No one likes the dentist - especially alpacas! It's unfortunate we can't give them laughing gas to calm their nerves. Bet you haven't used your Dremel like this before!
Here's Winter Warlock getting shorn by Josh, with help from Henry, from Heart and Soul Spinnery. Great job boys!
S'Murry the Suri - before, during and after his shearing. From long locks to alien in 3.5 minutes.
Alpacas originate from high in the Andes Mountains of South America. They have only been in the U.S. since the 80's. In the 90's, late-night infomercials touted the benefits of owning these "huggable investments." Breeding, showing and selling the animals is big business throughout the country. Despite that, not enough fiber is produced for commercial processing, so you don't typically find alpaca yarn at big-box retailers.
One of the products of breeding farms is a surplus of males with nothing better to do than grow beautiful fiber. You can buy pet fiber boys for less money than intact males if you agree to castrate them and not use them for breeding. Pet fiber boys deliver an ROI of super-soft fiber in a wide range of colors. They are also great companion animals if you have a small farm. You can't have just one though, they really do need to belong to a herd of 2 or 3+. It's hard to get individual pix of our herd because they are always together. They communicate with various strange sounds and spit "back off" to each other because where one goes the other curious boys will closely follow. They are easy to transport in a minivan or SUV because they will sit down (kush) and "hold it" without making a mess (unlike sheep or goats).
Huacaya (pronounced wha Kai ah) alpacas have downy like fleece that is between 2 to 10 lbs., and 2 to 6 inches. Suri alpacas have long silky, lustrous locks like Wensleydale or mohair, that can be up to 10 inches long. Before shearing they look like long-necked fluffy teddy bears or Afghan hounds. After shearing they look like alien creatures (check out a video of Winter Warlock being shorn here). Our boys come from Retiredice Alpacas and Renaissance Ridge Alpacas, in the wine country further up the foothills from here. Our pretty-boy club includes the following:
Huacaya: Grey with brown spots = Murry \ White = Winter Warlock \ Reddish Brown-Chestnut = Chewbaca
Fawn/tan = Bodie & Jesse James \ Dark Brown = Lima \ Black = Spooky
Suri: Silver/grey with brown spots = S'Murry \ White = Andre