Alpaca or Pussy Cat?

Posted on July 22nd, 2013

A couple of week’s back we had the sheep sheared. It made for a busy farm morning and entertainment for the guests and was just in time for this hot weather. Our three Alpaca Coffee, Toffee and Caramel also needed shearing desperately but finding someone skilled enough has given us a headache the past couple of years. Last year the temperatures never rose enough to worry, but what a difference a year makes! The poor boys resorted to lying low, literally in the shade of their field all day long only able to clamber up and graze for food by night. I really felt for them, I know how hot I have been and that’s without their enormous thick coat.

Alpaca in their winter coats

The odds looked stacked against the shearer

Half an hour early, the shearer arrived and set up giving me barely enough time to grab my camera after the school run. We warned the brave man and our guests that the “naughty Boys” could be a tad temperamental and gathered eagerly to watch the show down of one Man and his three alpaca. It had taken Nick 3 days of coaxing the boys into a pen for food each morning just to capture them.

Dumbfounded

We all watched in awe as he marched straight up to each one in turn, grabbing them by the scruff of the neck and a clump of coat from their rump and lifting them clean off their feet and over onto their backs. This was an impressive maneuvre. He secured their position by loosely tying their feet and set to work like a true expert. 

 

Lifting up the Alpaca

 

Referring to our tough boys as “Pussy Cats” he worked deftly through the three of them in little over half an hour. 6 bin bags of fleece later and the alpaca looked a skeleton of their former selves. 

The full make over

Not only did they have their fleeces shorn, but he made a lovely job of their fringe hair, clipped their toe nails and filed their teeth. All the time the boys lay as still as could be and not a sign of the spitting they so often like to deploy!

 

Beauty Treatments


No one was more surprised than the alpaca themselves as they caught sight of one another!


Sheared Alpaca at Coombe Mill

 

Tips from the Alpaca Whisperer

After filling Nick in on the best diet and medicines for them our expert shearer said they were some of the best natured Alpaca he had come across. He urged us to try them with a head collar and suggested they would be great to take for walks. I’m yet to be convinced of this but he certainly has shown that Alpaca are like dogs and horses: Show them who is boss and act fearless and bold and they are putty in your hands. After you Farmer Nick! 

 

 

They are now enjoying roaming their field again by day and night and looking much happier with life and much less intimidating. I shall be reminding Nick of the alpaca whisper as he has now become known in the depths of winter when he looks nervous of going in to fill up their hay feeder!

Alpaca enjoying their field in the sun

 

I’m joining in with a lovely new linky from Charlie at Podcast, check out the story behind some other photos there and also linking to Jamie Oliver’s Magic Moments and Vic Welton’s PoCoLo. 


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