That's right! Today was our annual shearing day. Once a year, the animals receive a haircut, and we receive their fiber to process and create some of the lovely items you see on the website. For those who've never witnessed shearing day, let me tell you it's quite an event.
The sheer spend about 15 minutes on each animal removing their hair, all the while we are collecting in roll of plastic bags for when we're ready to process the fibers. We need to separate all the different categories of fiber as they're coming off the animal. And while our shearers are very good, we also need to keep moving so they can proceed to their next job. That means always having alpacas lined up to step onto the mat.
Shearing day is an "all hands on deck" event, and I'm thankful for the band of friends we have to help assist us on this hectic day. The group of alpaca owners and friends travel to each other's farms to lend hands when the shears come to life. Our farm (of 13 animals) was set up, sheared, and packed up in 2.5 hours. Then, it was off to the next farm to lend our hands in aid.
Now, my clothes are dirty, my bones ache, and my bruises are turning a lovely shade of purple. Just another shearing day down on the farm!