It's that time of year again when the alpacas need to be sheared and although we take care of most of their needs, like toenail clipping, shearing is a specialist job.
We have a wonderful shearer and he and his assistant get the job done with as little stress to the alpacas as possible. (I think Neil and I are more stressed about it than the alpacas are!)
The whole process involves lying the alpaca down and tethering them. This is done because their skin is quite thin and it needs to be taught to avoid any nicks. The boys put up with this pretty well and it's over and done with in no time, although Chewy did have a couple of crafty spits at the shearer this year.
It really is amazing the amount of fleece that comes off of an alpaca, and the boys look totally different with their new haircuts. They obviously feel a lot lighter too, as once we let them out into the fields they run around and have a good old frolic...
It's lovely to watch.
Alpaca fleece is a wonderful fiber and it can been spun and used for knitting. Unfortunately, I don't have those skills but I have finally got around to a bit of wet felting and needle felting and I'm hoping to produce some items to sell, so that guests and visitors can have a little memento of their visit with the boys.
If you are staying as a guest at Mill Farm you will get the opportunity to meet the boys, and you can now see them as a visitor on one of our private group visits. (See our alpaca page for details).