Although not as diverse as dogs, sheep have also been the subject of intense breeding and selection for their valuable wool and dairy products. Currently, there is just over 1000 unique sheep breeds in the whole world. In the United States, that number settles around 50 distinct sheep breeds.

Some of these breeds are good at producing fine wool, long wool, carpet wool…and some are known for having very high birth rates.

No matter what your involvement with sheep is – running a small farm or a big business – you would want to get the best products available for handling your sheep. In particular, for the purpose of:

  • Shearing or slick shearing, in order to accentuate sheep musculature.
  • Blocking, in order to prepare the sheep for show by accentuating its wool shape and structure. Blocking is done without the shearing machine’s comb touching the skin.

For each of those activities there is just the right stand to make the job easier, and then some.

How to Choose the Right Sheep Stand

Having good sheep shears is one thing, but the most important part in shearing sheep is to get a robust sheep stand as it will make this back-bending procedure much more easier. Let’s see how to pick a good one:

Size – The first thing to consider is the average size of both your sheep breed, and the user who will be using the stand. Sheep stands with long legs will be extremely helpful for dealing with smaller sheep breeds, so the user won’t have to keep bending down to use the shearing machines. Such stands with longer legs will allow you to raise the sheep off the ground.

On the other hand, if you are dealing with larger sheep breeds, you would want the opposite – shorter legs so that you have enough space to maneuver with even bigger rams. Such shorter legs would allow you to easily manipulate their backs and necks. No matter what, it is absolutely necessary to shear your sheep [1].

Unlike other animals, sheep can’t shed and the excess wool impedes the ability of sheep to regulate their body temperatures. This can cause sheep to overheat and die. [2]

Build Quality – Longevity and sturdiness is paramount when choosing a stand, so avoid sheep stands that are made out of wood, or DIY types. Such stands will easily rot and break. Instead, try to get one that is made out of stainless steel or aluminum. The former is heavy but won’t bend and rust, and the latter is lightweight but may bend if you don’t handle it properly.

Convenience Features – Depending on the frequency of use, you may want to consider if it is worth it to get some other benefits out of sheep stands:

  • Winch – super useful but heavy and expensive. If you frequent fairs and shows regularly, you would understand how hard it is to get sheep onto the stand. A stand with an integrated winch allows you to lower it first for the sheep to step on it, and then just elevate it to desired height.
  • Foldable legs – a must-have convenience feature for easy transportation, and freeing up space in your barn. After all, all sheep stands will spend more time not being used, than being used.
  • Side Rails – Probably the most expensive add-on, but useful for training sheep to use the stand. However, do keep in mind that sheep will tend to lean on the rail, which may be problematic if you just ended a trimming session and hauled off all the wool.

DIY sheep stand: Should You Make Your Own Stand?

Sure, you can make a DIY sheep stand if you are a skilled metal worker. Otherwise, if you are thinking of making a sheep stand out of cheap plywood, it won’t last you long, nor will it be nearly as good as an entry-level aluminum stand. Not to mention the complexity of adding on any of the convenience features, like foldable legs. Therefore, you should really think of a sheep stand (or a goat trimming stand) as a long-term investment that will last you for many years, if not decades. A couple of hundred bucks for that time span is a small price to pay.

Affordable Sheep Trimming, Blocking, and Shearing Stands

  1. Best all around sheep trimming stand

Weaver Leather Livestock Steel Trimming Stand with Wire Headpiece
Entirely made out of steel, this sheep trimming table has foldable legs with wide standing pads that prevent tipping. It’s not stainless steel, but it is powder-coated to prevent rust.

Moreover, the headpiece is adjustable with an integrated plastic chain to gently keep your sheep secured. Interestingly, the foldable legs can be partly folded near the headpiece end, so you can easily create an incline for easier sheep access.

Clever design makes it fold completely flat for transport, so you are just left with one compact sheet of metal to handle.

  1. Best premium blocking and shearing stand

Weaver Leather Livestock Trim Stand with Straight Head Piece
The exact same features as the sheep stand above, except this one is made out of aluminum instead of steel. Therefore, it is much lighter, but it is also more expensive.

If you get this sheep trimming stand for sale, you can go under $300, including free shipping.

Just like the steel version, it has a chin rest with a securing plastic chain, but the aluminum version is fully formed instead of just having wired holders.

Tips how to get your sheep on the trimming and shearing stand

Lastly, if you are having trouble getting your sheep be compliant enough to get on the stand, here are some tricks:

  • The younger an animal is, the easier it will be to teach it.
  • Adult sheep can learn too, with some help. Try lifting their front leg onto the stand, along with the leg closest to you, and give them a gentle push.
  • When they jump up, have your hand ready under the sheep’s chin so you can enclose it into the headrest.
  • Half a dozen times doing this will make even an adult sheep learn it for good. Of course, a winch stand would make this job a whole lot easier.

Takeaway on Sheep Stands

Don’t be fooled by the seeming simplicity of a sheep shearing stand. It may look easy to make one on your own, but such DIY projects will be a short-term affair.  Especially considering you will only be able to make one out of wood, which is not advisable.

Even if you are a skilled welder and handler of metals, would the time invested in a DIY sheep trimming stand be worth it? Probably not.

The above two weaver sheep stands are an excellent choice for either professional or entry-level use. And if your sheep operation grows big enough, you will lose negligible value in reselling them. A quick recap of our choices:

  • Best all around sheep trimming stand – Weaver Leather Steel
  • Lightweight blocking and shearing stand  – Weaver Leather Aluminum

Which sheep shearing stand do you use? Let me know in the comments below!