Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas shearing

These alpacas were certainly ready to loose their warm coats last week.They are Flagstaff bred alpacas now living in Oamaru. Although laying them out and tying ropes to their feet seem harsh it is for their own and the shearer's safety. Once restrained they usually relax and let it all happen around them. It is very necessary to remove their fleece each year as it will continue to grow and get matted as well as causing the animal to suffer from the heat. The contrast is always amazing from big fluffy animals to little skinny ones. The shearer is Andy from Flagstaff alpacas in Dunedin. He also checks the feet and trims the nails if necessary, teeth check and any vacinating as required. Taking off the fleece is a timely way of checking the animals general skin health and body condition.
This mum was looking forward to a new hairstyle too. Nothing worse than hair blowing in youe eyes. The contrast once shorn is always startling. A lot of sniffing of each other happens afterwards since they also seem startled by each other's appearances.
I came home with a couple of fleeces to play with, thank you girls.


Peter said...

Interesting seeing the alpaca shearing photos. I guess I had never given shearing an alpaca any thought before, so now I know how its done! I also hadn't seen one minus its thick coat before! I can understand the laying down and restraining, I imagine that a grumpy alpaca in a confined space could do a lot of damage! I am sure you will do something lovely with the fleeces.

Happy Christmas!

Jody said...

At the shearings here we use a table to shear the alpacas. The animal is brought alongside the table, strapped in and then the table is turned up and the alpacas legs are secured. Easier on the back I think.
Enjoy your fleeces Doe and Merry Christmas :)

Doespins said...

Hi Jody and Peter,
Christmas greetings to you both.
Yes, some shearers (and the bigger farms) have tables here too.