Friday, May 9, 2014

Fiber Arts Friday: Shearing the Alpacamundo Herd

As I mentioned last week, I started shearing for my regular clients and had a wonderful group of friends and neighbors help me shear our herd last weekend.

Many Thanks to Johnny for taking these photos:

and to Don for taking these photos:

The 17 Alpacamundo Alpacas are ready for summer,  including Young Silas who had his very first haircut.  :-)

I do want to clarify that the alpacas are restrained for safety... theirs and ours.  They are not stretched out on a rack.  The restraints do not hurt them.

Like most things, there is a certain amount of skill and experience involved, but it is the safest and most efficient way to cut the fiber off.

Alpacas do not roo or shed so they must be sheared.  They have been bred as fleece-production animals since Inca times.  Being sheared is part of who they are.  The fleece must be taken off in the spring before the weather gets too warm.  If this is not done, the alpacas will suffer heat exhaustion or worse.

Most alpaca lie quietly during shearing and greatly appreciate having their heavy coats removed.  Imagine how you might feel after taking off a heavy wool or alpaca sweater on a +80F day.  ;-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday and Happy Fiber Harvest Season!


Natalie said...

That's A LOT of fiber! They look just so cute after they have their "haircuts"!

Claire Davenport said...

Wow! That's a HUGE fleece!

Chrisknits said...

Love the naked pics!!! They are cute no matter how much hair they have. Isn't it sad that you are to qualify what shearing is. Alpaca on an 80+ day? I can't even do it on a 60+ day! LOL

Voie de Vie said...

While I agree with Chrisknits that's it is sad one needs to qualify shearing (!), it's still cool to read about/see the process. I do love alpacas. How much of that fleece will you keep for yourself?

Your herd is now looking might-y fine. :)

Kathryn Ray said...

One of the side effects of having a more urban or sub-urban society is that fewer people have farm experiences. So people don't know what they're looking at.

When you don't know what you're looking at, you're more likely to make bad assumptions.

Spinster Beth said...

WIsh I could have been there!

Cathy Johnson said...

You are a real pro, well done! All that lovely fibre, wooo!

WonderWhyGal said...

Those a great shearing photos. It's nice when you have someone to take them. I get so caught up in shearing, it's hard to.

I'm glad to see more farms noodling their fiber too. I use the vinyl tablecloths to noodle my fleeces. A lot less contamination than bagging.

Hooray for shearing!

Nancy McCarroll said...

What a lot of work, and a new haircut making it all worthwhile. You have been busy!