Thursday, June 23, 2011

From wild and wolley to naked...

No, no, no, I'm not talking about some crazy beach party or a wild party in Vegas, This is something a little less risque...

It's shearing day at Moonsong Ranch!!

This year the cast included Peter Connelly (the shearer) and his handler Eric Tongate from Kentucky. We also had myself, my wife Allurynn and two new alpaca breeders Wayne and Arveda.

We had a total of 18 alpacas and 3 Llamas to shear this year. We had five coming in on a trailer so we had to do it in three shifts. First, we did some animals from Wayne and Arveda's ranch, then our girls and then lastly the boys.
All in all, the transition was smooth and easy. I think back to last year and recall all the animals being a little unsettled and very resistant to being shuffled around the pens. Maybe the moon was in a better place compared to last year. We are also at a new ranch, so maybe it's better situated for the movement of animals.

Everything went fairly smooth we went through the first set of animals lickety split. We even took out a snaggle tooth out of  Wayne's large guard Llama. It was literally growing out sideways, but it was ready to go and he seemed relieved to be done with it!

Next up the Girls. I always expect the females to be a little more challenging. They have a tendency to spit, scream and carry on while the boys are generally more stoic. And I usually get covered in green, slimy, alpaca spit. We learned a little trick that seems to help. After they are laying on their side I will run a rag across their face/nose area which is dipped in a mix of water and lavender. After wards they noticeably calm down and we can get down to business without too much turmoil... And I don't get slimmed... as bad.

You can tell they really do loooove not having to carry around all that hot, heavy, fleece. But, they are just plain put out at having to be put through the perceived trauma of shearing. We had one who was shorn and afterwards was so zoned out he didn't even notice it was over and it was time to get up and leave. We gave him a moment and a gentle nudge.

Now, the alpacas are NAKED and WE have their beautiful fleeces to create with. We have an order out for yarn from last years crop so we will have more resources for the products that we SO love to dream up and create. You can see some of our creations here at