From Sunset to an Early Morning with Alpaca Shearing

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After a beautiful sunset in the paddock, knowing you got to get up early next day is never easy. From paddocks being turned, red dirt in the sky and the sound of tractors.  Being on a farm becomes familiar with the same noises.

With the understanding that the alpaca’s were getting sheared and groomed we had prepared them for several days before hand.  Getting up bright and early to feed them and get them in the holding pen ready for loading on to the trailer.  It all seemed like an easy task to me, though never doing it before.  I was easily fooled.

The story of alpaca shearing.

First of all meet Glory (above)  yes a cute and fury creature.  Little did you know that when it is time to go somewhere her big wooly behind plummets to the ground.  Not being a light creature, pushing and shoving after many (and i mean many) attempts to getting her with the other on the trailer, what a nightmare.  Little did I know that was not the worst part of the day.

After the 4 alpacas were secured safely in the trailer it was time to get a move on.  Off to Nanango to  Hannay Park Alpacas, the starting place of the mob.  A full day of shearing ahead of us, well maybe not me, I just took loads of photos instead.

Though Allan the man in the Jackie Howe singlet and hat was head shearer along with his two sidekicks at work.

The contraption that holds these kicking and squealing animals is quite unique.  The alpaca’s are kinda like sheep but more like camels.  So keeping back-pain in  mind, the table is at waist height.  Which turns to get the animal on, then flips back to start the shearing.  The alpaca’s feet are held in place with ropes, as these are kicking animals.  Yes it looks kinda scary, but if you can tackle the task of shearing an alpaca on the ground, with no ropes to hold the animal down.  Let me know, I want to see it.

Above is the holding pen they pass through before shearing.  I just want you to take on board that the animals above are much cleaner than my mum & dad’s.  For some reason the lot below are red as they have rolled around in the soil way too much.

The the work bench of Allen with the tools required for shearing an alpaca.  They have electric shears, along with the old-fashioned ones for clipping the hair.  Secateurs for clipping the nails and an angle-grinder for doing there teeth.  Along with all the preening they also get their yearly supply of drugs injected into their leg.  To keep them fit and healthy.

Allen has just started shearing Abba the brown alpaca out of the bunch, the dominate male of the group.  Not a sound comes out of his mouth.  What a MAN.

My dad gets to work on trimming the nails.  Practicing the art of keeping alpaca’s.

Oh Glory me, the squealing began when this lovely alpaca got on the table.  What a noise, sounds so distressing, like a donkey calling for help, so high-pitched it makes you grit your teeth.  Glory was not the first alpaca of the day to make such a noise, nor was she the loudest.  These animals sure do know how to kick up a stink, I am never having them on my farm.  I will stick to pigs, yes I know they squeal, but I get to eat them!  Alpaca is tasty however, I have not seen it readily available in Australia.  Maybe some one should start.

Above my mum and dad in the front helping with the shearing, collected all the wool.  Though on the other end of the table a very sad-looking Glory was being held down against her will, so she could be all handsome and healthy.

With 3 down and the last one being sheared, it was almost time to go home. They look so skinny once all their wool has been removed.  With their long and elegant legs and camel like faces. hmmmm Im not sold on them. A day shearing 5o odd alpacas is a long day.  With on average about 5 alpacas per hour getting sheared.  Its hard work, it sounds terrible and they all spit at you if they don’t like you.  Bastards.

Lizzie Moult

Lizzie Moult

Planning, cooking, chasing kids & running an online business; it might seem like there is a lot going on. Yet Lizzie is all about living simply and creating a flexible lifestyle that enables plenty of travel, adventure and quality time. A lifestyle writer and photographer for over 10 years for numerous publications, working online for over 14 years Lizzie also works as Cognitive Behavioural Therapist to help people live a life with passion & purpose without people-pleasing, imposter syndrome and seeking approval at www.lizziemoult.com.
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Roy & Lizzie

Welcome

We are Roy & Lizzie an Aussie couple,  who started food & travel blogging back in 2008, documenting our adventures, food discoveries, different cultures, and the natural world. We are here to inspire more people to leave their table and explore the world.

We are currently based in Fort William, Scotland, UK.

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