"If you really get into it and want to travel, it's not a bad paying job. It can vary from $2.50 a head and up, depending on how many sheep are in need of shearing, and the travel time and expenses shearers incur to get to the farms."
Sheep typically are sheared once a year for the wool to make wool products but also for the welfare of the animals, High said.
Ewes, which can weigh 90-350 pounds, and rams, which can weigh 90-400 pounds, are shorn with a shearing machine. Shearing is healthier for the animals, High says. It prevents them from overheating and allows owners to observe them for health and nutrition issues.
"Most sheep are housed in barns, which attract moisture, and this moisture can cause pneumonia," he says. "The health of the animals can be monitored better if producers are able to see the animals' skin by removing the bulky fleece, which in some breeds can reach 15 inches in length."
Also, the fleece can become mud-stained and matted and hide flea or fly infestations that aren't easily detected, High says.
The sheep shearing school will teach the Australian shearing method, which includes moving sheep with proper animal handling techniques to lessen stress on the sheep, he said.
For more information on the sheep shearing school, contact High at 614-246-8299.
Source: OSU Extension