Tuesday 1 July 2014

Shiraz for shearers (or, showing showing, shorn)

Two blog titles, for the price of one today!
Enjoying a glass of the red stuff, after completing shearing our herd for this year today. We have been on cria watch for a week or so and now have three in their 'window', with two or three to follow.
Bramley and Elstar
Being able to shear our own, we have taken it steady to suit ourselves, the herd, the weather, and the show season.
Autumn Gold, shown above, was scanned as not pregnant last September, and we've found her to be body scoring very high, and she's kept us guessing, but we are convinced that she is pregnant and should be first to reveal her 'cargo' any day - she has the easiest temperament, and will happily chew your shoes or trousers, but has always seemed a bit 'dim' - fingers crossed.
Scrumpy: "don't tell anyone that I squealed like a wuss while being shorn" 
Empress and Minnie wrestle for superiority.
I'm gradually getting quicker at shearing, and it's the pressure to get finished and release the alpaca that results in odd tufts being missed, that you notice as they walk away! One of those quirks of life, that getting 70% of the fleece, the blanket, takes 10% of the time, and shearing the legs, neck, head and tail, 30% of the fleece, takes 90% of the time, but there comes a point when they are getting stressed, and I've sweat the pint of cider that I have to replace, that you must let them go, after all they're not entering a beauty contest. (today I noticed flecks of blood as I sheared Minnies tail, and it turned out I had caught the top of my finger!) nothing important then.


  1. We too bear the scars of shearing!

  2. Well done! Yes, Clump, a real squealer!

  3. "Dim" says Autumn Gold "it's you who can't decide if I am pregnant or not...not me!"

  4. Wuss that yor finger wot got sheared then, Dave? Shirley & Robbie

  5. Well done Dave, we sheared our herd ourselves for the first 2 years so know that it's not easy! In the end, for us, it was the time they had to be done that persuaded us to use a professional! It's great to be in control so shear when it suits you but we just never really got enough practice to get faster as our herd is small. Good luck with your up and coming "deliveries"!