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Goldfields September 19th, 2013 11:45 AM

Shearing the alpacas
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Had to go for some hay today for my stallion and the alpacas were being shorn when I got there. Very interesting to see how it is done, and how intelligent those animals are. They are rolled sideways onto a table, then have their neck strapped down and then their legs stretched out so they can't kick, or move and hurt themselves or anybody helping. Some accepted it and just lay there quietly, while the occassional one would scream, and such a high pitched sound you'd swear it would shatter wine glasses.:D One of the women would simply pat it on the neck and talk quietly to it and it'd stop that and lie quietly. I was told their intelligence is on par with a pig or dog.

Goldfields September 19th, 2013 11:51 AM

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Must say that this shearer was brilliant, no cuts or nicks on the animals.

Goldfields September 19th, 2013 11:56 AM

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The finished product, although while I was watching they were doing only white ones. I love the apaloosa coloured alpaca. :D

Dog Dancer September 19th, 2013 03:24 PM

Very cool pictures! I guess like a dog getting groomed all the time they probably get used to the process for the most part. I can imagine they are intelligent, I think we do underestimate most animals really. I like the colours on the appaloosa coloured one also. Do his colours remind you of Roo?

hazelrunpack September 19th, 2013 04:28 PM

very cool!

Goldfields September 19th, 2013 07:57 PM

Some of the people involved owned other alpaca studs, it's such a labour intensive thing that they need to help each other. Rowan had 200 to shear, don't know what the others have. Anyway, one of the ladies, when I asked if the alpacas got used to being shorn, said that they either just lie and accept it, or NOT. LOL. So maybe the answer is no, not just a matter of getting used to it. What surprised me is that they don't have much fleece compared to a sheep. It also has no lanolin in it so it's a dry fleece, and certainly the shearing shed doesn't stink like when sheep are done. I'm glad to be able to get to know them gradually, they can be a bit intimidating first up. Must admit that no, Roo didn't spring to mind when I looked at the colour of the spotted alpaca, DD. :) But now .... Hell yeah! LOL. Oh, it showed how popular these have become, that shearer is just back down from Queensland where he shore 9,000 alpacas, Rowan's was the first shed being done back in Victoria. No wonder Rowan has a lot of business carting alpacas to and from interstate in his huge van.

ownedbycats September 20th, 2013 10:12 AM

They are related to llamas, and I know I saw somewhere that llamas were trained to carry backpacks and do obstacle courses. Are alpacas as friendly and trainable?

Goldfields September 20th, 2013 11:51 AM

I don't know, but unless they are friendly , I won't be getting one. :D I would be scared a dog might get in with it anyway. Someone saw a fox an alpaca had caught up with and every bone in its body was broken.

lindapalm September 20th, 2013 08:27 PM

Now I know why they charge so much for socks and scarfs made out of Alpaca fur. That looks like back breaking work.

Goldfields September 20th, 2013 11:07 PM

That plus it is so soft. See the young bloke on the right in the first two photo's, helping to lift the alpaca and get its neck strapped down. Well, one of the guys was coming back from England and met him on the plane, I guess he's a backpacker, and he jumped at the chance of working with the alpacas. Same as one of our shearers goes to England each year to shear sheep, you never know, if the money is good that young chap may be here for next year's shearing of the alpacas.

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