Tectra - education & training in New Zealand's Wool Industry

In the paddock

Shearing crossbreds in mid pregnancy


Key points

  • Thousands of lambs die soon after birth each year
  • By increasing the birth weights of twins and triplets, losses can be greatly reduced
  • Shearing crossbred ewes in mid-pregnancy (around day 70) can increase the birth weights of their lambs by around 0.4 kg and their weaning weights by around 1.0 kg
  • The birth weight response does not appear to occur in ewes which are very light (<50 kg) or very heavy (>70 kg). Nor does it occur in those with very low (<1–1.5) or very high (>4) condition scores.
  • Ewes produce about 0.2 kg more wool a year if they are mid-pregnancy shorn
  • To protect winter-shorn ewes from exposure, they should be shorn (depending on the region) with genuine winter combs, winter combs with lifters, or blades
  • They also must have good shelter and adequate feed after shearing

For further information please download the attached PDF


Created: 04 May 2007, Modified: 04 May 2007