Monday, April 26, 2010

Shearing Day at our ranch

Well, today we sheared eleven of our fourteen alpacas. This was our first time to shear the alpacas ourselves. In years past, we have left the shearing to the professionals. However, after seven years of assisting the professional as "helpers", my husband decided it was time for us to try this adventure ourselves. So, off he went to purchase a pair of professional, electric sheep shears and the restraint system just like the one we were so used to with the prior shearings at the other ranch. Some mats were purchased at Lowes and we were ready. With the assistance of our two oldest children and a dear, sweet friend, we began the adventure.

We began with our two white alpacas, who needed to have their dense fleece removed first. If we quit after they were done, we were good. We didn't know how many we wanted to shear on the first day. However, things were rolling along fairly well and before we knew it, we had eleven done!

The only thing that prevented us from finishing the last three animals was that we didn't have enough blades. Darn! We got better and better as we went along.

I now have a room FULL of fleece to process. I'm hoping for nice weather this week! We will, hopefully, get the last three animals (our males) done this Thursday night. What a feeling of accomplishment! My dear hubby did a great job, for his first time shearing! I'm so glad we chose to do it ourselves this go round. From here on out, we have the option of doing it at our own pace. What a sigh of relief!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ooo la la! That fleece is scrumptious!

Well, thanks to Edee, I wasn't the only one at our Thursday fiber day today! Thanks, Edee! :o) We had a blast! We started late, due to my kids having checkups at the doctor. We started with lunch and then got down to business. We decided it was to beautiful of a day to waste inside. So, we moved our "work" outdoors. I showed Edee around the chicken area. She visited with the new alpaca cria. Then, we plopped down on the wooden swing glider and began our "work". Edee worked on getting her second sock going on her circular needles. Her first sock looks fantastic! I began spinning some cream colored alpaca roving. When I finished, I plied it with some green alpaca roving I had already spun up on another spool. It turned out scrumptious! Ooo la la! I can't wait to figure out what I'm going to knit up with this goodie! What do you think?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Got eggs?

Wow. I received an email from my neighbor this morning about what is going on at a large number of our nations egg producers. How very, very sad. Please, please consider purchasing your eggs from a local farm. Stop by and visit the farm and see how the animals are treated. Are they free to roam about the property? Do they appear to be well fed and happy? Are they clucking in a loud sing-song manner? You can tell a lot about how a chicken is feeling just by listening to their clucking. Animals need to live in an environment where they are cared for and where they can live out their lives in a humane manner. The eggs from free range eggs are so much better for you, too. An added bonus, if you ask me. Yes, they cost more. I charge $4 / dozen for my chicken eggs. However, it's well worth it. You don't support companies that do things like this. Please watch only if you are prepared to see some very disturbing footage.

Thanks for the consideration.