A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

April 22, 2007

Making a Start on Getting It Done

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Fiber, Alpacas, camelids, General — alpacalady @ 7:26 am

Well today the weather finally cooperated to where we could get a start on our shearing.  While by the afternoon we had high winds and blowing dust the morning was warm and dry and so we decided to get a start on the shearing task.  Of course by this weekend most of the help we had previously arranged was unable to come out, but we had sufficient help to enable us to work at a slow but steady pace.

This year we are using a restraint device called a Pro-Tie , this simple device enabled us to restrain the alpacas easily and calmly and whilst we did have a couple who voiced their opinion about the shearing process our shearing candidates for the day did well.  A couple of them even seemed relieved to have their fleece taken off, and for the alpacas there is nothing quite like that first roll in the dirt after shearing!

The advantage of working at a slower pace was that for the first time ever I was able to sort and skirt the alpaca fiber as it came off the animals.  It will be so nice to be able to just send off our fiber for processing rather than having to face several more days of opening fleece bags to sort and skirt fleece.

I always enjoy assessing the fiber on alpacas at shearing time, it gives me an opportunity to have a really good look at each alpacas fleece and assess their fiber quality and production.  It also gives me good food for thought on which open female should be bred to which male.

With the wind blowing so hard by this afternoon the static electricity made it a little hard to sort the fleeces as it started to stick to our clothes and the fleece bags, but we persevered and completed all that we sheared.

So tonight we took it easy, ordered in pizza and felt happy that we have at least made a start on our shearing task.  We have several more days of shearing to go, but each day we shear we will get a little closer to getting it done.

 Rosemary

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