Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cria Shearing

It's pretty common to shear a cria when they are about a month to three months old. We've done it at different times, and have set on about 8 weeks old to be ideal for the best regrowth. When we've done it earlier, some of the tui tips are still there (tui tips = the fiber they are born with). I don't like the tui tips on there when I go to spin their fiber into yarn (so I don't want to leave it there for a year's growth, then their first full shearing is a mess). And, we've found the tui tips sometimes inhibits the fibers ability to organize to form nice bundles. When the tui tips are gone, their fiber is all new growth and will show their true organization.

There are several reasons we cria shear:

* help cool them down (they end up with longer fiber than the older ones because they are born with fiber on them), during a hot summer it doesn't make sense for the youngest to be the most hot
* to get rid of the tui tips (tui tips = the fiber they are born with that was exposed to amniotic fluid)
* As a fiber spinner, I prefer not to have the tui tips on there when I go to spin their fiber into yarn. So if those are shorn off now, by next years shearing there won't be any to deal with. The tui tips are often a different color and different texture, and does not spin up the same as the new fiber growth
* their fiber organizes itself better with bundles if the tui tips are not there

Cheyenne is now 8 weeks old, so we felt it was time. But this meant shearing our first cria (which was a bit nerve wracking).
Here is Cheyenne before shearing:

Cheyenne and Thunder before shearing:

Here is Cheyenne with her dam, Tehya, after shearing:

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