WOOL-BREAK IN SHEEP IS A NATURAL RESPONSE TO STRESS
…It sure doesn’t look very nice, does it?
This loss of wool is called “wool-break” and it is a natural response
to a stress situation the sheep has recently encountered.
I went to vist our good friends Eric & Vicky (who graze some of our sheep on their farm) because one of the sheep was losing its wool. Vicky recalls the sheep had gotten its head stuck in a fence about 2 months ago. A situation like this is a probable cause of wool-break.
We are often asked; “What happens if you don’t shear a sheep?”, well a wool-break could happen, depending on how “stressed” the sheep would be from not having its wool removed. Not all sheep will do so, but it does show a stress factor was the cause. Ideally, a sheep with wool-break should be shorn as soon as possible (since it wants to shed its fleece any how!). This wool is not used as it has been damaged (within the fibre).
As wool-break does not happen very often, I jumped at the opportunity to share these photos on our website. (And thank you Eric for such great pictures!)