Sunday 19 May 2013

Herd reduction(?)

Unfortunately work pressure forced us to withdraw from the Devon County Show, but this weekend we got stuck into shearing, and have done half the herd (6!) We held a pre-shear briefing and procedure check, using the following 'model' for demonstration!:
Equipment ready:
Customer arriving (Camelot):
Camelot produced a whopping 5.7kg of useable fleece (excluding that extra growth of last years 'beard'!)
Camelot leads off having left his coat behind, Discovery disguised himself as a haystack so that we'd not notice him (he has  a show coming up), and Darcy Spice is behind.
Ambrosia sports the summer look.
It says something for our relationship, that Joy and I can do the shearing together - shearing could be stressful for owners and alpacas - it has to be done swiftly but calmly, concentration is essential to avoid harm to shearer or alpaca - the fleece, which is the whole point of breeding alpacas, needs to be removed in such a way as to maximise its use, and considering Joy is my 'customer' who will use it for garments and felting classes, we managed to complete the operation amicably. Last year we had an extra pairs of hands, but so far we've done these six on our own - we may call on sons to help with the bigger, more reluctant girls -

Today we did three generations, Pelachuta, autumn Gold and Golden Delicious:
Golden Delicious: "Suddenly, I'm now half the girl I used to be".
Golden Delicious
Pelachuta, grand-dam of Golden Delicious (note ssimilar colouring)
Autumn Gold, dam of Golden Delicious
We all know how comical it is when alpacas are shorn and the rest of the herd take a while to recogonise the newly-shorn characters - usually our herd have been shorn together, or within sight of each other, but this year they are grazing over the hill, so we brought three at a time over in two seperate groups to be shorn - when the girls were taken back to join the rest, they were given the cold shoulder, and despite Delicious running to her mate Freedom, Freedom ran away! several hours later I looked over at them, and they were in a stand-off of shorn and un-shorn groups, like Skinheads and Rockers from the seventies!


  1. I like your shearing 'model'!

    We tend to fall out over the clearing up at the end!

  2. Well done, some nice shearing!