Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Llama shearing 2013

This past Monday we got our llamas sheared by two wonderful men from Albuquerque. $40/50 a head (depending on how hard they were to catch). Teeth and nails extra.

After we (mainly Richard) had caught and penned them, and tied them all up, the men hobbled the llamas and pulled them down to the ground.

Llamas in a line.

Turbo being led to shearing spot.

Patty hobbled and pulled down.

This is a great way to shear, and I've decided it far outdoes the chute method (the llama is held still in a llama chute, but legs are still free). This tie down method leaves little room for error. The animal is completely immobilized, which cuts down on chances of accidental cuts. This is the typical method used to shear alpacas. As you can see, it works great for llamas too.

Frosty getting sheared.

And they all got their nails done. Vader got his done by the shearers, but the rest were done by Richard. Only Frosty had to have his fighting teeth cut back, otherwise all teeth on all llamas looked good.

Vader gets a pedicure.

Vader getting sheared.

And when it was all said and done, two hours later, the llamas sure looked funny, but much cooler and I hope much happier. They didn't get too mad with the whole event. Only Frosty and Turbo filled their mouths with green, nasty, regurgitated goo. Fortunately they never had the opportunity to spit at anyone.

Overall the shearing was a huge success. I will never do it any other way. Turbo and Vader had years of gunk on their legs and necks from never being fully sheared. Now they are naked. We have a field full of naked llamas. I'd recommend these shearers to anyone (in the northern NM, southern CO area)!

Turbo, our guardian, doesn't look so formidable now, does he?

I have three large garbage bags (triple bagged) full of fiber. All of it is very dirty. The wind was so intense on shearing day, the guys did not blow out the fur with the blower, so the wool is full of hay and in some cases sticks (llamas love to roll on the ground, giving themselves dust baths). I'd like to sell it raw, if I could. The moths are so bad here, in the house and in the garage, I'm afraid the wool will get ruined if it hangs around too long. The wool I've been dragging around finally had to be thrown away. After two months of sitting in the garage here, it was infested with moths and larvae.

So, I've got raw, fresh off the animals, 100% llama wool for sale at $1 per oz. I think I have 30 pounds total from this shearing. I do have it divided by animal. We have brown mixed with silver, brown/black with some red undertones, brown and white mix, black, and brown...or some variety depending on the animal. Llama wool is hypoallergenic and extremely warm.  Let me know if you'd like some. Shipping is extra.