Caramel the alpaca loses his winter coat

Posted on August 4th, 2018

Caramel is our only remaining alpaca. Once we had Coffee, Toffee and Caramel, but today just Caramel remains. Alpaca are herd animals and poor Caramel is very lonely having recently lost Toffee through old age. Currently we are on the search for some new playmates for him and following up a couple of local leads.  Alpaca owners are proving to be very passionate about their animals and not keen to part with any, but listening to Caramel calling for his mates in the field is heartbreaking so our search will continue.  In the meantime he is making friends with the sheep who are turning into a fair substitute. Perhaps it is the common ground of losing their winter fleece that bonds them.  

Our shearer comes each year but we have to wait our turn as he covers the whole of the south of England and northern Europe. Thankfully the dry weather in the lead up to his arrival meant Caramel’s fleece was beautifully dry and ideal for shearing. To us Caramel can be shy and standoffish; however to Colin the shearer he is as good as gold. Colin walked straight up to him and brought him into the barn where we had a group of eager guests waiting to see the expert at work.

Colin is used to being watched at Coombe Mill and takes time to explain to the children what will happen and how he is going to tie Caramel down. By explaining that this is for the safely of Caramel and us and doesn’t hurt him everyone is more relaxed.

The process is so nimble and quick it is a delight to watch and in no time the children are stroking Caramel and touching his shawn fleece. Meanwhile Caramel has his teeth and toes filed wormer and fly protection administered before happily strolling out in the field with his friends the sheep.  

As for the 2 bin bags of fleece, we give them to local crafter Kay. She made wonderful shoulder bags with our Jacob sheep fleece, I wait to see what comes back from the soft alpaca fleece of Caramel.   

Caramel the Alpaca with full winter coat.

Caramel the Alpaca with winter coat


Colin the shearer explaining how the shearing will happen.

Alpaca shearing explanation


Children watching Caramel the Alpaca being sheared.

Shearing Caramel the Alpaca


Helping bag up the Fleece. 

Kids feeling alpaca fleece

Caramel the alpaca back in the field with his friends the sheep.

Caramel Alpaca and Sheep