This past week was shearing day(s) here at Arrow Acres Farm.
This used to be just one day but now that the herd has grown tremendously and the rain was on it's way, the shearers arrived after dinner and they started their jobs early.
Haircuts for all...
Why we do it, how we do it, and anything I else I can think of to share.
Why do the alpacas get sheared?
1- Their health. That fleece is HOT!!!!! That's a good thing for the horrible cold winter we had here at the Jersey Shore, but not good for the hot steamy nights that are on their way.
If we left all that fleece on the animals, they could over heat, have heat strokes and well...you get the idea. Not a good outcome.
YARN!!!!!! That gorgeous fleece will be cleaned, carded and turned into luxurious yarn and roving that we use and sell at the farm. Heaven I tell you!!! Hypoallergenic, soft, beatiful colors, warm and perfect.
Who does the shearing?
I'm sure you could do this yourself, but we call in the pros.
These guys are awesome. They work their butts off, work efficiently, do a great job and tell great stories all at the same time. They spend a few months out of the year on the road traveling from farm to farm shearing animals. Lucky for us, they arrived the night before our scheduled shearing day and got a jump start before the rain came.
How do the animals get sheared and do they like it?
For the safety of all involved (animals and humans) they alpacas are tethered around their legs,
spread out on the ground and as quickly as humanly possible, are sheared with electric clippers.
They also get their toenails clipped, teeth trimmed if needed, shots if needed at the same time.
The whole process takes 10 minutes or less. All hands are on deck, fleece is bagged, labeled, cleaned up and onto the next one before you know it.
Do they like it? Ummm....yes and no. Some don't seem to care. Some scream, holler, spit and pee. Yeah, good times. But once they're sheared, let loose they are soooo happy.
Even the little guys like to see what's going on...
Everyone helps around here. Even the littlest guys if they can.
What do they look like under all that fleece?
See for yourself.... (picture by my sister, Andee)
Funny looking!!!!!!! That's what I think!
So it was a successful 2 days. Exhausting all around.
I personally was on kid duty. I did not do the physical labor in the barns. But the little boys wore me out! Shearing Day brings the whole family together. We all join together to help if we can.
I don't know what other farms are like, but we all try to help as much as we can as a family.
My mom and dad own the farm, my two sisters and I all help out and between the three girls, we have 7 sons that chip in too.
While we were waiting for the shearing crew to arrive on Wednesday night, I took a bunch of pictures of the family hanging out. The calm before the storm....
That's the crew and everyone's new haircuts!
Our farm will be OPEN Saturday May 24th from 11-4. Come on by to see these critters for yourself!
And our store will be open. We have a lot of new spring/summer merchandise in.