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Introduction to Crutching- Wigging and Catch Pen Dynamics

4070 University Road
Hopland, CA 95449
Contact: hbird@ucanr.edu
Sponsor: Hopland Research and Extension Center

Crutching 2023  (web banner)

Dates: October 20-22. Friday from 12-5pm, Saturday 8am-5pm, Sunday 8am-3pm.
Cost: Equity pricing scale ranging from $100-$250. Scholarships available. Equity pricing and scholarships available courtesy of Fibershed (scholarship application deadline 9/10/23).
Accommodation: Dormitory accommodation is available for an additional $15 per night.

Lead Instructor: Owner/operator of Hollenback Shearing, Trevor Hollenback has been professionally trained and employed as a shearer in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, and Austria. His primary focus in shearing is limiting stress to both the sheep and shearer.

Class description: The University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center  is excited to announce this advanced shearing class. The school will feature the same immersive hands-on shearing training in a small group setting (maximum 9 students) that we utilize in our Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101 course. This class, however, will be focused on the following three topics:

  1. Crutching sheep
    “Crutching” is the practice of removing wool from between the legs, around the rear end. Often farmers will want some or all of the belly wool removed in addition to the crutch, and all of these methods will be covered so that you are prepared for any of these requests from your customers.
  2. Wigging Sheep
    "Wigging" is the removal of wool on the sheep's face to prevent both wool blindness and the accumulation of vegetable matter (especially seed heads). In this course we will learn how to do it safely and efficiently.
  3. Catch Pen Dynamics
    This is the most important topic of the course as far as your body is concerned. Because the crutching process takes so much less time than completely shearing a sheep, you will physically have to handle and move many times more sheep in one day of crutching than you will in one day of shearing. In this course we will explore the methods and mindset necessary to limit the stress on your body while crutching. 


Please note that this course –much like Sheep Shearing and Basic Care 101– is highly physically demanding, requiring your body to be in uncomfortable positions for extended periods of time. Guidance will be given to reduce discomfort, but registrants need to be aware of the physical nature of the class and come prepared. More detailed prep information will be provided to students once they have officially enrolled in the course.


Class prerequisites: 

  • Participants must have attended a shearing school/training.
  • And/Or Participants must have shearing experience


Registration closes on October 13, 2023

Click here to register