We got our 3 alpacas shorn on the weekend. I was starting to get worried, as its been warming up and I was feeling sorry for these boys in their heavy coats. But its all done, one more thing off the list!!! The day went well, my mum came down to help (as we had to take the animals to a neighbour's place as we don't have power or a yard set up at the farm yet).
Alpacas are shorn differently to sheep. The legs are tied up to prevent them from getting hurt and hurting the people around them. You can't help but feel sorry for the little buggers when they are stretched out 'on the rack'. But its all over in a few minutes, and then there is literally nothing left of them!
My 3 animals are all particularly small, they may grow or maybe they are just runts, but that is ok. After a few days I managed to get the time to actually sort out the fleeces. The shearer basically just took off all the fleece in one hit, so I wasn't able to remove the leg and neck fleece, which is shorter and not really good for spinning (we are going to use it for insulation for our shed). He also made MANY second cuts, so that was extra sorting that I have had to do. I hate spinning fleeces with second cuts in it..... Our little girl 'helped' with the sorting, and hence I'm only about 1/2 done.
The grey fleece is sorted, ready for carding, the white is almost done, and I have yet to tackle the dark brown one. I will weigh them all and then decide what I will make from each one. A jumper each, and hopefully a few extra bits and pieces. Now, if only I HAD as much time as I THINK I have......