So happy to say that another shearing day is literally ‘in the bag’! This year we sheared 15 alpacas and a llama. Their fleece is safely noodled and tucked away until we can get back to it this summer to sort and skirt it all. Shearing is a much anticipated event with all hands on deck. Our shearer is a professional who travels here from York, PA. His name is Nathan Good. He always has a helper with him. This year’s helper, Glen, was truly an alpaca whisperer. We had Kristin, our veteran of 6 years and Marissa a devoted newbie on the ground to gather the fleece as it came off the animal. They carefully noodled and bagged up the fleece. Sydney was a runner and sweeper. Adrienne kept us all chugging along by having shots ready and labeled, bags organized, and everyone took pictures and video just because. I think the favorite photo op of the day was when Lamborghini Mercy made a direct hit of green spit into Glen’s eye. Despite their gentle handling and technique, for some reason this year almost all of our herd squealed, spit, cried, peed, and made a general fuss. It’s almost as if the first one sets the tone and the rest follow suit. The funny thing about shearing day is it is such a relief for them but they can make such a stink about it until it’s over. It’s like a little kid having to take a bath when all they really want to do is continue to play in the dirt outside. But when they are all snug in their robe enjoying a few cookies before bed they are happy they got that bath.
In addition to buzzing the fleece, we take the time while they’re on the mat to trim toenails, teeth, topknots and sometimes give shots. Pregnant or not, everyone gets shorn. It is for their health and safety and frankly I think they look beautiful when they are all done. They then spend a lot of time sniffing each other to re-familiarize themselves. It’s not unusual to find them pronking at the end of the day in their fresh new look. What starts off as a bit unnerving always ends up in a joyful way. We look forward to getting that glorious fleece processed into yarn and lots of wonderful items that will be available soon both online and in our farm store.