Monday, April 6, 2009

Shearing Days a success!

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!

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