Thursday, April 16, 2009

SHEARING

Heya Hounders, It's Sophie here to pick up the alpaca story. As you might remember, last Saturday mom had to go over to Sorbie Farm to assist with shearing the alpacas. Alpacas have renewable fur that is used in the same way that the wool from a sheep is used.


Shearing: Llamas and alpacas should be shorn every one to two years, and they produce 3–5 kilograms of fibre. At Sorbie Farm they get sheared once a year. They are shorn in late spring, either standing or lying down and restrained in a rope harness to keep them as still as possible; Sorbie uses a ground tie down restraint. This allows the fur to grow back during the warmer months and be mostly grown back when the cold months arrive. They are shorn with electric or pneumatic clippers or a normal sheep-shearing handpiece. The shearer at Sorbie used both the pneumatic clippers to do the body blanket and the handpiece to do head and tail trimming. At shearing time, the alpacas get nervous and can be ‘exceedingly troublesome’, especially their spitting, with which they displayed ‘considerable range and accuracy’ and they become quite vocal and squawk a lot.






























Fibre: Alpaca and llama fleeces are soft, silky and very warm. Garments made from the fibre keep their shape and won’t pill. Alpaca fleece is softer than Merino wool and has higher tensile strength, resulting in more durable garments. White fibre can be easily dyed, but natural colors are the most popular. In the high plains of Chile, alpacas produce a very fine fibre; whereas in the lusher pastures of low countries, like here in Bumpass, their fibre is coarser and somewhat less valuable. Llama fibre is generally slightly more coarse than alpaca fibre, and comes in a wide range of types and colors.The fibre from a young alpaca’s first shearing is the finest and brings the highest price. Virtually all fibre is sold on the domestic craft market.

video
I DON'T LIKE THIS AT ALL.

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IF YOU ARE FROM HAWAII WE NEED YOUR HELP

We're trying to get at least one guest book entry from each of the 50 United States and D.C. and one from as many different countries as we can. We'd appreciate you helping us out; leave a photo and your blog address if possible. It's been a very productive week. Thanks to Storm Glory & Jackal (and their owner) and Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog (and Firefighter Dayna), we now have Arkansas. Thanks to Pearl we've also got Oklahoma. Thanks to Siku Marie, the White Dog, we also have New Mexico. Belle signed our guest book and we now have Minnesota. Holly from Nebraska has signed our guest book. Thank you all very, very much. So as of 16 April 09 we still need the following 12 states: HI, ID, LA, ME, MS, MT, NV, NH, ND, RI, SD, and WV. If you're from one of these states, please sign our guest book. If you have a friend in one of these states could you please get them to visit us and sign our book.

We remember our friend Spencer everyday and we smile. Via con Dios Spencer

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Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington

13 comments:

Tracey and Huffle said...

I think I would like an alpaca blanket please.

Huffle Mawson

Gus said...

Hey guys....muzzer has a friend who saves all the combings from her Corgis (3) and processes it into yarn, which she uses to weave "gifts" for friends. We have one blanket, which we reallllllly love.

Maybe golden furs could be interwoven with Landseer furs for really special things.

gussie

Joey said...

Hi Hounders! That Alpaca was sure good while it was getting sheared, even though it didn't like it. They sure look skinny afterward! And they have funny faces, too. I think I'd like to play with an Alpaca, but I've heard they spit.

See ya!
Joey

Ms. ~K said...

We have Alpaca neighbors and noticed yesterday that they had been shorn...now they look like giraffes-chuckle!

We love "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's rendition of "Rainbow." Did you know he died at age 38, such a loss.

Owner of Storm and Jackal said...

Poor Alpaca. I wonder if clicker training could be used to make them associate good things with shearing. I know its probably not feasible for a large farm due to time constraints, just curiosity really. They do look skinny after shearing lol. Kind of like when my husky is wet lol.

Fred said...

That's how I look when I get my summer cut! Yipes! I wonder if they get chilly...

Jan's Funny Farm said...

We don't think we'd care for that either. Course Rusty has been shaved once, but he says he doesn't want to go through that again!

Your feed is working now. Your posts come up in our sidebar like good little titles now.

Mogley G. Retriever said...

Smut! Smut I tell you! Nude Alpaca pictures on the internet. Shame on you, bad dogs!

Every spring at our home when they finish combing us out for the seventh time, they take out the knitting needles and knit a new golden. That is where baby goldens come from. Didn't you know that? You did not fall for that old "left in the cabbage patch" story now did you?

Keep up the good work.

Mogley G. Retriever

Maggie and Mitch said...

The poor alpaca sure didn't like being groomed! She's really cute! We hope she's happier with less fleece!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

The Army of Four said...

Amber was too scared; we couldn't watch the alpaca getting groomed. You know how it goes!
Tail wags,
Storms

Mason Dixie said...

Poor thing how traumatizing for him to get sheared and having no idea what is going on and being held down. Mom once helped shear sheep, very interesting and lots of hard work.

Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

Shearing might be good for alpacas, but it's not good for Siberians! :-)

Steve

PS. Maya Marie is from LA. Her blog is linked from ours.

Allison (Dog Mom) said...

Hey guys! We'll send our friends Huey and Higgins to you. Their blog is http://hawaiiandane.blogspot.com

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