The alpaca were supposed to be easy. They are always supposed to be easy but when one practices a skill for one day a year before letting it lapse for another 364 days it is hard to become super proficient. On top of this the alpaca are the definition of passive aggressive. We had three just hit the dirt and refuse to move. They would not get up and Mr Rainman and I had to just lift them up and carry them to the shearing table. It is incredibly annoying and the longer the day went on the less umph I had to lift them.
The new porcelain cutting blades worked great! I was able to get them all adjusted and they did not get as hot as the metal ones. So you end up with porcelain blade on top and a stainless steel blade on the bottom. The bottom blade doesn’t move, the porcelain cutting blade does all the dirty work. The alpaca are filthy. They keep rolling around in the weeds and dirt. We think if we shear them earlier in the year we can avoid a large portion of the dirt and weeds. There is no telling unless we try, so I will be attempting to make time for them right after we hay in the spring.
We only kept the “saddle” portion this year and tossed the rest in trash bags. Annmarie had us save the seconds and legs and neck hair in those bags and she has some plan for them. We hung them up in the tack room from hooks in hopes that the mice could not get at them. The finished keeper hair we put in individual gunny sacks with the picture of the donating alpaca. They got put into two trunks until I can get the alpaca fiber tumbler built. It will go onto my cement mixer, I will remove the bucket and then attach the fiber tumbler so we can tumble fibers while using a leaf blower to clean out the fiber from the sheared hair.
We were all getting tired and I just wanted to finish and get it over. We had two alpaca left but they would not come in yet just as we were exiting the barn they volunteered to be caught. This necessitated us just hunkering down and getting it done. The very last alpaca decided after we had the halter on that he was not having any of it. He reared up full height on his back legs and body slammed Sarah into the barn wall. He hit her from the side mostly due to some inattention on her part. She ended up on the ground but will only have a few bruises and we managed to get the last alpaca sheared.
Mr Professional has been working on the porch off and on all week. The large wooden beams got painted with Kilz and then all of the metal wraps had to be recut and fitted to go over the new new deck. Then the railing had to be installed. This is not as easy as watching a YouTube video as the porch is not exactly perfectly level or square. He worked on it Saturday while we went out and sheared the alpaca.
Mr Rainman went down to the Mother-in-laws and put blocks under the new shed and piled gravel up so that the riding lawn mower can be driven into it. I may have to make a little wooden ramp that can be moved into place so the four inch tall threshold can be surmounted.
We are on the lookout for some more cheap alpaca. I am thinking this fall when no one can get hay, people will be offloading all kinds of animals.