A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

May 13, 2008

Thirteen Down, Many More to Go!

Filed under: alpaca, Alpaca Care, Alpaca Fiber, Alpacas, camelids, Crias, General, shearing — alpacalady @ 7:17 am

Our first shearing day of the year went well, we got a later start than we had hoped for but soon got into the swing of things.  Our helpers were quick to learn and ensured that the alpacas were safely restrained during the process and the fleece collected.  A big thank you to Jan and Corky Green and Val and Allie Smith for giving up their Sunday (and Mother’s Day) to give us a hand.

 

It seems as if every year we figure out something new to make shearing go a little better.  This year we came up with the idea of using a disposable diaper to catch any “leaks” from the alpacas that were being shorn.  We only really had one leaker but the disposable diaper worked well in keeping urine off the shorn fleece and the shearing mat, you just have to make sure you place it at the right angle!

 

For the most part the alpacas were calm during shearing.  To me it is one of the advantages of shearing your own herd, you can be more relaxed in your pace and the atmosphere is generally calmer, which can only be better for the alpacas.  A couple of the boys almost seemed grateful to be shorn, lying calmly on the shearing mats and almost dozing as their fleece came off.  

 

Of course by evening the temperature dropped considerably and so we gave the boys some slightly higher protein hay to help them cope with a drop in temperature and being newly shorn.  They all have shelter where they can get out of the wind and we had some straw bedding down to give them some insulation as they cushed.

 

As expected our fleeces were dirtier than in previous years, the blowing dust had made it into most of the alpacas and as the shears hit the dirt it dulled the blades and made them work harder.   Usually we would have got many more alpacas shorn per blade.

 

The girls cooperated and did not have their crias, a couple of them were humming and acting a little uncomfortable yesterday and I suspect that it will not be long before we have crias running around the pastures.  We have now reached an interesting point in our due date calculations where if the due girls birth a little early and the overdue girls finally have their crias the girls could all give birth at the same time.  Hopefully that will not happen, as it would make for a chaotic scene! 

 

Rosemary

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2 Comments »

  1. Hi,

    I found your website by chance and would just like to say how much I have enjoyed reading through the information. My partner and I are new to alpacas and are living in France now .. all our alpacas came over from the UK. Reading your blog is very informative .. and fun .. and confirms our belief that we have a lovely (busy) exciting life to look forward to in 2011 when our cria are eventually born.

    Kindest Regards

    Joyce Scotford/John Redding

    Brittany, France …. but moving to Barenton, Normandy in July 2010!

    Comment by joyce scotford — June 2, 2010 @ 8:35 am

    • Hello Joyce and John,

      How lovely to meet you through my blog. I am so glad you have been enjoying reading it and are finding it useful. I don’t know if you picked up on the fact that I too am originally from the UK. The blog has been quiet of late due to a really busy time at the farm – shearing is now almost complete and that will (hopefully!) give me time to get back to writing blog entries.

      I hope you keep checking back to the blog and continue to read it. I think you will be very happy with your choice to raise alpacas – at times it can be busy, but oh so worth it!

      Do keep in touch.

      Rosemary

      Comment by alpacalady — June 3, 2010 @ 4:28 am


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