What is all this about?
We’re not shearing alpacas just for our pleasure. We’re not some kind of alpaca hairdressers, giving them a new look just because we’re bored.
It may sound scary, but it’s a necessary and non-harmful process for alpacas.
Can you imagine wearing a thick winter coat in the middle of summer? That’s what it’s like for these alpacas when they don’t get sheared. They start sweating and feeling uncomfortable, and it’s just not a good scene. That’s why we shear alpacas ONCE A YEAR because it’s essential for their health and well-being.
Plus, if we don’t shear them, their fleece will just keep growing and growing until they turn into these giant fluffy beasts. And while that might sound cute, it’s not really practical. They’ll start tripping over their own fur and getting tangled up in knots
So, we shear them to keep them healthy and happy. And hey, it’s a win-win situation – we get to enjoy their soft, fluffy fleece (yes, yes, from which I make my exquisite alpaca jewellery), and they get to feel like they’re wearing a nice, breathable t-shirt instead of a stuffy winter coat.
OK, but what about tying them up? That looks sooooo cruel…
Well, it’s not like alpacas enjoy being tied up during shearing. It’s not their idea of a good time, you know? But let’s face it, these fluffy guys can be a bit dramatic sometimes. They’re like, “Oh no, what’s happening? I’m being tied up! This is the end of the world!”
But in reality, it’s all for their own good. Without being tied up, these little drama queens (sic!) would be bouncing around the field like pinballs, making it impossible to shear them without accidentally snipping off an ear or two. So, we tie them up just to keep things under control. It’s like putting a toddler in a high chair during mealtime – sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for everyone’s safety.
To all those shouty types who want to ban shearing alpacas, I suggest you watch a few videos of unshorn alpacas. It’s enough to make you cry when you see their needless suffering
But that must be stressful for them!
Yes, for most of them. However, remember that a professional team of alpaca shearers will carry out the whole process in 15 minutes! They handle the process with care, affection, and a great deal of patience. Providing breaks and treats along the way can help make the experience less stressful for these fluffy creatures. We really know that alpacas are not just wool-producing machines, but living beings with emotions and needs.
Once the process is over, the alpacas are happy albeit slightly disoriented by their new look But in just a moment they seem to love it, frolicking around the field with unrestrained joy despite looking much smaller than before. It’s like they’re saying, “Wow, I can’t believe I was carrying all of that fleece around!”. So please, next time you see alpacas after shearing, don’t laugh at their new haircut – they’re still as cool and majestic as ever, just with a bit less fluff
Now, the alpaca breeders with bags full of fleece have to put even more effort into sorting it right and deciding what to do with it next. Some of them will decide to send the wool to a spinning mill to transform it into beautiful yarn, from which I create, for example, such beautiful and safe bracelets for kids. It’s a lot of work (I know from my own experience!), but it’s worth it to be able to work with such a soft, ethical and luxurious material.
Photos: Baloun’s Alpaca Acres