It hardly seems possible but we have just completed our second annual shearing. It was a lot less worrisome than last time around, even with three times as many animals. We have become much more confidant at handling them and also have the barn pens configured to help.
We were up early to feed the animals prior to locating all the girls in the larger pen and the boys in the smaller one. This allowed us to have a smooth flow from holding to shearing mat and then release to the paddock. Kyle and his assistant arrived shortly after 7.30 and we were quickly into the rhythm. I would capture the animal, Kyle and assistant would lead to the mat and rope the hind legs and then I would rope the front ……. and gently stretch. The guys were very careful with our animals, especially the expectant mothers. Firm and positive actions seemed to calm them.
Once on their side, Kyle quickly clipped the toe nails and then moved on to shearing; one side, then the other and then the neck and top knot. Meanwhile Miss Lynne scurried around collecting all that luscious fibre into appropriate bags. The last operation was to cut the teeth if needed. Only the boys needed the “Dremel” treatment. It’s hard to watch that for the first time but an Alpaca’s teeth are clearly not as sensitive as ours.
Everything went very smoothly and we were all finished by 10.30 or so. We ended the morning with lots of fibre to sort and 16 goofy looking critters. All done for another year!