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Primitive sheep would also have shed their wool seasonally but to maximise fleece yield, the modern domestic sheep has been selectively bred to grow thick fleeces minus the shedding, thus producing the need to shear. A few breeds of sheep are an exception and remain as seasonal shedders. While keeping these sheep decreases the amount of labour required to shear the animals, it can result in an amount of fleece being lost out in the field.
The wool breeds, such as the angora (producing mohair) and the cashmere goats, do produce a relatively thick coat and require shearing once or twice a year.