Sheep shearing season starts in Kashmir

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Ishfaq Shafi

Bandipora, Mar 24: Sheep shearing is the process by which the woollen fleece of a sheep is cut off. The person who removes the sheep’s wool is called a shearer.
The shepherd namely Suhail Ahmad said, “Typically each adult sheep is shorn once each year (a sheep may be said to have been “shorn” or “sheared”, depending upon dialect).Sheep are shorn in all seasons, depending on the climate, management requirements and the availability of a wool classer and shearers. Ewes are normally shorn prior to lambing, but consideration is typically made as to the welfare of the lambs by not shearing during cold climate winters. Shorn sheep tolerate frosts well, but young sheep especially will suffer in cold, wet windy weather (even in cold climate summers). In this event they are shredded for several nights until the weather clears. Some sheep may also be shorn with stud combs which leave more wool on the animal, giving greater protection.”
The another shepherd Mohammad Shafi said, Sheep make a valuable contribution to the livelihood of the economically weaker sections of the society especially in the mountainous areas by its multifaceted utility of producing wool, meat, hides and manure etc. Wool is an important product of sheep which continuously grows on it and its utility and value depends upon its quality. The fibre fineness and the staple length are two very important characteristics of the wool determining its value and utilization. The finest wool with good staple length is used in the worsted system of yarn production and for manufacture of best quality suiting. Kashmir Merino developed in Kashmir is a fine wool breed of sheep comparable to the best wool breeds of the world. Its wool has a fibre diameter of 21 to 22 microns which is considered as the best by all standards.