January 2, 2009

Sheep Farm Husbandry - Glossary

Extensive glossary of technical and commonly used farming terms concerned with sheep farming, shearing and wool preparation, and preparation of sheep skins.

By Dr Clive Dalton



SHEEP
  • Alpha lambs: Unweaned lambs too heavy for the beta trade, and up to 18-20kg live weight. They are not tail-docked or castrated.
  • Beta or bobby lamb: Milk fed lamb fed on the ewe from 1 to 3 weeks of age, going for slaughter at around 14kg live weight. They are not usually tail-docked or castrated.
  • Cast-for-age (CFA): Old ewes culled from the flock because of age; usually over 5 years old.
  • Cast sheep: Sheep found lying on its back unable to get up, usually because it is heavy in lamb or has a heavy fleece.
  • Cryptorchid: There are two meanings. A true cryptorchid is a male with undescended testicle or testicles, but the term is also used to describe a lamb that has been made infertile (ie castrated) by applying a rubber ring below the testicles to remove the scrotum, leaving the testes pushed up against the body (see Castration below).
  • Dry ewe: Did not produce a lamb.
  • Dry/dry: Did not produce a lamb – barren or did not get pregnant.
  • Drift lambing: Where un-lambed ewes are moved quietly from among ewes that have just lambed.
  • Easy-care: System where shepherds leave ewes to lamb on their own - called “minimal care”. They go round to help any ewes having problems but cull them later.
  • Ewe: Mature female sheep, usually over two years old.
  • Fecundity: Ability to produce and rear offspring.
  • Fertility: Ability to produce fertile eggs (ova) in the ewe and viable semen in the ram.
  • Flock: A group of sheep of any size.
  • Flock ram: Non registered ram used in a commercial flock.
  • Flushing: Feeding a ewe on a rising plane of nutrition three weeks before mating to stimulate more eggs being shed from the ovary.
  • Four-tooth: Four permanent incisors in place - from 21-24 months to 30-36 months old.
  • Full mouth: All eight permanent incisors in place - older than 42-46 months.
  • Hogget: Young sheep from weaning at 4 months to the time when it’s central permanent incisors erupt at about14-16 months of age. The hogget stage usually ends when they are shorn at around 14 months of age.
  • Joining: Putting a ram out to run with ewes.
  • Lamb: Young sheep between birth and weaning (up to about 3 to 4 months old). Note: the meat industry uses the term “lamb” for sheep that have not yet got their first pair of permanent incisors, i.e. up to a year old or a little older.
  • Long tailer: Male with tail left undocked to indicate that it was not castrated.
  • Perinatal lamb mortality: Lambs that die within three days of birth.
  • Ram: Male sheep of any age.
  • Shear: Term used mainly at saleyards in the South Island for male or female sheep denoting how many times they have been shorn and hence their age, eg one-shear or two-shear ewes. It's more common to see them described them by their teeth.
  • Shearling: Male or female sheep 14-16 months of age after being shorn once.
  • Stud ram: Ram registered with a breed association or society.
  • Tail-up, chaser or follow-up ram: Ram used at the end of joining to mate any late-cycling ewes.
  • Six-tooth: Six permanent incisors in place - from 30-36 months to 42-46 months old.
  • Slink: Lamb either born dead or died soon after, processed for its skin.
  • Teaser: Vasectomised ram.
  • Two-tooth: Two central permanent incisors in place - sheep from 12-18 months to 21-24 months old.
  • Tupping: Mating or joining (a tup is another name for a ram).
  • Weaning: Permanently removing lambs from their mothers.
  • Wet/dry: A ewe that produced a lamb but did not rear it.
  • Wether: Castrated male.

