Shearing day was a lot of fun. We got to help with the shearing process for about 60 alpacas during the first day and Jacquie helped with around another 70 the second day!
Alpacas are usually sheared once a year (suri's can be up to every 2 years as their fleece doesn't bulk out as much). Marie was looking like she needed it as she could barely see through all the fuzz!
It is a fairly organised process - the shearing of an animal takes around 6 minutes and there are a number of things that need to be done during that time with the fleece of the animal before - its like a mini production line:
The alpacas are helped onto the table and both front legs and back legs tied to prevent them kicking and hurting themselves. Their heads are supported by a helper and shearing performed by 2 shearers.
After shearing they jump off the table and run around again outside - they look very skinny after!
Looks like she is missing a coat - its all in the bag! She lost about 1.5kg of weight that day!!
Massive thanks to Rob and Shirley at Toft Alpacas who let us help out for the day and shared so much knowledge. If you are interested in learning more about alpacas they run some fantastic courses and are lovely people: http://www.toft-alpacas.co.uk