Sunday, May 24, 2009

Recovery time...a week!

Okay, you know you are getting old when it takes you a week to recover from shearing day! Seriously though...doing 36 animals in two days doesn't sound to bad but we did it a little different this year and due to the excitement of the day I will have to do separate blogs!

This year we used a different shearer and we were very happy for the most part. Let me explain. In the past we have used a skilled sheep-shearer turned alpaca-shearer. The of the alpacas! This shearer used a table and took the time needed to make the animal look fabulous! This meant that the animal was walked to the side of the table and gently tipped on it's side and strapped to the table. There was literally little to no struggling and the animal was gently tipped back off the table. It was great. Once you have used a shearing table you will most likely never go back. It was a little more time consuming compared to the usual wrestling and flipping of the alpaca...and more gentle on the pregnant females. This process also allowed us to sort the fiber as it came off the animal, inspect the animal and take care of shots, teeth trimming (if needed) and nails! It was a great couple of days but tiring doing 36 animals over two days. It is like that family trip when you had to some times get in the car at 4 am in order to have a quick quiet trip rather than dragging it out over two days...but if and when we do it is still worth the loving gentle technique used with the table rather than the wrestling match that sometimes ensues with the ground/mats. Alpacas first!

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