WOOL

  • Bale: Package of wool in a regulation wool pack weighing at least 100kg. The maximum packed weight is 181kg for fleece and lambs wool and 204 for oddments.
  • Bale cap: The top of the bale on which you stencil the details.
  • Belly wool: Wool from the underside of the sheep.
  • Blades: Hand shears.
  • Blade shearing: Sheep shorn with the blades leaving more wool on the body for cold conditions.
  • Blend: A line of wool resulting from thorough mixing within or between types.
  • Body wool: Wool from the main body of the sheep.
  • Brand: Coloured mark used for identification of a wool bale or on the side of a sheep.
  • Break: A weakness in a wool fibre usually caused by low feeding levels. It causes the fibre to go thin and lose tensile strength.
  • Britch wool: Wool off the lower thighs or britch of the sheep.
  • Broken: Pieces of wool from which the short dirty ends have been removed.
  • Bulk: The resilience of “bounce back” property of wool.
  • Burr: Hooked seeds in wool that cause problems in manufacture.
  • Catching pen: The pen next to the shearing board that holds the sheep for the shearer.
  • Chalkiness: Property by which Down breed wools and very hairy wools reflect light. Sometimes called whiteness.
  • Character: A composite term used to describe a staple of wool. The amount of crimp in the staple is an important part of it.
  • Classing: Grouping similar wools into saleable lines.
  • Clean wool: Scoured or washed wool.
  • Clean weight: Weight of clean usable fibre obtained from greasy wool.
  • Clip: The wool produced from a farm or group of sheep.
  • Coarse wool: Same as “strong” wool characteristic of some breeds.
  • Colour: The washability factor of wool. Colour is measured by an instrument and affects wool’s ability to accept dyes.
  • Comb: The part of a shearing handpiece that enters the wool to hold it while it is cut by the cutters.
  • Condition: The amount of yolk, sand or earth present in greasy wool.
  • Core sample: Sample of wool cut from each bale by hollow steel tube under vacuum.
  • Cott: Fleece that has become matted during growth.
  • Count: The old term to describe the fineness of greasy wool. Now micron measurements are used.
  • Crimp: The natural wave formation of wool. In general the smaller the crimps the finer the wool.
  • Crossbred wool: Wool produced by Romney, Perendale, Coopworth, Leicester and Lincoln sheep and their crosses – other than with the Merino.
  • Crutchings: Wool removed from the rear end (the crutch) of sheep. Normally much coarser than the body wool.
  • Cutter: Part of the shearing handpiece that reciprocates across the comb to sever the fibres.
  • Dags: Wool contaminated with faeces from the rear of the sheep.
  • Dead wool: Wool from a dead sheep.
  • Dingy wool: Discoloured wool caused by condition or dust.
  • Double fleece: Fleece wool of more than 12 month’s growth.
  • Down-type wool: Wool from Down-type meat breeds such as Southdown, Suffolk, Hampshire and their crosses. Sometimes called short-wools.
  • Early-shorn wool: Fleece wool usually of 7-10 months growth that hangs lightly together as a fleece.
  • Eye clips: Trade term for wool removed from the side of the sheep’s face at crutching.
  • Fadge: Package of wool in a wool pack weighing less than 100kg.
  • Fibre: Single strand of wool.
  • Fleece: Body wool shorn from a sheep.
  • Fleeco: Person who handles the newly-shorn fleece in the shearing shed.
  • Flyblown wool: Wool contaminated with blowfly maggots. Typed as dead wool.
  • Follicle: Structure in the skin out of which a wool or hair fibre grows.
  • Fribs: Shorter, tightly curled and discoloured wool from the brisket and four points of the sheep.
  • Full wool: Ten to 13 months growth of wool.
  • Grab sample: Wool sample drawn at random from the bales in a line. Needs to average 250g per grab and a minimum of 4kg per lot. Placed in display boxes for buyers’ appraisal.
  • Grading: Sorting out wool for sale into lines.
  • Greasy wool: Wool as shorn from the sheep and containing the natural impurities of wax, suint and dirt.
  • Hair: Fibre similar in chemical composition to wool but containing a medulla.
  • Halfbred wool: Wool from Corriedale or New Zealand Halfbred or similar sheep containing between one quarter and three quarters Merino blood.
  • Handle: The feel of wool.
  • Handpiece: The handheld part of the shearing machine.
  • Hunger-fine wool: Wool that has grown much finer than normal due to low feeding levels or starvation.
  • Kemp: Short white brittle medullated fibres which are shed from the fleece. Common in carpet breeds like the Drysdale and some others such as the Cheviot.
  • Lambs wool: Wool shorn from lambs.
  • Lanolin: Natural product derived from the grease in wool.
  • Line of wool: Several bales of wool of similar type.
  • Locks: Short wool that has either fallen through the slats on the wool table or been swept from the shearing board.
  • Longwool sheep: Sheep of British origin that grow coarse wool more than 100mm in staple length in 12 months, e.g. Romney, Coopworth, Lincoln and Leicester.
  • Lot: Line of wool offered for sale. Minimal number of four bales (460kg) or under special conditions may be offered as a star lot or ten bales.
  • Lustre: Sheen characteristic of some coarser wools, e.g. Lincoln and Leicester.
  • Medium wool: Middle of the range of a specific type of wool in terms of fibre diameter.
  • Medulla: the cavity up the centre of hairy (medullated) fibres.
  • Merino wool: Type of wool grown by sheep with more than three quarters Merino blood.
  • Micron (┬Ám): Unit used to describe the diameter of a wool fibre. One micron equals one millionth of a metre.
  • Moit: Vegetable matte other than seeds and burrs.
  • Mulesing: Cutting wrinkled skin from around the anus of Merino sheep.
  • Neck wool: Matted collar wool from around the neck of a sheep.
  • New wool: Wool used in the manufacture of fabrics for the first time.
  • Oddments: Parts of a fleece other than the body wool that are sold separately, e.g. belly, neck, crutchings, locks and pieces.
  • Open faced: Breeds with no wool on their heads so they can see easily.
  • Overgrown wool: Fleece wool that is more than 12 month’s growth.
  • Pieces: Body wool trimmings removed from the fleece when it is skirted after shearing.
  • Pizzle stain: Unscourable urine staining in wether and ram belly wool and ewe crutchings.
  • Pre-lamb shearing: Shearing ewes during late winter or early spring before lambing.
  • Pressing: Compressing loose wool into bales in the shearing shed.
  • Quality number: An old subjective system to estimate the fineness and consequent spinning capacity of wool. Based on the Bradford worsted yarn count system,
  • Quarterbred wool: Wool from sheep containing between five- and seven-eights Merino blood and the remainder Longwool blood.
  • Raddle: Paint, aerosol spray, greasy crayon or chalk used to put a mark on a sheep’s fleece. It must be approved as being scourable.
  • Rouseabout or Rousie: General hand working in a shearing shed.
  • Sale by sample: Method of displaying wool before an auction where only a sub-sample withdrawn mechanically from the line of wool (minimum of 10 bales), is displayed in a cardboard box for buyer evaluation along with a yield test certificate.
  • Scouring: Washing wool to remove the natural impurities of wax, suint and dirt.
  • Second cut: Wool fibres which are cut twice during shearing by poor technique. The short pieces are of little value.
  • Shearing board: Area in shearing shed where sheep are shorn.
  • Shearing gang: Group of people employed by a farmer to shear, sort and bale the wool clip.
  • Shearing shed: Building where sheep are shorn.
  • Shedhand: Person other than a shearer who works in a shearing shed.
  • Shed-up: Confining woolly sheep in a shearing shed before shearing – usually to prevent them getting wet.
  • Sheepo: Person in a shearing shed who fills the catching pens. Shearers shout “Sheepo” to indicate their catching pen is empty.
  • Sixty-nine: Call made to let shearers and shedhands know ladies or visitors are entering the woolshed.
  • Skep: Pronouncied “skip”. A trolley to carry loose wool in a woolstore or mill. Also called a dobbin.
  • Skirting: Removing oddments from a fleece after shearing.
  • Slipe wool: Wool recovered from pelts in an abbatoir.
  • Sound wool: Wool without any weakness in tensile strength.
  • Sox: Kempy fibres growing between the sheep’s knee and hoof.
  • Stain: Discoloration of wool caused by water, bacteria, fungi and dirt that cannot be scoured out. Examples are – canary stain, log stain.
  • Stand: The area on the shearing board where each shearing machine is placed.
  • Staple: Naturally formed cluster of fibres in a fleece. Staples are joined by cross fibres which bind the fleece together.
  • Star lot: Small sale lot of specialty type wools of usually one to three bales.
  • Steely wool: Wool with a shiny appearance that lacks crimp. Associated with copper deficiency.
  • Stringy: Wool with a thin staple.
  • Strong wool: Wool with a coarse fibre diameter.
  • Style: Combined assessment of the degree of excellence or fault of wool.
  • Suint: Natural water soluble impurity of wool grease.
  • Sweat locks: Short, heavy-condition staples from the upper inside of the legs.
  • Sweepo: Person who sweeps the shearing board during shearing.
  • Tally: Number of sheep shorn by a shearer or a gang in a nine-hour day, or the number of sheep in a group.
  • Tender: Wool with a tensile weakness. A less severe form of break.
  • Threequarterbred wool: Wool types judged to be from sheep containing between three-eighths and one-eighth Merino blood and the remainder Longwool blood.
  • Tippy wool: Wool with a very pointed tip to the staple.
  • Topknot: Wool shorn from the top of a sheep’s head.
  • Type: Suitability of wool for a particular form of processing and end use, or the wool from a particular breed.
  • Unsound: Wool with a tensile weakness. Incorporates both tender and broken wool.
  • Vegetable matter: Seed, small twigs, foliage, chaff or hay embedded in a fleece.
  • Webby: Mild entanglement of fibres within a fleece. Early stage of cotting.
  • Wigging: Shearing wool from the head of a sheep. Also called topknots or wigs.
  • Wool away: The shearers call to clear the wool away from the shearing board.
  • Woolblind: Sheep that has so much wool over the face that it cannot see.
  • Wool broker: Person or company that prepares and offers a grower’s clip for sale on a fee or commission basis.
  • Wool buyer: Person who buys wool from a grower either privately or at auction on behalf of a processor and arranges shipment to the processor.
  • Wool classer: Person trained to put wool together in groups of similar types.
  • Wool grease: Natural impurities of wool (wax and suint) secreted by glands attached to the wool follicle. Also called yolk.
  • Wool merchant: Person or firm trading in wool.
  • Wool table: Slatted table on which the fleece is skirted and classed.
  • Woolgrower: Anyone who farms sheep to produce wool.
  • Woolly hog: Fleece from a hogget unshorn as a lamb.
  • Woolpack. Jute or polypropylene bag of regulated dimensions or packing wool.
  • Woolscour: Plant where wool is washed or scoured.
  • Woolshed: Same as shearing shed.
  • Woolstore: Place where wool is prepared and offered for sale.
  • Yield: Proportion of usable fibre present in a lot of greasy wool expressed as a percentage.
  • Yolk: Natural impurities of wool(wax and suint) secreted by glands attached to the wool follicle.

