Shearing & Husbandry
Byron and Janelle can take care of all your alpaca shearing and husbandry needs. With 15+ years experience owning and managing a successful alpaca farm business with over 70 alpacas we have the knowledge and expertise to help you with all your alpaca needs. We offer shearing and husbandry services, transport, education, alpaca sales, stud mating services, education and support and anything alpaca related.
Shearing session usually starts around late October, early November here in Tasmania through to end of February and bookings for this service is essential! Byron has built a purpose tilt table (proven to be the least stressful shearing method ) that enables us to secure alpacas as stress free as possible on their side. We take as much care as possible while shearing saddle off first to reduce guard hair contamination and to ensure the quality of your fleece is not comprised. Toenail trimming, 5 in 1 vaccination and Vitamin D is done while the alpaca is on the table. This is part of our shearing service. Other services including drenching, selenium injections need to be requested.
We also support many owners with their quarterly husbandry needs including toenail trimming, annual 5 in 1 vaccinations, Vitamin ADE injections, and drenching. Contact us today for a quote on all your shearing and husbandry needs.
We are mobile and travel statewide.
Communication is key to a successful shearing appointment
Important information before your shearer arrives
Once you have booked, it becomes pretty daunting for your first experience with them. Ie they are my babies, will they be OK, will they look after my animals, do they know what they are doing etc.
Well here is a little help for you on what to expect from your shearer and what they expect from you.
To start with you need to contact us usually in July/August, we have a run that we do every year and times set for general areas. If we have shorn your alpacas before you are automatically on our regular list and will be contacted closer to the shearing dates. No job is too small, we shear from 1 to 50 alpacas
We will not travel hundreds of kms back to an area I have just moved from (this is the reason to contact us early to see if we can fit your animals in).
When you contact us we will generally give you an estimate date, we hold off a little until we get a few to fill that day.
When you are given that date that will be the day they are shorn.
What is expected on that day?
Well!! the animals need to be in a small pen beside where you want to shear. Please allow a flat area as close as possible to the pen for our tilt table and gear. Our van will need access to park close to the pens. We do not drag all the gear over fences and through paddocks. Put your alpacas in the night before unless you are told you will be later in the day but they need to be in before we arrive. We do not chase or catch your alpacas. You will be charged a catching fee if this happens - have helpers.
We encourage owners to be there and to help. If you have a few to do say 10 or more then have 3 people there including yourself. You can’t pick up the fleece, skirt it and sweep the mat and wipe up any spit/pee in time to have everything done for the next one to shear.
Some sort of shade.
We shear in paddocks most of the shearing season, to shear a day in the sun when you haven’t seen it all spring/summer we turn to a lobsters very quick. Yes you may have 2 alpacas and it won’t take long to shear them but 2,7,4,2,2,2, animals in the sun quickly becomes hours for us. It is not hard to put up a gazebo if you don’t have a shed. Please think of us a little.
An electric lead plugged in and run out right to where you want to shear as our motors need power. We do have extra long extension leads. If there is no power source at all please let us know as we will need to bring the generator and fuel at an additional cost
2 bags for each animals fleece
This is for skirting and fleece if you want to sell it or make something yourself out of your better fleece you need it separated (if you mix your skirting and fleece together into one bag it becomes all skirtings with little value) we will show you good from bad. Skirting can go with skirting as long as it’s the same colour.
A few old towels for mess either end
Yes they spit and pee so if you want your shearer happy please provide a few.
A broom or rake to sweep up
If you have all colours of alpacas you don’t want to mix colours together. White fleece with black fibre will be put to black or in a rubbish pile.
Just in case your alpaca gets a nick/cut we need to put antibacterial spray on it. We have this in our kit on hand. If your alpaca is jumping around or has a cyst/ grass seed under the fleece we can not see it and on very rare occasions it happens and believe me we feel just as bad as you feel if it happens.
We don’t control weather, if by chance it’s raining on the day you have been given and they are wet chances are they will not be shorn. If it looks like rain please put your animals under cover out of the rain so they can be shorn.
If they are not shorn on the day because they are wet they will have to wait till we find a spare day to fit them back in.
What to expect from your shearer
We have been shearing Alpacas for 8yrs and the main things owners expect in my experience are
The treatment of your animals is the main one.
They are your babies, friends, families in some cases. They have to be shorn. We respect this and try hard to look after your alpacas. We try to handle them with care, we try to shear them without injuries, we try to do the job the best we can.
We have all the equipment needed to shear your Alpacas and usually spares.
To take the fleece off to the best of our ability with minimal second cut ( reshear) in your fleece.
We are able to show you the better fleece and the skirtings and maybe explain why if you are trying to learn.
Communication is key to a successful shearing appointment, we will let you know via txt if we are running early or late to keep you updated
Ok now all that being said some problems could pop up:
We can tell you if your alpacas have lice on them and can show you the eggs of lice. When your alpaca has lice they roll more and get a lot more dirt in them because the lice irritate and bite. It then places extra cost on us as we grind combs and cutter more.
If we notify you have lice and can show you the eggs then you need to treat your alpacas just after they are shorn.
Your animals will do way better without lice on them. If you choose not to do anything about it we will add a $ value to cover our extra cost the following year.
2. Alpaca Numbers
We ask how many alpacas you have for reasons.
If you say you have 5 and Mary up the road has 3 then you need to say 8 to be shorn at one place or two places, not 5 and find we have 8 at your place. It could get to the point where 5 will be shorn and 3 not because generally we have other Alpacas booked in for the day. This then puts the whole day behind.
We hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to ask questions.