Saturday, 5 March 2016

Small Farming: Alpaca shearing


Unlike cats, alpacas will tend to stick together while herding. It can help to bring a cat for herding purposes. Alpacas like cats and will come running up to them to stomp them. Careful pre-placement, and extraction, of the cat can be very important. 


Alpacas have an aversion to being yarded and can develop the capacity to fly short distances over fences or to bust open gates with a chest charge. The back leg kick, used to kill predators who get too close, needs to be avoided at all time. The short range spit is ugly for a whole range of reasons, including the smell that sticks to you for days after.


Alpacas need to be tightly restrained during shearing, to prevent injury to animal and shearer. Unlike a sheep, which can be held by a shearer, modern alpaca shearing is a two person operation, with the legs bound and pulled apart on a low platform. The head is supported throughout to prevent injury and give the animal comfort. 


Two grades of wool are taken from each animal. The main fleece (the saddle) comes from the back and sides. Dags (bits and pieces often with seeds and mud) from the neck, legs and underneath.

Young babies are not shorn.

More small farming here

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