Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cria Shearing

Today we set out to shear our cria (the ones that have been born anyway).

Raspberry and Stormy (born June 6 & 7) are now a couple days older than 6 weeks old.  Ruby (born June 16) is 5 weeks old.  We prefer to shear them after 6 weeks old, but given how hot this summer was, earlier was okay with us.  We really didn't want to wait another week, with another hot spell predicted.

We started with Ruby, then Raspberry, and ended with Stormy.  While cute and small, they are hard to shear because they have so many small spots that need to be shorn.  They really are all legs and neck.  Plus, as Emma and I noted, we feel like with a full size alpaca we can put our weight into them and hold them well.  We've been known to wrestle some of them.  But these small little cria have no good spot to hold onto and we tend to be cautious because we wouldn't want to hurt them.

No one got injured, and all three were shorn.

We had a bit of surprise in that Raspberry matches the color chart as a Bay Black.  We had wondered if she was darker than the reddish brown color that she appeared to be on the outside.   We had been debating if she was dark brown, bay black or even true black.  Bay Black is one color that I have wanted and we haven't had yet, so that was a nice treat!

After cleaning up I walked out to see this:

Nothing to be alarmed at, it's the two girls, the paternal half-sisters, sun bathing together.


I bet the sun feels nice on their newly shorn bodies.  They love to sun bath anyway, but I bet feeling the sun soaking into their skin is an even better treat to them.  And I like to see it because they are also soaking up vitamin D, something they need to grow healthy and strong.

I tried to get a picture of Stormy but he gave me the "back treatment". The "back treatment" is anytime an alpaca turns around and shows me their back side instead of looking at me when I'm talking to them. It's amazing how often they do this to me! Maybe I talk to much :)

There have been several times I was sure they were giving me the "back treatment" on purpose. I've had grown adult females do that to me after I was gone for a few days. Typically they like me but they were clear to give me their opinion of me being gone.  I am always thankful for whomever fills in on farm chores when I am gone, I just hope the ladies don't give our farm helping hands the "back treatment", it kind of hurtful.


WonderWhyGal said...

I have never cria sheared but I am thinking we might need to with Mr Tumnus this year. Being black and with this heat, it would be a good idea plus both of his half-sisters ended up being pretty dense with long staple length that was a magnet for everything the last two years.

hmmm, do you shear your own?

A Country Chicken said...

Hi, I am interested to know if you shear your own cria? :)

oak haven alpacas said...

We do shear our own, we started doing so last year. We've had other people do it too ~ Noah from Ashton Stone Alpacas does a very nice job on them. (He did ours in 2009 and 2010.)

I do have to say I HATE shearing the cria. They are small, hard to hold (we tie them down like an adult but they have small body parts to hold onto). And the cria have such small areas it's hard to get the shears in there to trim them without cutting them. I'm a bundle of stressed knots as I hold them to shear them (my husband actually does the shearing). But after it's done I'm always glad we did it.

The heat has been crazy this summer! In years past we had our cria shorn so that by the time they are shorn next spring I don't have to worry about tui tips on their fleece. But this year the heat is a factor too.

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