Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Alpaca shearing time

I can't say it's something I look forward to particularly as some of the alpacas are nice and quiet while being sheared and some of them make a right racket. I get the impression it's not something they love, but the second it's over they're totally fine again. And it has to be done or they would be boiling in the summertime.

Anyway, yesterday the lovely shearer arrived early in the evening and we all set to work. It's actually quite hard work - first catching them, cos Lloyd and I are pretty rubbish then getting them into position and holding various legs while they're getting it done. Our shearer uses a table and I like this.
Our original boys were all very quiet this year, even Darjeeling who was a noisy sod last year. The babies were quite good, Stella made a bit of a racket, but Herbie was very good. Our older girls, however, made a right noise! You'd have thought we were torturing them. I hate it.

Here are the before photos

 Stella is in the middle with her ears back - you can see how much she's grown.





And here's the afters - I had to take them today, because it was getting a bit dark by the time we finished yesterday. We were also very tired and very, very dirty!


Herbie, looking very small, Vienna his mum and Tetley in the front. You can probably tell that Vienna is Tetley's mum too!  It was a huge surprise that when she had Herbie he was white as she always has wee black babies.

Vienna

Earl Grey and Truffle

Herbie and Vienna
The rest of them weren't very hungry, either that or they weren't feeling all that photogenic after their haircuts!
I think they look adorable - tiny, but adorable!

Remember last year I said that we were thinking about getting a blanket made with the fleeces? Well, I've looked into this and its going to be incredibly expensive, I think it's a lovely idea, but just too much money. So then we were in the quandary of what to do with the fleece. It's not like our alpacas have the highest quality fleece! Then as luck would have it we got a postcard in our mailbox from a sort of syndicate that sells the fleece in bulk. I suppose it works because there are so many people like us that just have a few alpacas. It's done by weight and we don't even have to clean it. Result! So this is what we've decided to do. We haven't included Herbie's and Stella's fleeces because they were twig magnets and it seems very unfair to give such messy fleeces! But all the adult ones have gone... or will do once it's bagged and dropped off.

So, all in all a job well done!

26 comments:

  1. Oh Stella in that first photo looks SOOOOO cute! What a beautiful herd you have (is herd the right word?). They look so skinny with cute socks in the after photos!

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    1. I think it is a herd :) Stella is an incredibly pretty wee thing, very girly with long eyelashes! herbie is much more of a boy.
      I know, I love their wee socks too.

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  2. I always love the alpaca pictures--they make me smile! And I love the expanding herd too. I helped shear alpacas one year so I definitely know what you mean about the noise--they sure think that life is ending! What perfect timing for that to arrive in the mail so you can do something with the fleece :)

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    1. they do make people smile! You'll certainly know the noise if you helped shear them - it's not lovely is it@!!

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  3. They crack me up, their little faces are just like different people faces...I am sure they are people dressed up as Alpacas...!!!
    I bet they are feeling the breezes in their nether regions...and how are the little fur boots they are left with...adorable...

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    1. I secretly think you are right - little people dressed up!!!

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  4. I loooove that they get to keep their socks!! :-)

    They really are a bunch of skinny minnies without all that fur.

    Sue xx

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    1. I know! I don't remember their socks being so obvious last year! And yep Super skinny!!

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  5. I hope you slept with one eye open last night! hee hee hee. I must say they look like they are going to have plans for you after that shearing. Funny little things. I love their expressions, especially Stella in that first photo.

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    1. nah! they're such good natured wee things they seem to forgive us almost immediately!

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  6. oy! oy! oy! they are so gorgeous! they look so cute all shorn! You are so lucky having these dear little creatures - I have some fleece that we bought from a local breeder back in May and I still haven't spun it! Maybe you should take up spinning and then you could knit it into your own blankets - that would be so cool!

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    1. we think we are so lucky :) they're such lovely fluffy things to have around the place. I did think about spinning - but just not sure where I can find the time!

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  7. They are so adorable, fluffed up and sheared.

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  8. They are gorgeous. Very stylish in their built in Uggs!

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    1. Oh I love that!! Wee Uggs!!!

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  9. oh they are so cute - I just want to cuddle them. But why do they have their ears back so much? I used to have horses and am used to ears forward, friendly look, and can't get used to the ears back look!? cheers Wendy

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    1. I don't know why they do it - its not an aggression thing ( I dont think) they just wiggle them around!

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  10. Your Alpaca have been beautifully sheared. I wish we could find someone up to the job here in Cornwall England. Ours are like the wild boys by comparison!

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    1. we're so lucky, our shearer also does sheep and he has won prizes in competitions and stuff ( typical NZ!) and now he does alpacas too - he has all the right stuff and an amazing table. He really does a beautiful job. Maybe he'd fancy a holiday in the uk!!

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  11. I have just printed the picture of Vienna, what an absolutely wonderful face, it makes me smile every time I look at her, they really are nearly human ! All of your Alpacas look amazing & so healthy. Is Banana fully recovered now ? xx

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    1. I just adore her whiskers! She's such a good natured alpaca. :)
      And Banana is perfect! He's back to his big healthy size and is all good. He's become much more of a house cat though, which we love. He still wanders around the garden, but spends most of his time near us. He's way more snuggly. I think he knows how much we love him and just stays close by.

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  12. They are so endearing looking when they are all skinny like that!!! I am glad you found something to do with the fiber...that won't break the bank.

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    1. Yeah, Im really glad we found it too - well they found us! :)

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  13. Hi there, revisiting after a while..
    Your alpacas are absolutely gorgeous. I would find it a problem watching too, if they are squealing. But they must be so much cooler now.
    Why do they leave the socks/Uggs??

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    1. the little uggs get left on because that's where the ropes go that keep them on the table!!

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Laura x