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Sunday, 14 June 2009

Shearing and much more..

Today was shearing day - weather perfect ! First time we have ever sheared with the sun and not rain , in fact , despite shearing inside , we were a bit hot on occasion and the alpaca were definitely sweaty !
Last night we bought all the boys in from the back field , which was an operation in itself - 3 are halter trained , 3 may not / are not ! eventually I walked the halter boys round to the stables and then went and picked the rest up in the trailer - relatively straight forward . Today , bright and early , we got all the girls into close fields so that we could move everyone around with ease . I was so busy getting ready for the shearers to come that I forgot to check Bijou as I went to get fresh bread , and I forgot to check on the way home as well - my children will tell you that I ALWAYS stop for a couple of minutes at a certain spot on the drive up and check all the girls , not today ! Guess.... Bijou had her cria an hour before the shearers arrived ! We were all home and none of us saw it happen , I looked out of the bathroom window and saw a cria sitting by the fence , did a quick head count and realised it was new .
Rushed out and lo and behold a beautiful chocolate brown boy with dark points - spitting image of Cerys ' cria ! Actually , he is a shade darker but soooo similar it is going to make life tricky. Mum and baby doing fine , as always I stress about feeding , but luckily the shearers arrived and I was busy for the next 3 hours and had to leave everyone to their own devices . Shearing itself went very well , we managed to move all the animals around at lightening speed and even the shearers said it was one of the smoothest operations they had seen so far this year ! We had the usual screamers and spitters , but everybody is now in their summer outfits and boy, do they look different . Cria are slightly confused at the change in mum , but they are all with the right mum , so ...
DH marvelled at the work involved - he has never seen shearing before , was very impressed with the angle grinder used to trim teeth ( now wishes he'd asked to have a go ) and helped move animals and pull ropes . DS#4 held bags open for fleeces to go into and kept up a non-stop line of inane chatter , interspersed with trips to climb a tree , no time for trips to casualty so we all just let him get on with it .

After the shearing team had departed , we did a couple of spit-offs and a mating ( everyone was here so it seemed sensible ), put them all back in the right fields and finally painted the chicken house blue - I have no idea why , but it seemed like a good idea at the time , all this and the shearing didn't start until after midday! Frankly , pooped now and off to bed !

this is the latest cria
and here is Bilbo , actually the picture below on the previous blog is better show of his true colour , they are very similar indeed

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