Sunday, May 16, 2010

Preparing for Shearing Day

This is my third season shearing alpacas.  However, this is the first season shearing at our own place.

I am just about ready for shearing day, but have realized a couple of things would be nice to have:
  • Livestock Scale - The farms we boarded with all had a livestock scales that we used for weighing the fleece on shearing day.  We do need a scale for weighing our alpacas, but we won't have one this time around. 
  • Floor Mats - I shear on the ground with leg ties, so rubber mats makes it nicer for everyone.  I saw some at one of those big warehouse stores, so I plan to pick them up on Friday.
Aside from the two things we are missing, I have assembled nearly everything else:
  • Sharp combs and cutters to cover the herd plus a few extra sets
  • Cutting Oil
  • Equipment for toe nail, teeth and top knot trimming
  • Extension cords
  • Brooms and a leaf blower
  • Identified the order to shear and prepared a record sheet that includes ages, colors and due dates.  I generally shear lightest to darkest in color, starting with the smallest alpaca of each color.  I do put the pregnant girls last with Keyla being very last.
  • 4 pre-labeled, clear plastic bags for each alpaca.  The bags are for the blanket, neck, legs & belly, and a sample for analysis
  • First aid kit
  • Safety glasses and knee pads
  • Re-confirmed most of our volunteers
  • Identified the lunch menu
  • Prepared a short to-do list for Friday
Friday's to-do list includes:
  • Setting up ties and supplies
  • Set up cans for trash and Matter of Trust
  • Pickup last minute lunch items and rubber mats
  • Prepare the food as much as possible
  • Review the shearing pattern and plan for Saturday
  • Ensure the camera has a full charge
While we now have a place to shear out of the weather, we do not have a place to ensure the alpacas remain dry if it rains.  The forecast looks pretty good, but I am still praying for a dry week.

We are shearing on Saturday, May 22nd.

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