our first alpaca shearing

The weather has warmed considerably and the paddocks are starting to turn golden, so it was time for our 4 alpacas to be sheared so they would be much more comfortable throughout summer. As new alpaca owners we called a professional to do the job, and at 8am Rob & his lovely wife Pat arrived to give them the much needed haircut.

It could have been done much quicker, but it was so wonderful to see him caring for their welfare and ensuring they didn’t get too stressed out. We all pitched in helping steady them on the ground and they had a blindfold to ensure they were as calm as possible. We were told they remarkably calm, especially the two young ones who had not been sheared before which was a testament to how well they are being looked & handled. This was a compliment we both cherished as we do our best to give them a nice home here at little haven and Tom spends time trying to get them use to human contact.

Tom was also given a quick lesson and an opportunity to try shearing and while he did very well for his first ever attempt, we both agreed it was still one for the experts as its not worth accidentally hurting them or prolonging the experience for them.

Each alpaca had such a different coat, Spartacus was the hardest to shear, Voodoo was more silky and very luxuriously thick, Merlin had his unusual Suri coat and Odin’s was praised due to its richness and how it had a marbled sheen in the sunlight. The below picture is the fleece from just two alpacas, Spartacus and Voodoo. We now have 6 large black garbage bags of alpaca fleece sitting in our kitchen and we are trying to figure out what to do with it and how to store it in the meantime.

It was amusing to see how different they looked after the shearing,  it was like two thirds of them had disappeared and  they had turned into a different animal. Suddenly they also look more vulnerable and I feel much more protective over them again, even the big ones like Spartacus in the photo below who now, isn’t so big. Overall it was a fantastic day of firsts and learning, for the young alpacas and for us, and Rob & his wife were so amazing and shared so much useful knowledge. Living in the country can be challenging when you are from the city and have a lot to learn but there are people in the community that are wonderful and generous in knowledge sharing, and overall it was a wonderful way to start our long weekend. Tomorrow we are heading off to the famous King Valley’s La Dolce Vita wine festival so stay tuned for that blog entry in the coming days! (once we have recovered)

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