Besides walking down the hill to the alpacas to find a brand new baby animal on the ground, already romping around despite being born minutes before, there isn't too many more exciting things on the farm than shearing day. The daily grind of scooping poop, watering, filling hay boxes, and doling out grain is not a glorified job. And nail clipping, or even better yet...shot day, are probably both last on the list. However, yesterday, with the sun shining and a few extra hands on deck for helping, we were able to give the alpacas their annual haircut.
This is Jim, our shearer. He comes over from Jay, N.Y.
The alpacas, with ropes around their ankles, are stretched from end to end. No one gets hurt this way.
Jim starts with the "blanket" which is the heaviest and nicest section of fiber. He then moves to the back legs, tail tip, front legs, neck, top of the head and cheeks, and lastly...the brisket. Each animal takes about 10-15 minutes.
Here's one of our old ladies. She definitely hates getting her hair cut. I know with some old ladies it's the only thing they look forward to. I think she would rather get her nails done. Yes, that's regurgitated food spilling out of her mouth. Luckily, she didn't spit on anyone.
However, this momma got Paul Bunyan pretty good. But she's pregnant and due, like, four days ago. Can you imagine being pulled by arms and legs, stretched in all directions, and having some guy buzz you all over? I definitely would have been reeling at 39 weeks pregnant with the twins. I'd be spittin' too. Luckily, Paul Bunyan's smiling about it!
The alpacas really do love getting all that weight off of them, especially now that we're getting into the 70's and above. They frolic in the fields and rub against the fence and squawk at each other because they don't recognize one another. Don't you think they look happier?
Hey, what are you lookin' at?
I know I look funny.
But do you have to laugh so hard? It's starting to hurt my feelings.
If you're bored and have, like, nothing to do you can watch Jim shear Jumping Jack.