Olaf & Jac looking like fluffy teddy bears.
Early spring was pretty wet but now we have had a dry spell the alpacas have fluffed up and gone back to their correct colour (instead of shades of mud) So when they get hot on a summer afternoon they start to roll – raising a cloud.
My heart always sinks slightly at this, as I think of the dust and grit singing in the shears in a few weeks time.
Timing for shearing can be tricky because you see the alpacas looking uncomfortable and rolling and think we must be close to shearing but then if you look at the night time temperatures you realise they could do with hanging onto their fleece a little longer.
As it gets closer you also need to be watching for dry weather – at least the day before shearing so the fllece is dry and the day of shearing. That’s finding two dry days in a row in South Wales – it does happen, honest!
Meanwhile, I can take advantage of a few weeks still to go and make sure all of the equipment is sharp clean and maintained. Makes life easier. Also check supplies of bags, shearing oil and blue paper roll – for all kinds of things. Print out labels for the bags and plan any husbandry to be done at the same time – e.g. worming or vaccinations.
About to get pretty busy!