Monday, May 3, 2010

And now, back to more knitterly topics

On Saturday Paulette, Tracy from our knitting group, and I went to Patty from our knitting group's alpaca farm (Apple Orchard alpacas) just outside Oshkosh to help shear the alpacas.  It was a fun time.  Because I had been there helping last year, I understood more of what they needed help with and what was happening.   This weekend, we helped with the white ones.  Patty had friends of theirs who came with their suri alpacas to shear them as well.  Here are pictures!

View of the farm.

Tracy helping hold down an alpaca's head.  You don't really want them moving around while they are being sheared.  The animal could get hurt.

Patty's friends shearing one of the suri alpacas.

Tracy and Paulette in the background.

The angora bunny got a haircut as well.

Paulette holding the angora bunny after his haircut.

Nekkid alpaca!  I'm always amazed at how small they are once they are sheared.

Patty skirting a fleece.  All vegetable and other matter needs to be removed before processing the fleece into batts or roving for spinning.

My jobs during the shearing were to hold the animals heads still and try to keep the animal calm, taking before and after pictures of the animals so that any potential buyer of the animal can see what they look like pre and post shearing, and helping herd some of the animals into a smaller holding pen so that they could be more easily caught to be sheared.   They are pretty skittish animals and mostly run away from humans.  It was interesting helping herd them.  Who knew that they could be controlled by just using a long nylon strap to corral and guide them? 

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