One of our first alpaca females, Sweet Tiara
The fleeces weren't very clean since a lot of it fell onto the dirt floor in our only barn at the time, and due to the kicking and protests of the frightened and angry animal, it was nearly impossible to go past their upper belly area or to do around their head (hence, the poodle-looking cuts!). Paul always said the difference between a good and bad haircut is a few weeks, but I think some of those bad cuts lasted for the year! Now, there are travelling crews of experienced and trained shearers who are experts with alpacas, and we have all come a long way in knowing how to safely and quickly get a nice clean fleece off of each animal.In several of our early years, (when we did at least have a sheep shearer come), we had an annual Shearing Day and Country Festival in the barnyard surrounding the old cabin. It was a crazy time, as we would invite vendors with crafts and food, have spinning demos and a speaker, a bluegrass band, shearing (of course), and usually about 300 people would come. We may do it again in the future now that we have our nice new barn, but inviting in the public for the busiest farm day of the year is a little bit loco.