Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shearing Day

Shearing the alpacas
Finally it came--shearing day for the alpacas at Alnglo Alpaca Ledge Farm.  Gloria and her husband, Al, team up with four other farms in the area and hire a gentleman from New Hampshire who comes to shear all the animals.  The folks travel from one farm to the next, helping each other with all the many aspects of shearing day, including small things like sweeping the floor as the shearer works, to taking care of the fleeces as they come off the animals.  There is alway a communal meal or two, as well!  It usually takes two days of hard, physical labor to get all the alpacas shorn. 
Beautiful fleece!
This year Glo's daughter came with 5 or 6 of her church friends to help by doing all the meals.  That was so wonderful!  The host farm at lunchtime didn't have to think about the noontime meal, and yesterday, at shearing's end, which was at Alnglo Farm, they cooked an especially lovely supper of hot and sustaining food.   What a treat.

Black Velvet, with sock to catch spit

Happy boys in their summer duds
So now that shearing is all over with, we look towards getting all those fleeces washed.  That is where I come in, as I enjoy helping out with that.

Meanwhile, Mama Hen is still determinedly sitting on those eggs.  I am working on a containment plan for when they hatch-- some way to keep the chicks safe, yet allow Mama to be in contact with the other hens.  We figure on using a cage we had made for the current hens when they were still young, but when we went to check it out, found a robin had built a nest on it!  She had only laid one egg--while we discussed what to do, she laid another!  And this was only in an hour or two.  Finally we just had to move the nest, which we did to a wood pile only two feet away.  The good news is, after being suspicious for a bit, she accepted the new location, even laying a third egg. The bad news is, both places are really poor in terms of safety for babes.  We are not very confident she will be able to raise anyone to fledge.  At least now I can work on my containment idea.
The lovely eggs
Robin on her relocated nest

No comments:

Post a Comment