Sunday, May 6th, was shearing day for all the alpacas in our neck of the woods. We gathered at Akuna Matada Alpacas in Hotchkiss (great friends of ours), and got to work. The shearer and his helper came from Australia and did a great job. Everyone who showed up had a job. The alpacas are cleaned up(sort-of) by a quick brushing to get most of the hay off of them. Then they are led to a mat and hind feet looped by ropes going one direction, front feet pulled the other to stretch them out on the ground. They are surprisingly calm once on the ground. Then the shearer gets to work. The "blanket" is the nicest fiber and comes from the back and sides of the animal. That is shorn and wrapped up in a large plastic bag. Then the other parts get shaved and that fiber collected and bagged as well. While the alpaca is down, feet are trimmed, teeth trimmed if they need it, vaccines given, and then they are all done! We did about 30 animals before lunch, and the shearers were off to another location after lunch! The kids helped and enjoyed the event. They will use some of the fiber for their 4-H projects. And on the way home we stopped off at another friends' place and picked up two more alpacas that Grand Mesa Alpacas donated for the 4-H kids to show. Such an exciting day!
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Susie (and sometimes Jeff) Hirsch, parents, vets, small scale ranchers, and regular people, who must have a sense of humor to survive!