2022 represents the 10th year of mechanical sheep shearing for the GDAEBN. As one of the few organizations offering this service in Tunisia, the association advises and supports sheep farmers each year in the shearing of their herds.
Mechanical shearing : Speed, quality and safety
Since 2012, the GDAEBN has offered farmers in northwestern Tunisia the mechanical shearing of their herds with professional equipment. The association supports around sixty farmers with a service adapted to all sheep breeds. From small farmers of 50 to 100 heads to large farms of up to 1,000 heads, the Tunisian organization adapts its services and benefits from the skills of experienced shearers. In 10 years, the number of farmers supported has increased considerably thanks to the quality of the service and the involvement of the GDAEBN and the shearers. The number of shorn ewes has also increased by 90% since its creation in 2012 to reach just over 17,000 head in the 2021 campaign.
“Shearing day is like a festival for us. It only takes place once a year and all the farm workers participate”
Shearing is an important step in the management of a sheep farm. Carried out between the beginning of March and the beginning of June, it prepares the females suitable for reproduction in particular for the introduction of the rams and the start of the fight. In addition, shearing relieves the animals of their fleeces in the face of the summer heat. It also reduces the risk of transmission of parasitic diseases.
Respect for animal welfare is one of the main issues when switching to mechanical shearing. Traditional shearing represented a lot of stress and risk for the sheep because it could lead to multiple accidents and injuries. The mechanization of shearing is also a considerable time saver for both shepherds and shearers.
The wool protects the ewes against winter attacks but can become troublesome when the summer season arrives. Thick and dirty, the wool is filled with debris from hay, straw, grain or even parasites. It is damp and can sometimes mold. Shearing the animal once a year is essential.