Shearing Day – not my favourite day of the year I must admit but shearing day, in between the hard work, does have some moments of joy. Like when you shear your Appaloosa alpacas and their spots are uncovered or when you shear an alpaca and you realise their fleece is just stunning and you just can’t wait to get the fleece to be made into yarn -that is my favourite bit! Or when you have a work experience student helping for the day and he gets to to help shear an alpaca – helping to train the future shearers! Or when you get to spend time with clients, who have purchased their alpacas from you, and you get to mentor them about alpacas, their care and their fibre.
This year shearing day was a Monday – a bright sunny day with a slight breeze. Ideal for shearing day! We had 64 alpacas to shear, including 5 rescue alpacas with over 3 years of fleece on them, and we started bright and early at 7am! Yep the shearer rocked up at 6.15am to set up – no sleep in for us that day!
This year we had 4 helpers, including a work experience student from Kayleen High School located in Canberra, and 3 friends – 1 who runs a farm rescue shelter called Lucky Stars Sanctuary just outside of Canberra and 2 clients, who have now friends. They transported their alpacas to our farm for shearing and it was so nice seeing just how the boys, Captain and Rusty, had grown!
The day started like every other shearing day – catch, put on table, shear, skirt and repeat. Once you start you get into a rhythm, with each person doing their allocated job, and the day flys by. You get more moments of joy, albeit at the expense of someone else (and yes Ross and Christina I am talking about you both), when someone is not holding the alpaca head in the right direction and they spit at Christina and not only hitting her but also filling her open coat pocket! How does that happen? Who knows…but at the time it was very funny. Or when Ross gets knocked down by an alpaca trying to avoid being put on the table and skinning his knee when he fell. Ok this one was not funny, it is never nice when someone gets hurt, but when it happened the group all called out “Not coming back next year” our inside joke when something bad happens to visitors! They will be back though – fingers crossed:)
Thank you to our helpers. Without you shearing day does not happen. And even though the day is hard work we all seem to enjoy the day!
Here are some action shots of the day!