Friday, May 9, 2008

Alpaca Shear - Before and After


Photos by Beth
This alpaca is Orion, otherwise know as Slammie. His total fleece weighed 5 pounds and 4 ounces. The Prime which is from the top of the back and sides was 2 pounds and 10 ounces and was 4 inches long, Seconds from the hip area and neck weighed 2 pounds and 10 ounces. I don't keep or weigh Thirds (Garden Mulch) which is the fiber from the belly, chest, and legs. The thirds are usually hairy, different lengths, sometimes matted, and quite coarse.
Two people and the shearer evaluate and sort the fiber into plastic bags as the alpaca is shorn. I think I am quite critical because I don't like to take the time to work with low quality fiber. Dave, our shearer, has a motto "If in doubt, throw it out" and I totally agree.
Our total shear weight yesterday for our 11 alpacas was 57 pounds and 12 ounces which gives us an average of 5 pounds and 4 ounces per alpaca. The lightest fleece weighed 1 pound, 1 ounce, and Polaris, our herd sire, weighed in at 8 pounds, 14 ounces.
These statistics fascinate me. I woke up at 3 this morning thinking about it and had to get up and do the weighing and recording.

11 comments:

Kim said...

How interesting. I wonder if Slammie is relieved with warm weather on the way. 57 lbs is a lot of fiber - what will it be after processing? Does Zelinger do your fiber?

LazyTcrochet said...

Wow can't wait to see the fiber!

Prairie Daisy Handspun said...

Wow, he really looks different! I know right after our sheep are sheared, it's kind of hard to tell them apart for awhile.

tara said...

So cute! I'm also interested to know what you'll be doing with all the fiber? I know you card some...will you be carding ALL of it? or will you send it off?

Michele / akkasha said...

I love the before and after pics. They are so cute.

I can't wait to see the fiber. Will you be listing it on your Etsy shop? Or is a lot of it already spoken for?

Marie said...

Slammie looks a bit silly without all his hair!
57 pounds is a lot of fiber. I'm amazed that much came off of your entire herd.

thefunkyfelter (a.k.a. Shalana) said...

super cute before and after!

It really kind of unbelievable and amazing how much fiber an alpaca can produce!

Tracy said...

Wow...Quite a haul. Lots to sell and play with. Were you a math teacher? I love figuring stats, too. Numbers are fascinating...

ThePaintedTiger said...

I love how insubstantial alpacas look once sheared! Congrats on your lambies, too!

Merily said...

Awww, haircut time- he looks so much smaller!

island sweet said...

you must feel so good having the shearing behind you...

Map