|Leslie and Eric on their way to the barber|
Eric and Leslie are our two alpaca wethers. They are guardians for our sheep, protecting the lambs in particular from foxes and wild dogs. So far they have been pretty good at their job.
Now that the hot weather is approaching it was time for a trim.
Alpacas are shorn by specialist alpaca shearers - the method is quite different from the shearing of sheep.
The animals have their legs shackled and their necks weighed down to stop them from moving. They do a fair bit of high pitched screeching while they are being trimmed.
Thus secured the alpaca's teeth are checked, toes trimmed,
and then the shearing begins - first on one side,
and then on the other.
While I am sure the animal doesn't really like to be handled like this the process was quick and appeared pain free and safe for animal and shearer. The shearers James and Zac did a great job - no nicks at all.
I am certain that the alpacas must feel so much more comfortable with their fleece off in the hot weather but they do look like aliens.
|Alpacas from outer space|
While we have the alpacas primarily for their guardian role, their fleece is too good to waste and I can't wait to revive my spinning skills and get my hands on their soft coats.