Alpaca shearing

three shorn alpacasEarly Saturday evening the lovely David and Moragh from Alpacashear came to shear our alpacas. They had already sheared alpacas in four different counties by the time they got to us. They set up quickly and very kindly said people could watch.

Waiting to be sheared

Waiting to be sheared

I was extremely impressed by the calm, careful way that they not only caught and restrained the alpacas, but also the way they sheared them. With the onset of quite warm weather here our alpacas did need shearing and their feet needed trimming as well. It is not really an option not to do it, but alpacas aren’t quite as accommodating as sheep so they have to be held down while being sheared. David and Moragh have come up with a clever system of systems and pulleys that safely and gently restrains the alpacas. Nothing that they do hurts the alpacas, they just get a bit annoyed by being held down – I guess we would feel the same. Juniper made the most noise – Peanut was pretty quiet, probably as she was saving up her spit. Turning round and seeing an alpaca with a mouth full of green goo,  knowing that if you are not very very fast it is going to be sprayed all over you is quite intimidating!

They gently take the alpacas to the shearing mat

They gently take the alpacas to the shearing mat

As you can see, I found the whole process fascinating. I especially needed to see how to trim their feet as next time it will be me doing it!

David holds Juniper while Moragh secures her legs

David holds Juniper while Moragh secures her legs

Starting to shear

Starting to shear

shearing peanut6Shearing6

Collecting the saddle fleece

Collecting the saddle fleece

shearingfootwork2

Inky3

Inky showing off her new haircut

2 responses to “Alpaca shearing

  1. I once sheared a couple sheep. The sheep would let you do it as long as their feet were off the ground–but would try to get away as soon as a foot touched the floor. I clearly remember that it was tricky to keep the sheep’s feet off the ground while sheering, and that my sheep ended up with very ragged “hair” cuts. :).

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