Ooopsy I forgot all about filling you in on shearing this year. Once again we were very fortunate to have the one and only Mr James Dixon from down under. He slots the Spanish alpacas in during his European tour of shearing, lucky for us! Sadly he didn't have his lovely wife Kym or even his nephew Noah, so it was all hands on deck, and Alan and I had to be more involved this year.
We actually had quite a wet May, well a very wet spring in fact so we played musical alpacas the day before shearing to ensure they could all be kept dry.
"Let us out!"
James arrived quite late one evening and stayed over to enable us to be ready to go bright and early the following morning. The following morning Alan had a quick lesson in the best way help James to get an alpaca onto the floor and restrained. For anyone that doesn't know, alpacas are usually restrained, it is safest way for them to be sheared. We find that when the animal realises it cannot move, it relaxes and the shearer can just get on with job, far quicker and safer. That's not to say there is not the occasional wee, spit or dreadful high-pitched screaming sound, you would think they are being tortured, however it's just fear, bless them. An old towel over the weeing equipment, and an old sock over the mouth usually does the trick, although most are just happy to lie there and relax. As for me, I had the exciting plasticy paddley typy thingies for scooping up the fleece. I'm sure they have a proper name. So it was my job to scoop the fleece up and try and aim it into bags Alan was holding. Injections were done, toe nails clipped, and a bit of dentistry then they were released again to have a little wander round and try to work out who is who again! It's very strange!
This year I didn't bother to do before and after photos, and I just took what I thought would be interesting, and a little video too.
Yep Lily can be a spitter!
Me with my plasticy, paddley thingies
Bermuda being a very good girl
Casandra chilled and beautiful, as always
Santa being a right baby, spitting, weeing and screaming!
Gorgeous Galaxy looking relaxed
Beautiful colour fleece
Galaxy being sheared