Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A shear surprise

It has been a big day here in Patouland for at least two reasons. Firstly, the alpacas have been stripped of their fleeces and we can finally see them all again. Secondly we have had a meeting with our landlords and there was a meeting that could have gone better, still more on that palaver at a later date.

So, to shearing. Mike Banks and his team arrived early this morning and blitzed the herd in three hours flat. Thirty-one alpacas and two people (me and Sue) completely stunned at the speed of it all. One minute they were there, fleeced up and the next wham bam thank you maam, sveldtness as far as the eye could see. So fast in fact that we have no photographs of the operation, Sue and I were running around collecting fleece, sweeping up, presenting animals for tying down, rounding up, passing this and that here and there, it was non stop!
The worst thing was that as it was all so fast and we were so busy that we didn't get much of a look at the alpacas as they wandered off, who's who is anyone's guess.
There are one or two who made their presence felt though. Roger Resilient was shorn fairly early on, he was in the first batch. He ran off when released and then returned to the scene of the shearing. He spent the next two hours on the tarpaulin getting in the way! It was quite incredible, every time I turned round there he was sniffing the screamer on the floor or nibbling at some fleece that had just come off or trying to stare out one of the shearers, I just wish I could have taken a picture, the shearing machine wouldn't even stop for a cold drink so I had no chance.

Here is the muppet with a rather indignant Poppy on the left and......................someone on the right, who knows who. I think we may have to start ear-tagging again!

Here is a picture of some more, largely unknown brown alpacas, Bobby is in the middle, Poppy and Roger are there but the rest? Who knows?

However, as I said in the title of this posting there was a surprise, and I still can't quite believe my eyes. For one young male who was a massive big fluffball and who I thought would be a rather leggy, unattractive, gawky boy once the fleece was removed has surprised the pants off me. The alpaca taking my breath away today is none other than huge favourite here, Patou Rafiki. He has been completely transformed into an extremely handsome brown male with Vicuna markings. Who would have thought that!

This is what he looked like before shearing, well this is what his head looked like before shearing.

And this is what he looks like now! He has gone from haystack to stud muffin!

Right enough drivel for one day, here is a picture of someone else who's name simply escapes me at the moment. Is it Reeya? It could be Reeya, I just don't know!

I'm off for a lie down. Yes, it is Reeya I have been reliably informed.


Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Life is much easier with different colours.....I have method in my maddness !!......Jayne

Debbie, Barnacre Alpacas said...

They all look fab.

Paul is struggling identifying some of our coatless whites!

Renting is full of challenges isn't it. I can't wait to have our animals on our own land and live in my own house again.

Perry Wheeler said...

What a handsome young man the shearers unveiled.

I just love the changes that come with the first shearing (well most of them).

Jenny said...

Did I, or did I not say I liked Rafiki when he was a babe in arms!!!?!?!

Cotswold Vale Alpacas said...

They look great with there new hair cuts, took me a couple of days to work out who was who with some of my lot, especially the white youngersters from last year. But their characters soon shone through. ....... Ginnie