Friday, May 4, 2012

Fiber Arts Friday: Shearing Day, 2012

We sheared our alpacas last weekend!

We have also been working on a website re-do for the farm so the developer came out and shot video of shearing day.  The footage will become a bit of a commercial for me as a shearer.  The Go Live Date is a little ways off, so stay tuned.  :-D

Everyone is highly caffeinated, including The Fiber Fool.
Cuz that's how we roll on the Alpacamundo farm.

Also my friend Kristi, the Fiber Fool, of Challah sock fame, came out and took photos.... I just love her perspective.  So you will be seeing her photos on our new and improved website too.

It was a great day, made possible by some great friends and family... including most of the photos below that D kindly took for me with my POS P&S camera.

I have no idea why I'm laughing, but we did a lot if it on Saturday.

A freshly shorn blanket.
A little de-wormer.
The alpacas almost always want spa day to continue.
Then a good shake
... and on to another

The  boys grow fighting teeth that we trim off.
This keeps them from  turning each other into geldings.
Also their incisors can grow quite long so they
need to be trimmed periodically.

Chivalry looking very handsome with Clementine and Big Thompson. 
Some pretty looking girls with Daisy in the front.
The 2012 Harvest!
There are 13 fleeces (3 bags each) crammed under that counter.

Since it's shearing season around these parts, you might see more nekkid animals if you head over to Wisdom Begins in Wonder and check in on the lovely fiberistas.  If your not interested in nekkid animals, there will most certainly be other fibery-goodness to be seen as well.

Have a great Fiber Arts Friday!  I start shearing client alpacas and llamas tomorrow!


Paula Parrish said...

Hello Kathryn,
Awesome photos, it is great to see the step by step process of shearing the sweet Alpacas. I must say, that is a lot of fluffy fleece. Thanks for sharing.
Smiles, Paula

Its_Lily said...

You learn the darnedest things from other blogs. The teeth, I had no idea, but it's facinating. The Alpacas are especially pretty when you're done. No wonder they want spa day to continue.

Carol said...

Great photos - do you ever open your ranch to the public on shearing days or at other times?

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

Okay, this is going to sound weird - but that is what I look like now???

Kathryn Ray said...

@Kristi - Yes! You look hot!! :-)

@Its_Lily - I agree. I think alpacas are very pretty after shearing day. :-)

@Paula - thanks! I'm looking forward to diving into that fleece and getting ready to go to the mill.

Dutch Hollow said...

I think the dewormer photo picked up the blue in your jeans... looked like you were giving the alpaca a shot of Windex!

Alpaca Farmgirl said...

That's awesome that you are shearing for other paca peeps now. Way to go girl!

sweetpea family said...

I want an Alpaca - they look adorable. Wish I had more outside space :)

Kathryn Ray said...

@Dutch Hollow - You are right on. The Dectomax looks and smells exactly like Windex.

@AlpacaFarmGirl - Thanks Ma'am! :-)

@SweetPea - we do love our alpacas. I'm so happy that we are able to have them on our own place. :-)

Vivian said...

I'm amazed how much dental work you do on the alpacas. Don't they need vet for that? (Is an alpaca doctor called vet?)

Anyway, looks like that was loads of fun. I went to couple of alpaca open houses at a local farm. It looks like hard work for the humans, especially when you shear all of them on the same day. You got great helpers!

Voie de Vie said...

Talk about dental nightmares!!!! But I'm in agreement with everyone else - they look so purdy once they're sheared. I do so love alpacas and llamas ...

Will you keep a little bit of the fleece for yourself?

Kathryn Ray said...

@Vivian - yes, an alpaca doctor is called a vet. The vet can do the dental work and usually does.

Many alpaca breeders (and probably other livestock breeders) do basic husbandry. So I can trim teeth, treat for ticks/mites and administer shots as well as do basic first aid.

Shearing is definitely a lot of work, but it's a whole lot of fun. :-)

Kathryn Ray said...

@VdV - It's all mine... hahaha. ;-)

Actually I plan to send my raw fiber stash to the mill for processing into roving to have available for sale... eventually.

Alittlebitsheepish said...

Love the bobble head look. Thank you for sharing your pictures it is interesting to see the process

Carrie K said...

They always looks so pleased with themselves, don't they? Not even the least bit peeved.

WonderWhyGal said...

Those are great photos!
Shear day is always so much fun.
Happy Harvest the fun is really going to begin.

Spinster Beth said...

They are actually posing and vamping for the camera ... wow! And what lovely blankets.

Jocelyn said...

Wow, I'm tired just reading about the shearing! They do look like they enjoyed it, must feel like a massage.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

Always interested in nekkid animals...because that means yarn!

Kathryn Ray said...

@Carrie K - for the most part the alpacas like spa day. I think they are happy to get their warm coat off. But every now and then you have that that's had a bad experience... we have one girl that hates shearing day and makes sure we all know it. I'm just happy to get her blanket off.

@WWG - You know it!

@Gracey - I like the way you think. :-)

* SIMPLE SEQUINS * said...

I've never seen such a sheered off alpaca. nice to know. nice blog you have here. thanks for sharing! ~ Renae

AllyB said...

Your nekkid animals look very happy. You have great skills and I know your animals appreciate the fact that someone they are familiar with is doing all that maintenance for them.

Jess Schleicher said...

That was pretty cool! Apparently I've never seen a freshly shorn alpaca. Looks like quite the process... but wow on all that yummy fiber. Thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

Oh those alpaca faces are cute. Shearing the fleece, teeth and hooves! That really wants me to buy natural fibers...what hard work!

Kathryn Ray said...

@Mary - Now that's what I like to hear. :-)

@SimpleSequins, AllyB and KBG - Thank you very much. :-D

city garden country garden said...

That's a great photo series, you've obviously got the knack, I can see why other people are after your shearing services!

Christine said...

Oh, this is amazing, thanks for sharing the pics! What a were right in there. I had no idea that male alpacas grow fighting teeth..yikes!

I bet you just love going into the shed and staring at all of those bags of fiber! Too exciting.

Truly Myrtle said...

What a fantastic day! I've seen sheep shorn but not Alpacas - they look happy with it all! Love your green/create/etc list for the weekend too :)

karen said...

how interesting to see your alpacas being shorn!