple; any more then that and they had sheep shears lined up. Getting a sheep shearer for just a few sheep is expensive because the farm-call is harder to swallow. For me it is $30. Now keep in mind I took this class when I had 4 sheep. With sheep shearing costing $6; that is $13 a sheep!!! Holy smolies, you minds well do it yourself (not to mention someone doing it for $54!)

But I also learned that while me and my father CAN shear sheep, our backs just cannot handle it. And you know, there is value in knowing that too.

But you will be just find, will have a great time because sheep people love to talk sheep, no matter how many you have.

BTW: I have a lot of respect for you for this; most people buy sheep, get them on farm and say "now what do I do?" Before I reintroduced sheep to my farm, I did a 9 month farm plan to make sure I had my basis covered, and then only started with 4 sheep. Research is ALWAYS better then regret.

 
Erin McAndrews
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Sorry for taking awhile with an update, but wanted to especially thank you for your reply. I did help me feel a bit more confident going in. There were a handful of other folks without sheep experience, but that alone didn’t offer me too much comfort once the actual sheep handling began. To be short, I think I could be much better at shearing if I had more experience moving and handling sheep in the first place. I hope to get more experience working or volunteering on a farm somewhere nearby, trying to figure out the best way to arrange this. No one in their right mind would let me shear their sheep yet, though!

(Also, thanks for your final note – raising chickens and ducks has shown me that there’s inevitable loss to working with animals, and I know I’d better be as prepared for sheep as possible, because I imagine the emotional weight of feeling you’ve contributed to the death of a large mammal is somewhat heftier.)
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/email
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