Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shearing Day!!!

Today is shearing day. This is the day we look forward to all year, but also dread in a way.

We look forward to it because:

* we get nice fiber off our animals - our product
* we often are curious how our animals will look, after they are shorn (how many times have I said that, sometimes you can see different things about their color etc once they are shorn)
* as the weather warms up, these animals get uncomfortable with their heavy winter coat. In fact, they can get so hot, there is a risk of heat stroke. I know especially the pregnant moms want that warm coat off.
* it could put a mom into labor (if it does, that means they were ready anyway, I certainly wouldn't want to encourage a premature birth), I'm always eager to see these little ones. And if it doesn't start labor, it means cria season is coming very soon. I love cria season! 2 of ours are due this month, ready to birth any day now (Sancha and Maddie)

The dread is, the work involved:

* there is the prep work prior to shearing day: plan when it is, where the alpacas will go, make sure we have bags and tags and food etc.
* shearing on the day takes a good 1/2 to 2/3 of the day. Add on the prep work before and the clean up afterward, it is one very busy day
* and once that fiber is off them, and into bags, then I need to sort it and get it ready for sale (either raw, or spin it into yarn, or make it into something)

It's busy and a lot of work. But, this is what will keep me busy the rest of the year. And looking at my ETSY shop, I only have 1 raw fiber left there for sale (one small 4oz lot of Tucker's fiber).

It will take me a bit to get up pictures of shearing day, so don't expect any posts on that yet today. I will get before and after pictures, and some of the shearing.

For today I'll post a link to other stories from farms on their shearing:

Alpaca Shearing Arrives at an Oregon Farm

Island Alpaca's Shearing Day

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