Sunday, June 5, 2011

Alpaca Adventures Part 1 Shearing

This is a series about the adventures of our alpaca herd.  Our being Teresa and Dena with Elaine supervising.  Stay tuned for all the episodes in this series which will include:
1. Shearing
2. New Baby
3. Dena and Teresa get New Girls
4. How Many Alpacas make a Herd
It is or was the end of May and shearing time for the alpaca. Actually we had them sheared on Tuesday May 31st.

The alpacas heading for shearing were: Cielito (dear one) who had lost weight over the winter, Polo who was being a jerk and kicking and hissing at everyone, Sonqo (Heart) who looked as if he had put on a ton of either weight or fleece, and Encanto who was playing second fiddle to Polo (dad is Marco Polo) and thinking that maybe he should be Leader of the Herd. (Picture 1 left to right: Sonqo, Polo, Encanto, Cielito)

Diane came over with a trailer to load up the guys and take them to Nancy’s to be sheared. We had discussed bringing the shearer here (same cost) but with hubby having his hernia surgery last Friday I thought it best to have them sheared elsewhere with more help.

Andrew was here and helped load the pacas into the trailer. It was a good thing because Polo was more interested in bucking than behaving. Diane just handed the ill-mannered pacas to Andrew to put in the trailer – Polo and Encanto. In the picture can you see how chunky Sonqo (all white) is looking?

We got over to Hummingherd and Ann, the shearer, was taking a quick break for lunch. Whitney got the place all set up to shear and we brought Cielito in to be sheared first because he is so gentle. Ann is a great shearer with 40 years’ experience shearing animals. While she sheared, Whitney trimmed the hooves and Nancy gave the shots. . I had a great time watching and helping and filming. I got to hold the heads down so the pacas didn’t flip and flop.

The shearing went quickly and Cielito was a sweetheart about the whole thing. He really did lose a lot of weight over the winter so we wormed him. He has been getting extra alpaca pellets and we are changing the pellets to the hi-pro for older alpacas. There is a ton of grass and maybe we can fatten him up.

We wrote down the before shearing weight and the after but I forgot the paper over at Nancy’s. Will add the weights later but 8 to 12 pounds per is what I remember. Teresa – don’t get toooo excited, that weight is firsts, seconds and thirds. But mostly firsts.

I certainly hope you enjoy the movies of the shearing. I was all focused on watching the shearing until Nancy said, “The baby is coming”. Stay tuned for Alpaca Adventures Part 2.


This is Sonqo - look at that fleece.

And since we were shearing, the little white things got it also.


Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

That's a lot of fleece!

Teresa said...

I can't see most of the pics on my iPhone - gonna hafta take the iPad to the pool so I can see them. Maybe I could have just a little of one blanket to spin?

Dena said...

Teresa - I think you need some of each to spin, some white from Sonqo, Some dark fawn from Polo, some black from La Negrita, some med fawn from Encanto and Some dark brown from Kizmet. And some more white from Sonqo so the yarn can be striped. Cielito has a finer softer fleece but a shorter staple than the others so maybe none from him unless you mix it with a long staple wool