Alpaca shearing

Dang it! I always forget that the pictures load from bottom up. Crud. Tried to limit the pictures due to download time.

A few weeks back we went to help out at an alpaca farm during shearing time. They shear the alpacas, trim their teeth, hooves and give them their shots. There's lots of bawling and squalling and spitting going on. Not everyone likes to be lain flat, trussed and have their clothes removed and then poked with needles and have your teeth shaved off with a wheel grinder. Imagine that....

So the reverse scene is- this is a little guy after he's been shaven. They only trim the topknot and comb it out if it's very matted. After they were done they were led to a corral and every one of them came back to look at the scene, like "What just happened?!"

This is one of the shearers taking the 'blanket' off. The blanket is the nicest part of the fleece and is bagged separately for processing. It's handled very carefully, rolled under as it comes off the animal and then put in a bag. It's still warm and somewhat damp from the body.
To keep them still so they don't get cut by the shears, they're trussed and pulled straight so they'll spend as little time as possible on the ground and stressed. The blanket is first and then the rest of the fleece is taken off. They leave the topknot and little 'socks' around the bottom of the legs. They are checked for being over/under weight here since it's hard to tell with all the wool they have on them before they're sheared.

Brett was helping truss them and I was sweeping and trimming socks (when I wasn't taking pictures).

This is everyone hanging out prior to shearing.

A long post, I know, sorry. Actually there's more but I didn't want to bore everyone to death. Maybe I'll post a couple of pictures later of the guard dogs; two sweet faced, sweet natured Great Pyrenees. I love new experiences and was excited to see the "romance" of shearing time!

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