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Shrek Avoided The Shearers For 6 Years

Most of us enjoy a trip to the hairdresser’s, but not so Shrek the Sheep …

He really, really, really did not like getting his hair cut. The New Zealand sheep apparently managed to avoid spring shearing for six long years by hiding away in a cave!

When he finally was sheared, there was insane amount of wool. In fact, there was enough wool to produce 20 men’s suits. This begs the question: Will a sheep’s wool grow forever if the sheep is left unshorn?

David Thomas, head of studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison has this to say:

For domestic sheep like the Merino [Shrek’s breed], the answer is yes.

Primitive sheep like Bighorns in the West still shed most of their wool every year. And domestic sheep, the ones raised primarily for their meat, will do some shedding. But for the majority of sheep, there is continual, year-round wool growth.

sheep 2

Having such a heavy coat of wool, is not very healthy for sheep. It can at times lead to heat stress and mobility issues. In addition, sheep can also go “wool-blind” when their vision is impaired by the fleece.

When asked if sheep actually hate getting sheared, Thomas responded:

Just like going to the dentist, nobody loves getting sheared. If only sheep knew how much better it makes things in the long run! It’s funny: young sheep will fight against shearing pretty hard, struggling and kicking. But older sheep are pretty docile — they know the routine, it’s not such a big deal. A good shearer will be done in three to four minutes, with no pain at all.

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