Monday, April 20, 2009
We received rain beginning Thursday night through Saturday morning off and on. After picking up the kids from school, we always to a "pass" to check on the animals. We were very surpristed to see some new animals in our pasture. Ducks! If you look closely at the pictures, you will see that there is actually enough water standing in the back of our pasture for the ducks to SWIM! Yep, you got it. They are actually swimming in our pasture. The water doesn't last long, but it was just enough for these passer-bys to check it out. What a hoot! The alpacas didn't seem to even care. You can see they are still grazing in the background. We enjoyed watching the ducks for awhile and then bid them farewell. Too cute...
Thanks to my neighbor, Joni, I have a brand new alpaca chute! I saw some plans online and took them down to Joni to look at(she is a woodworking expert). She came up with detailed plans and schematics for the design. We went to Lowe's Hardware, purchased the materials, and began building this puppy. It took two afternoons to build. Sweet... This will be ever so helpful for weigh-ins, toenail clippings, ultrasounds, and anything else we need to do while having the animals hold still for us! Whoo hoo! Thanks, Joni!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Well, I promised pictures of my shorn alpacas. Here they are! They look so much smaller, don't they? It got really cold last night, but everyone survived. The weather is incredibly beautiful today. The alpacas are pronking around in the pasture and rolling around in all of the hay the horses dropped on the ground (they are sooo wasteful!). I've been inside most of the day taking care of my sick daughter :o( but have been taking snippets of time to go outside and get some fresh air. It is so relaxing to watch these animals. I made myself a cup of hot cappuccino and wandered outback to the pasture while Hailey slept. Ahhhh... just what I needed. Sunshine makes all the difference in the world! I pray that each of you are spending some time outside enjoying all that God has given you, too. May you each be blessed immensely today and always!
Monday, April 6, 2009
Shearing days were a success! Tim, my husband, worked the shearing for three days in a row. The "team" of workers sheared approximately 73 alpacas on day 1, 84 on day 2, and 53 on day 3. That's a lot of alpacas! As you can see from the video, this requires the help of quite a few people. There are people who are responsible for catching and haltering the alpacas and getting them on the mats for the rope people. There are two people who are responsible for attaching the ropes and stretching the alpaca. There is the shearer, himself, and his "head" guy. The "head" guy is responsible for manipulating the head/neck of the alpaca whenever the shearer is ready to move on to a different section of the alpaca for shearing. There is a "butt" person who is responsible for manipulating the back end of the alpaca. There are one to two people constantly collecting the fleece and putting it in the appropriate bags (i.e. neck separated from leg separated from blanket). There are people sweeping the mats between shearing, people tracking what animals have been done and checking off the spreadsheet, people prepping bags with animals name and labeling which part of fleece is going into the bag (three parts mentioned above). As you can see, it is quite an operation. It reminds me of when the Amish people would gather to raise a barn. It is a really neat experience with great camaraderie. In the end, we have bags and bags of luscious fiber and clean looking animals! Oh happy day!