Shearing refers to the cutting and removal of wool from a sheep. The person who removes the wool is called a shearer. Sheep need to be sheared because they do not shed their wool.
Most breeds of sheep are sheared once a year. Some breeds of sheep, classified as ‘longwool’ may be sheared twice in a 12 month period. Shearing does not hurt the sheep. It is similar to getting a haircut. Most sheep are sheared with electric shears or shearing machines.
Shearing the sheep keeps them cooler in hot weather. It is also the time to ‘harvest’ the wool fiber that is used to make yarn for fiber crafts as well as commercial manufacturing.
After the wool is sheared it is ‘skirted’ to remove the undesirable parts - areas that are excessively dirty or are of lesser quality.