Can You Use Horse Clippers on Sheep?

You probably want to pare down your material when you keep multiple livestock species. 

After all, farm animals are expensive! 

So looking at some equipment to reuse, you may start to wonder: 

Is it okay to use horse clippers as sheep clippers? 

Key Takeaway:

Horse clippers are often safe to use on sheep. Yet, a sheep farmer may need to adjust the clipper blades or comb before switching from a horse to a sheep. There are some clippers available made for multiple livestock species. Yet, clippers for horses may not keep up with extensive sheep shearing.

Shearing your sheep is an important step to keeping them healthy and comfortable. 

Keep reading, and we’ll look at what you need to know about shearing sheep and whether it’s okay to shear your sheep with horse clippers. 

can you use horse clippers on sheep

What Kind of Clippers Do They Use for Sheep? 

You need clippers to keep up when you’re clipping an entire flock of sheep. 

This is when many sheep farmers turn to dedicated sheep clippers, not horse care clippers. 

You might hear these called sheep shears as well as clippers. 

Of course, you don’t have to shear them yourself at all.

But it does save quite a bit of money.

Further Reading: Costs of shearing sheep

Electric Sheep Shears

These types of clippers are handheld. 

This way, it’s easy to move around your domestic sheep, although some models have a cord. 

These tools use a pair of blades and a cutter. 

This helps cut through the thick layer of fleece and wool they’ve grown when they need shearing. 

The blades move back and forth in a horizontal motion, slicing away the wool. 

Much like the clippers you might use for your hair, the blades are oiled to make this coat-cutting process smooth. 

The biggest difference between clippers designed for sheep and those not comes from power and stamina. 

While horse clippers can work for pet sheep, they start to tire if you use them for several sheep since they aren’t always aimed toward tackling thick fleece.  

On the other hand, sheep clippers can handle fleece well by design.

If you want to save yourself some effort, pick up electric sheep clippers like these on Amazon. 

They even come with spare blades!

Manual Sheep Shears

Manual sheep shears look like giant scissors. 

They’re sometimes called hand shears or shearers. 

These operate by the user moving the handles, similar to how you might use a pair of scissors. 

These aren’t as popular as electric shears but can help cut costs. 

This largely has to do with ease and safety.

Electric shears take much of the work off your plate because they’re automated. 

Manual shears don’t offer the same ease of use as the machines do. 

The second concept is safety. 

On the positive side, hand shears are under your control as you use them without a motor. 

Yet, the large blades take more skill to use with the speed and safety electric shears have by comparison. 

Due to their length, these shears aren’t quite as versatile as livestock clippers.

Check out these manual sheep shears on Amazon if you want to save money. 

Can You Use Sheep Shears on a Horse? 

As we’ve covered, getting away with shearing a pet sheep with a pair of horse clippers is possible. 

Well, as long as you aren’t dealing with a mountain of fleece. 

What about the other way around, though? 

Can you use sheep shears on a horse?

You have two main options when it comes to horse clippers. 

This includes both trimmers and clippers. 

Trimmers are less intensive than the clippers we’ve been discussing. 

These are often used for body clipping in horses. 

As such, they’re sometimes called body clippers. 

These are less heavy-duty than the shears you’d use for a sheep’s fleece. 

Heavy-duty clippers are often used if a horse has a particularly thick mane. 

Yet, some animal owners also use clippers on a horse’s body before trimmers to make things easier. 

Your horse may not need something as heavy-duty as a set of sheep shears. 

Still, shears can help move the job faster, and options like livestock shears are rather versatile. 

Yet, you’ll want to make sure any shears for sheep shearing are used carefully and properly on a horse. 

Don’t forget their hair isn’t as thick as fleece, so you’ll want to work carefully. 

Using tools like guards can help prevent knicks and scrapes throughout the process. 

Will Dog Clippers Work on Sheep? 

Even if you don’t have a dog, you’ve probably seen a set of dog clippers for sale while you were out and about. 

But do these shears work on domestic sheep as well? 

zOddly, using a set of dog clippers won’t work well compared to sheep specialty tools. 

Again, this comes back to how thick the fleece sheep grow is. 

It’s hard for a pair of dog clippers to get through. 

Even if it makes it through the fleece, the process will likely burn even the most powerful motor out as the dog clippers work overtime to keep up.

In the inverse situation, your sheep’s shears aren’t very safe to use on a dog either! 

The same guards and blade design blocking the clippers from getting through fleece also help protect your dog. 

They help you avoid cuts and knicks as you cut their hair. 

These products are likely to not cut through the fleece effectively on a sheep.

Further Reading: Pros and Cons of Using Dog Clippers on Sheep

Why Do My Sheep Shears Get Hot? 

Whether you opt for sheep shears, livestock clippers, horse clippers, or any other option, pay attention to how they feel. 

Over time, you might notice your clippers feel warmer in your hand than when you started the job. 

You may notice this even with stronger clippers after you shear a couple of sheep back to back. 

This is a sign the clippers are working too hard. 

As a result, the motor inside is overheating. 

While this is uncomfortable in your hand, it’s not the only risk. 

When the clippers heat up like this, it takes a toll on the motor. 

If you ignore hot blades and power through, it can take a serious toll on the lifespan of your clippers. 

If you notice this heat, it’s best to give your shears time to cool down to avoid too many problems.

Another indicator of overheating is when you hear bogged-down motor sounds. 

You will notice this reaction more in underpowered shears for the job. 

For example, if you use dog clippers on a sheep, the thicker, denser fleece would lead them to overheat rather quickly.

Related: Can You Keep Sheep With Horses?

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Growing up amidst the sprawling farms of the South, Wesley developed a profound connection with farm animals from a young age. His childhood experiences instilled in him a deep respect for sustainable and humane farming practices. Today, through, Wesley shares his rich knowledge, aiming to inspire and educate others about the joys and intricacies of rural life.

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