Monday, April 29, 2013

Shearing Day (photo intense)

Normally my shearer only does the camelids. I prefer shearing the sheep myself. Since I am still recovering from foot surgery (and my hubby has a very full work /school schedule) that just wasn't possible this year. So my shearer was kind enough to shear my sheep as well. I was hoping to get photos of everyone before and after their "haircuts" but that didn't happen. Turns out all available hands were needed so shearing would be done by dark.....which it wasn't. Headlamps were needed for the very last sheep.

The camelids were all sheared stretched out on a tarp. Fairly easy on the animal and very safe for the shearer. My hubby trimmed toenails while the shearer did his thing. My youngest was out and she was talking to each camelid as they were shorn. Helped calm them down and lower their stress levels. My job was to bag/label each fleece and clean the tarp between animals.

My oldest showed up as we were getting ready to shear the sheep. These were done inside the catch pen (which has been waiting for me to be back on my feet so it can be cleaned). I had never seen sheep sheared like this before. It was a rather unique approach. The shearer said this way was easy on the back. The sheep were all very cooperative and shearing went quickly.

We did gets lots of very beautiful fleeces this year. The Huacaya alpacas had incredible blankets! Large with nice length and lovely crimp. The blankets were so large that seconds and thirds weren't saved. The blankets from my two white suri alpacas were small but heavy. It will be interesting to see how much they weigh.

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