Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Beast{s} ~ The Alpacas of Wagon Master Farm

I think this is Skidboot ~ he's a black alpaca though his outside fleece looks brown with sun bleaching. He is just precious!

Saturday was shearing day
and this was this little beast{y}~guy's first time
at a shearing.
Look at that face ~ isn't he one of 
the most adorable creatures
you've ever seen??
:)




The older alpacas knew what to expect
and some were a bit nervous.
As a quick disclaimer, none of these sweet and gentle
alpacas were injured though holding them down
looks a little scary.


Neighboring alpaca owners and their alpacas or ones bred here at the farm but sold were also invited to the shearing.

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Known for their incredibly soft and 
hypoallergenic fleece, 
alpacas are friendly creatures who like being
around people but not necessarily like petting.
{a total bummer since everyone always wants to pet them!...}
They also "hum" as part of their speech ~ 
softly to say various things such as
 “I like you” 
and then can
hum loudly sometimes to say 
“I’m on alert.”


I think this might be Honey Money ~ who has the best fleece in the flock per Janet.


With names like Skidboot, Pearl Jam and Honey Money
Emily, Rosie and Texas Steele
who wouldn’t fall madly in love with alpacas?
-->
It must be Kismet!

Kismet is the alpaca on the far left, I believe ~ she is a beige with a fawn-colored head.

Here's a good shot of all the furry fleecy beasts
waiting their turn at shearing!



Now onto the shearing... 
The shearing itself is very quick ~ from the time
the handlers start tying the legs, stretching out and 
calming each alpaca
the actual shearing itself then letting the alpaca up ~
it's over and done in less than 10 minutes.



These two gentlemen are originally from Australia
and travel about the country
shearing animals for a living.
They were very professional explaining a lot 
as they worked 
and 
answering any technical questions 
according to 
Janet 
who is the farm's owner
along with her husband Ken.



Local students came to help and got in some 
community service hours 
volunteering 
at the shearing.
:)
This young woman helped slip a leg rope
around Skidboot's front leg
in this photo.



I know ~ it looks terrible but keeping the legs
apart and stretching out the alpaca makes
shearing easier and faster so there is less
time for the animal to be held down.
The animals aren't hurt by this process
and this once a year shearing
keeps them cooler during the
hot summer months and this is also
when their teeth and hooves are shorn
which helps keep them healthy.
:D



Here Skidboot is being cuddled and calmed by
the handler...


I didn't film Skidboot's shearing but I did get this
big girl's!
Check out the fleece on this beautiful alpaca!

This is just the very first pass ~ check out how much material there is for spinning! :)

The fleece comes off in great sheets ~ the best cutting
is called a "first."
Later, the shearer goes back over the animal and 
gets leftover bits and the remaining
fleece off the legs, face and head {if needed}
and this is bagged as a "second."

This woman is a ranch hand who works and lives on the Wagon Master property.

The firsts are the best fleece and produces
the longest fibers for spinning.
The seconds are used more for felting and craft projects.


Up in the office at 
Wagon Master RV Park and Alpaca Farm
little alpaca toys, refrigerator magnet faces
of alpacas, and yarn are available for sale.
I sent some yarn to my daughter for Christmas
this past December and she was
overjoyed to receive this yarn!
She's been wanting to knit with alpaca wool
for a long time.

Don't you just love their cute faces!

Several fleece "drawings" are also up on display
in the office showing what can be done with
alpaca fibers.
Like sheep wool, alpaca fibers can also be dyed
into any color one might desire.
The cream and white fleeces work
best for dyeing.



At the end of the day all of the alpacas are 
happy to be done
with shearing for another year and 
the shaggy beasts 
in need of a good haircut 
are turned back into
clean-shaven beauties.
;)

Look for another story from the farm 
next week...
This one will be about Janet and 
her new house ~
sharing her decorating style!
I think you'll love it!


Happy Thursday from Wagon Master Farm
to you!  Please share, thanks!
xoxo Barb :)



Sharing with
Feathered Nest Friday ~ French Country Cottage
Friday Feature Link Party ~ Oh, My Heartsie Girl!
http://ohmyheartsiegirl.com/friday-feature-linky-party-60/

Friday Favorites ~ Creatively Homemade
Dream Create Inspire ~ Little Bits of Home


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