SHEEP SKINS
  • Cockle: Lamb/sheep skin pelt defect. A preventable disease that shows nodules over the pelt surface.
  • Dresser skin: Woolly lamb skin suitable for processing into leather with the wool attached for rugs, car seat covers, etc.
  • Fellmongering skin: Woolly lamb/sheep skin which has been processed into leather after the wool has been removed.
  • Fellmongering: Factory or department of an abbatoir or meat works where wool is removed from lamb/sheep pelts.
  • Grain: Surface layer of pelt, hide or leather containing wool or hair follicles.
  • Green skin: Undried skin from farm or slaugher facility. Such skins have no keeping quality.
  • Paint: Chemical mixture capable of penetrating the skin and loosening the wool fibres.
  • Pelt: Lamb/sheep skin after wool has been removed.
  • Pickled pelt: Lamb/sheep pelt preserved for export with brine and sulphuric acid. The product from a fellmongery.
  • Pinhole: Lamb/sheep pelt defect. Small holes in the grain caused by wool fibres growing in groups. Prevalent in fine wool breeds.
  • Ribby pelts: Pelts of wrinkly sheep such as Merino that have restricted value for leather manufacture.
  • Skin: Derived from a sheep, goat, deer or possum.
  • Slink skin: Derived from a lamb that has either been born dead or died soon after birth, and is processed for its skin.
  • Wet blue: Hide or skin tanned with chromium salts which also colour it blue/green and is kept in a wet state.
  • Wool pull: Estimate of weight of wool able to be removed from a skin in a fellmongery.
  • Wool puller: Person or machine used to remove wool from a lamb/sheep skin after it has been chemically loosened.

No comments:

Post a Comment