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16th June 2017

SMD Alpaca Shearing Day 2017

With daytime temperatures consistently reaching over 20 degrees, it seemed that the timing was perfect for the SMD Alpaca shearing day. We asked David & Moragh Harrison from www.alpacashearer.co.uk to carry out the task of shearing the Guys and to also check their toe nails and general health at the same time.

It was touch and go if the shearing was going to go ahead as one of the important pre-requisites was to ensure that the Guys were dry before shearing. The weather was a mix of light and heavy showers for a couple of days before shearing day so they were anything but dry.

We kept a watchful eye on the forecast and kept everything crossed that they had got it right and that the sun was going to shine. Thankfully, it did indeed stop raining during the evening before which gave the Guys a chance to dry out. Definitely more luck than judgement but that seemed to set the tone for what was to be a fantastically smooth and enjoyable process.

On the day, David and Moragh set up and we had a nice early start. David worked through each alpaca meticulously, treating them with great care helped by Moragh who coordinated the whole event. They both moved each alpaca onto the shearing mat, keeping them nice and relaxed before carefully positioning them for safe shearing. Moragh was continually checking that all was in order and ensuring that Russell was collecting the right sections of the fleeces into the right bags. This meant keeping the saddles, which are the prime part of each fleece (from the back and sides) separate from the neck fibre which is kept separate from the rest.

At the end of the process, when Pedro Paca was the last to be released into the field to join the others, Russell, as Chief Fibre Collector was given a glowing report from Moragh during the debrief which we think was due to the fact that he had managed to keep all his fingers out of the clippers and only managed to stand on David’s clipper lead twice!

We now have eight fleeces to process and eight much thinner Guys.

 

Check out this video clip of SMD Cara Paca having his saddle sheared: https://youtu.be/-NEB4QU6wQg

Same again this time next year!