Monday, 4 June 2007

Alpaca Shearing Day

Everytime we come to shear the Alpacas, it's cold and wet. So on Bank Holiday Tuesday, it was no surprise it was cold and wet. We had put the girls in the barn and the boys in the trailer on Monday night so they would be dry for when Bob the shearer arrived.
Bob was due to arrive at 09.30 so help was arranged, Colin, our neighbour, (it's usually his son who helps, but it's a little difficult to help shear with a broken ankle) and Sharon another alpaca owner.
Bob arrived, an hour late, due to traffic problems in Middlesbrough, but he was soon ready to shear.
It takes 2 people to put the alpaca on the floor and one then to hold whilst Bob fastens the feet to a pole to stretch the alpaca out. Sounds worse than it looks. Whilst Bob sheared Colin held the alpaca's head, myself and Sharon collected the fleece grading it into bags as we went, one for the best fleece, one for the legs and neck, and finally a bag for the rubbish. Each bag has the name of alpaca, date of shearing and grade of fleece. This helps later when I bag it all up into 100g bags for selling. It took about an hour to shear all 5 alpacas and with the new blades that Bob has, leaving a short layer of fleece on the animals they were not as cold on previous years. We all then went to Sharon's to help with the shearing on her 10 alpacas, which turned out to be 9 for shearing as 1 of the girls was 2 weeks over her due date. She delivered a lovely little female cria (name for a baby alpaca) 2 days later.
So that's their shearing for another year. Now just the sheep to do!!!!!!

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