This is our third year shearing our own alpacas. What I like most about doing it ourselves is that we have total control over when we shear. If it is suddenly hot, we can shear them. If the weekend is rainy we can wait. When you schedule with a shearer, you are on their schedule and when it's shearing day you shear - rain, snow or sunshine. I also like that we can pace ourselves. If a shearer comes, you shear all your alpacas that day. In some ways it's nice to be done all at once, but shearing is hard work and makes for some very sore muscles. By doing our own, we can space them out. Typically we aim to shear about 6 to 8 each weekend through May.
This means that over the past couple weeks some of our alpacas are shorn and some are not:
Here is an up close picture of the difference: