Monday, May 27, 2013

Shearing Day Memories....... May 19, 2013

     Just another day at Quarry Critters Alpaca Ranch.
        Eating grass, growing fiber being peaceful and content.
       Until it's shearing day, that's when all the alpacas are scheduled for their hair cuts for a style more suited for summer heat.
And so it begins......

  We make sure the alpacas are on the grass for about 2 -3 weeks before shearing. Being in the fields of grass helps to remove the unwanted vegetation and lose some of the dirt they are so fond of rolling in.

Alpacas are brought into the cleaning area for more cleaning.
We put the vacuum  in the hay loft so the sound is up high. 
We use a long hose to come from up above to avoid
 having the alpaca's legs being touched by the hose. 

 Then with the help of some wonderful and willing volunteers, the alpacas are held in the chute waiting their turn on the mat.
 We make sure that the alpacas are talked to and loved on so they are as relaxed as possible.

The alpacas are restrained for their own safety as well as the safety of the shearer. 
Nathan Good and Greg are pictured here. 
Some alpacas really don't like the process of being sheared so they spit and spit a lot. A sock over their nose helps to keep the fresh fiber and people from being stained from the green goobers that they spit. 

After the prime coat is sheared off the alpaca, it is carefully rolled like a sleeping bag. This is
 known as "Noodling". This keeps the blanket in perfect condition,
 making shirting much easier. 
Then the "sleeping bag roll," noodled bag gets taped and weighed. 
Then put away for another day to be skirted. 

Thank you to all our volunteers. 
We had so much fun and got the job done because of you.

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