With spring weather upon us here in Bozeman, MT, we are fortunate to have a completely enclosed barn for our alpaca shearing day here at Northern Rocky Mountain Alpacas. Peter and Charlie of Pura Vida Shearing, volunteer Jeff Sery, and myself took on 15 alpacas and 8 llamas in cloudy, chilly weather Tuesday morning.
It was a great pleasure to get know Peter more better understanding his long experience with alpaca shearing of 10+ years with territory stretching from California, New Mexico and Arizona in March followed by a quick stretch to Florida finally arriving northward in Montana the first of June. Peter is also an ambassador for Altera Alpaca Socks, Kentucky Royalty Socks, and Flaggy Meadow Fiber Mill.
It took us roughly 4 hours to complete the alpaca shearing job. Since this was the only job for the day, we were able to take our time sorting the fiber as it fell from the body, inspect teeth and toe nails trimming as necessary and taking proper fiber samples for testing.
In the end, I felt like we did our best with a great outcome. Using the Suri Networks harvesting codes of practice as a guide and applying great information we received at this years Yellowstone Alpaca Breeders Association alpaca shearing festival, we anxiously await the next steps of processing and manufacturing to a great end product.