Monday, December 13, 2010


Weather is still unpredictable, with really almost tropical thunder /hail storms at a moments notice.
Really odd weather, yet it is quite warm especially when the sun is out.
we have to take advantage of as much dry weather as we can, and yet we are only shearing a dozen or so at a time, as if the weather breaks up, we need to be able to shed all the shorn alpacas. at least for the first few weeks.
Rain and wind is a bad combination on shon alpacas, wind cill factor!
We use a table designed by my husband to shear the alpacas.
We find the alpacas are a lot calmer when they are up on a table.
My husband believes in making life easier for us and the alpacas.
As the alpacas can be difficulkt to get up onto a table, so we have the table top on hinges, and we put a harness around the alpaca, and the alpaca just leans on the table top, and then as we pull the table top down to the horizontal position, the alpaca is quite calm, whilst we stap him/ her down so that we can contain the alpaca, so they will not get accidently cut by the shears.
Alpacas are very leg and head shy, and have very quick refexes, so we do not want the alpaca to startle, and jump, whilst we have the cutting implement close to tendons, legs, etc.
We also try to keep the atmosphere calming for the alpacas whilst being shorn.
We always have them watching the others as they get shorn, so they can see that we are not going to harm them.
A few sunny days with a full coat on, and the alpacas are almost jumping on the table to get their fibre off.
You can also see how the alpacas come off the table.
So i have started with an alpaca coming off after being shorn, and another being placed onto the table.
Also, injections, and toe nails are cut at this time as well.

It is also a time you can really assess the fleeces.
Density especially, as the dense ones, it is very hard to push the comb through their coat.
The fine ones, are just so fine, soft, and light.
It is so beautiful, as you see a beautiful fleece peel away from the animal as the shear glide through the fleece, the lustre and the crimp close to the skin, with no dirt through the coat.
You really then can appreciate your breeding, and the results you are seeing with fleece improvement from each generation.

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