Story: Shearing

Shearing methods used on ewes in Canterbury, 1992

It is often believed that the advent of machine shearing meant the end of blade shearing, but, as this interview with Graham Jones shows, there are still many gangs of blade shearers. The table of shearing methods used in Canterbury indicates that over a quarter of all sheep are shorn with blades. These sheep are predominantly in the high country or on Banks Peninsula, which are prone to snow and very cold conditions, because blade shearing leaves a protective covering of wool on the sheep. Snow combs, which are used on the handpieces of shearing machines, also leave a layer of uncut wool, and so are more commonly used in the colder hill country rather than on the plains.

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Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Bladeshearing/Reference number 97/82/12).

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How to cite this page:

Des Williams, 'Shearing - Modern shearing', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 July 2024)

Story by Des Williams, published 24 Nov 2008