Sunday 17 July 2011

Alan!-Alan! - Shearer

At last, we had the girls shorn yesterday - after post-ponements to the original shearer due to rain, Ian Horner fitted us in, and even then the last one was shorn as more rain came in.
Bramley - "I feel like a new woman".

We all say it each year, but it's fascinating to see them shorn of fleece, especially the yearlings having their first shear, as you've grown to know them only as a deveolping fleeced animal, and then you get the big reveal of the, near fully-grown alpaca, without it's fleece - and so from 'cuddly' and fluffy, the only word I come up with each time is, elegant, from a neck apparently the size of a tree trunk, you are faced with a neck that your hands will fit around -  a slender and sleek animal.
Moira - during shearing, not only did she let herself down, she let the herd down, and she let her school down -but she does have a very fine fleece - she is 10 years old today!

During the shearing, Minnie complained a bit, and Autumn Gold too moaned a lot, but it was Moira, our black maiden matriarch, who stole the show - and as I write this, I discover that she is 10 years old today. Moira discharged extensively from all orifices, and shrieked so loud, that a neighbour 100 metres away thought her cat was in distress, and came to look for it! Since then, worryingly, she has taken herself away from the herd, and wasn't too interested in breakfast - we didn't have her shorn last year, as her fleece is very short with no crimp, BUT, it is very fine, and Mrs. Smallholder can't wait to start spinning it - I shall be watching her (Moira) very carefully to see that she is o.k.
Autumn Gold

Ambrosia has a lovely dense fleece, whereas Autumn Gold has an open fleece, and has appeared a little over-weight, but their fleeces were exactly the same weight, which illustrated how so many factors must be taken into account when considerng fleece characteristics. Post-shearing, they appear similar in stature.

Alpacas aside, the Studio construction has progressed steadily, and every day yields another driveway covering of sawdust! We are having a 'cut' roof construction, which (for anyone who isn't familiar with buiding construction), means it is 'cut' on site, as opposed to the modern trussed rafters which are made at a factory. This week should see the felt and battens protecting it from the rain.

Camelot - on your marks, get set, go!!!


  1. Hope Moira is ok after her shearing ordeal.....maybe she just went off in the huff...the studio is looking fantastic....can't wait to see it finished. The alpacas do look very different indeed, after shearing.......Jayne

  2. Yep, I think we all have at least one screamer in the herd at shearing time! They do look sleek, and younger, when they've been sheared though. Studio looks good! Take care. Shirley & Robbie

  3. Wow, the studio looks fantastic! Poor Moira, hope she gets over her experience soon...I suppose most of us would scream and sulk, at least a little, if we were tied down and subjected to the experience of being sheared!

  4. Hope Moira gets over her experience soon, she is probably sulking. They do look different when they have had their fleece taken of, but I think they do look elegant with their long neck and long legs.

    The studio is looking good, be great to see it when it is finished.


  5. Well done!
    What a fabulous colour Bramley is under all that fluff!

  6. Pleased to report Moira had 'breakfast', and has mixed with the others today. Camelot has played 'dare' by running at Moira, then veering off at the last minute!

  7. Glad Moira seems to be getting back to her old self. I love watching cria playing chase.

  8. Moira sounds and looks just like one of ours during shearing. More often, full body protection is required!!

  9. The studio is looking fantastic...I can imagine that Mrs S is getting rather excited (did you not promise to post a photo of your weaving some time ago!!!)

    So glad no cats were harmed during the shearing process.