We had a new shearer - all the way from Waiheke Island. Keenan from Waiheke Alapaca came up with Renee, and it was a lovely experience. Sadly I missed almost all of it as I was called for jury duty. ( didn't get picked as the trial was cancelled! But only got home in time for coffee!)
This year as well as shearing and toe nail trimming, they had all their injections, drench and a couple of them even had their teeth filed. We learned a lot about dermatitis in alpaca. Sadly we have 4 that are genetically susceptible to it and the humidity up here doesn't help at all. But we got some wonder cream to put on. All in all it was a totally amazing experience and we can't thank Keenan and Renee enough. They are lovely, kind, patient people.
It's given us a new lease of life with the Alpacas. A few weeks ago we were very down and sad about things, as we'd had to have Vienna put to sleep. She was an old lady, but she was one of our favourites. She had the most lovely, gentle personality. And was an amazing mum. It broke our hearts and we were all for selling them all and jacking it in. However we've come to realise that this was a knee jerk reaction! We are blessed with three of her crias, though.
Anyway, here they are pre-shearing. All fluffy and very round looking.
In the middle is baby Cupcake, we found out today that she has super amazing fleece :) Which is a bonus, really, and has made us rethink our idea about getting a blanket woven.
A very poor quality video of their fluffiness I posted on Facebook.
Keenan has a very good shearing table. It has a padded side and looks comfortable for the alpacas. Tetley was incredibly interested.
Poor Truffle got the short straw and was first up. I only saw her being sheared then I had to leave.
Doing the gentle task of shearing her head. The others all watch on. Often they come right up to the table and stick their heads under the shearers arm to get a better look!
Delicate tail end!
And after!! Look how freakishly skinny they look! This is Earl Grey and he is our biggest alpaca. Here he looks like a wee shrimp!
What we have found rather lovely is that even though all our alpacas are together and love eachother, they stick very firmly in their family groups. These are all Vienna's children. I don't know if it's a smell thing or an instinct, but these guys were all born over a year apart, but they know, somehow, that they are brothers and sister. Front is Cupcake, then Herbie (white) and Tetley. They are always together.
And this is another family group. Mum Coco, Stella and baby Leaf.
And Earl Grey, again! looking all regal! He is our gentle giant.
Cupcake always looks kind of cross!
Something else that was rather lovely, for us, was Keenan said we have a gorgeous wee alpaca herd. He said they all interact really nicely with eachother and you can tell they are loved and very well looked after. When you start something new - even with all the reading you can do and the help you get - I still worry that we're not doing it right. Or something! So, it was nice to hear that we're doing ok!