Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shearing Day 2010

Shearing went well this year. We sheared 24 alpacas in 6 hours (10 from our farm and 14 from Oak Haven Alpacas) at our farm. The weather was perfect and I think the alpacas were happy to be naked again! We had lots of visitors from 4 other alpacas farms and some friends and family stop by to check out the shearing. I want to especially thank those people who helped out this year! Things would not have run so smoothly without you! I really appreciate all you did! I am 5 months pregnant and wasn't able to get quite as involved this year as in years passed. I did bring alpacas to and from the shearing area, cut all our alpacas nails, handed out shots, collected fiber, and made sure lunch was ready though so I wasn't completely useless. Here are some pictures from the day.

Alpacas waiting their turn to be shorn.
Shearing supplies
Shearing. We stretch the alpacas out with a rope and pulley system to keep them still during shearing so they don't get hurt. Putting the alpacas in the ropes and shearing them does not hurt them, but some of them scream and spit and pee and struggle like you are killing them. During shearing, everyone has a job: shearing, helping put the alpacas in the ropes and getting them on the ground, holding the alpacas head, helping flip the alpacas or holding their legs, trimming toe nail, cutting teeth, collecting the prime fiber from the back, shoulders and legs, sweeping up the fiber from the legs and face to throw away, giving shots, and bringing the alpacas to and from the shearing area.

Smokey is being sheared in the picture above. He was quite the screamer and when I was sitting by his head collecting fiber, I think the baby could hear the screaming and started moving all over the place. It was very neat, but I hope I wasn't traumatizing him/her. Below, Smokey is getting his teeth trimmed with OB wire. We normally use a dremmel, but the OB wire worked much quicker. Now it is time to start sorting the fiber and figure out what we are going to do with it all this year! I think I need a break first though. I was very tired and sore after shearing! I would like to post some before and after shearing pictures of the alpacas if I get a chance....we will see.

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