Summer time brings with it many of those seasonal jobs you’d really rather do when it’s not so hot! Like shearing the alpacas. This would have to be our least favorite jobs on the farm. Ric especially hates it!
For the third year, our shearer Ian arrived first thing in the morning and one by one the alpacas were loaded onto the shearing table. This year Ian’s offsider was Duke: his job is to do the heavy lifting, with some of the large males weighing up to 80kg each. Once they’re on the table, Ian shears one side first then we flip the alpaca over and shear the other side. Then it’s a quick round of maintenance in the form of vaccinations, drenching, and toenail trimming.
Each alpaca takes about 15 minutes to load onto the table, shear and vaccinate. The fleece is packed into two bags: one for the saddle, or the first class fleece; and another for the shorter seconds.
After all this, I separate the boys from the girls to be sold off and send the herds back out to the paddocks with their fresh “do’s”.