Angel Acre News!

Volume II, Issue VI
June 2009

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In This Issue

Shearing Day!

Quick Links

Alpaca Angel Acres

Best Selling Alpaca Clothing

Alpaca Web Site Design Tips

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Contact us

PO Box 144
Kremmling, Colorado 80459
(303) 304-4633
laurie@alpaca-angel-acres.com


Upcoming Events

June 20-21, 2009
Paca Buddies
Arapahoe Co. Fairgrounds,
Aurora, CO

September 26-27, 2009
National Alpaca Farm Days

 

Greetings!

Welcome to summer! The month of June promises to be extremely busy. We recently participated in the 'Paca Buddies' booth at the Elizabeth Stampede Rodeo and what an attraction the alpacas were! Children and parents alike were delighted and it was a real joy watching the alpacas give their unique "warm fuzzy" to all.

Next it's off to Oregon for advanced training in Camelidynamics with Marty McGee Bennett. Not sure what Camelidynamics is? Learn more...


Shearing day...

For our first annual shearing day, I wanted to be prepared for any and all scenarios. I hungrily hounded the internet for information and soon found myself feeling uneasy with some of the techniques.

'Shearing day' was hosted by Mike and Jenny Rodman of Alpacas of Vista Hermosa. Small farms will sometimes gather together for annual shearing and this was our plan for the day. With my first glimpse of the shearing table and then meeting our shearer my mind was set at ease!

Ivan Orkin of Tierra del Cielo Alpaca Ranch, our shearer, was absolutely wonderful with the alpacas. Ivan was kind and gentle and seeing this I knew we were headed for a good day.

We started bright and early at 7:30 beginning with the white alpacas. With just a few whites to shear we were soon into our fawns.

Habenero (Habe) was due up next and very patiently waited his turn.

Walking Habe between the table and the padded brace, Ivan made sure Habe was standing in the right place before the brace was lowered to secure him while the table was raised to a level position.

Once Habe was safely in place the brace was lowered and locked.

The table was slowly raised and Habe's feet, one in the front and one in the back were secured.

Habe's halter was removed, the brace was lifted and Eddie, my husband and Brian, Mike's son-in-law stood ready to give Ivan a helping hand.

 

At this point, Habe is just about half done with shearing. As the fleece is removed, it's separated by blanket, neck and legs. With the advent of the EPD program (expected progeny difference) a sample was saved from the blanket to be sent to Yocum-McColl Testing Laboratories. The results will be recorded in the ARI (Alpaca Registry, Inc.) EPD program. More on this soon.

While the animals are secured safely to the table, teeth and toenails are checked and trimmed.

To keep the blanket from separating during shearing the alpacas are slowly lifted up and held while Ivan completes the blanket section. The blanket is then rolled in plastic to prevent it from sticking together and placed in a plastic bag for the next step of skirting. Ideally as the blanket is being sheared this is the time to remove as much of the vegetable matter and second cuttings as possible to save time on the skirting table. More about skirting soon.

And Habe is all done!

 

We couldn't have had such a smooth day without the help of our wonderful volunteers Larry and Debbie Pope. They worked very hard and were unfailing in their assistance. Thank you Larry and Debbie!

The above two pictures are of Bolero and what a difference in color! His highly dense fleece hides his true color as a nice dark bay black. Flamenco and Eddie sharing a "warm fuzzy".

It was a long day and we were all a little dirty and a lot tired. Our reward at the end of the day was watching the alpacas all happily frolicking in the pastures obviously very happy to be cool!


We'll have more on the EPD program and how to 'skirt your fleece' in upcoming newsletters. Next month we'll feature Camelidynamics with Marty McGee Bennett. Until then have a wonderful and safe June!

Sincerely,

Laurie Kennon
Alpaca Angel Acres

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