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Shearing Daisy

We sheared Daisy, the huarizo, last night. Technically she isn’t a huarizo because her mother is a llama and her father was an alpaca, but since Daisy if half alpaca and half llama, we call her an huarizo anyway.

Shearing her was a ‘hack and whack’ job. She really looks terrible right now. Hopefully we can clean her up later this week. I’ve taken a class in shearing using the Andis shears, but I’m really not experienced enough yet to use them efficiently. Since this spring was rainy and wet Daisy didn’t have a chance to dry out enough to shear her. Then my mom passed away, so this has been the first chance I have gotten to take care of Daisy.

Daisy’s fleece was a disaster, I didn’t even try to save it. She loves to roll in the pasture and the dirt so it was full of foxtail, sticks, dirt, and grass. YUCK! Her fleece was about 4″ long so you can imagine the amount of debris that was stuck throughout. If we had had the time we would have spent a few days blowing her coat, combing through it, and then washing her. But the temperatures are above 95˚ F and we wanted to get her sheared so she wouldn’t get heat exhaustion. Here is a link about shearing llamas. Here is an excellent link on shearing alpacas.

It took Vet2Be and Hubby about 20 minutes to catch her and get her into the llama chute. We decided that the llama chute would be much better than tying her down on the ground. The other people we talked to said that the llamas and alpacas are much happier if they have the chance to stand rather than have their feet tied and stretched out. Although we haven’t tried the other way, she seemed just fine standing.

We trimmed her toes first. She didn’t seem to mind much at all. No kicking at all!

Then onto the shearing. I used the electric shears for about 30 minutes. Daisy’s fleece was so dirty and long that the blades got dull quickly. We resorted to scissors, which Daisy liked better than the noisy shears anyway! Prion, Vet2Be, and I all had a pair of scissors and snipped away for another 90 minutes.

Daisy is happy to have a thinner coat in the heat of July! I’m sad her fleece was a total loss, especially because this is her first fleece. I’m glad it will grow back. I could tell that it was a beautiful, soft fleece, so I am excited to shear again next year.

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