June 2, 2009

Shearing Day

Sunday, May 31, 2009 was an historic day at Alpacas from Eighth and Mud in Stoney Creek - the first shearing day for this great farm!! Shearing the alpacas happens once a year, usually in the spring, and owners can't wait to see what that wonderful fleece looks like when it's off the animal. Here's a picture of Nancy and Sharon at the skirting table.

It takes a lot of people and many days of organization for an event like this to happen. The farm was open to the public and hundreds of people came to watch the shearing, visit the store, see the alpacas and learn about the important fleece and fibre.

Fourteen alpacas were sheared, got their shots, toenails trimmed, leg fleece and topknot cut, and teeth filed. It went very smoothly - no alpaca injuries. Karen from Sarnia was the shearer; she and her team were amazing.

I had some great jobs that day. John and I haltered all the animals and I led each one to the table. To my surprise, Nancy volunteered me to learn how to trim the toenails! I could have done a better job if I'd had my glasses on, but it was a great experience. (And now I have another skill to add to my resume.)

(Sorry I don't know where this picture is from and cannot give proper credit.)

Of course Serena got sheared. It's like watching your child's first haircut - that sweet, soft baby hair only happens once. She's so small they had to shorten the table and I was so excited I never took a look at her fleece. Here's a picture of me holding her.
And here's what she looks like now!

The United Nations has declared 2009 "The International Year of Natural Fibres". The next blog entry will have more information about fleece and fibre.

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