On a perfect shearing day, the following happens:
1. The shearer shows up on time…not a day late (not his fault; stuff just happens).
2. The alpacas calmly all walk to the barn to wait their turn…instead of madly dashing everywhere in the pasture because they know it’s not their feeding time so we must be trying to eat them.
3. The alpacas politely poop and pee out in the pasture before entering the barn…instead of creating a pee poop butter they then spread all over the barn floor.
4. No one gets spit on…instead of several people getting it in the face…up the nose…with mouth open.
5. All animals calmly walk from the stall to the mat…instead of barreling right through a full grown man and the metal stall gate with such force that it bends the gate eye bolt screwed into a post (Tom amazingly fell onto the mat and was uninjured).
6. Once on the mat, all alpacas calmly lay down…instead of screaming, thrashing wildly, and needing to be lowered by two men in what looks like a slow motion double-double-leg wrestling take-down.
7. The weather is partly cloudy, 55-65 degrees, dry, with a slight breeze…not 80, humid, then turn into 30 mph hour winds with thunder, lightning, and driving rain.
8. It wouldn’t rain on a perfect shearing day…no alpacas would escape from the barn before shearing to get soaking wet and needing to be chased back into the barn in the driving rain.
9. The barn wouldn’t flood right next to all the power cords for the shears and needing to be dug out with a shovel outside in a lightning storm.
10. All bags of fiber would get properly labeled, then placed in a dry place to air out…and not have the barn cats think they just scored play toy heaven by batting the open bags around, spilling out the fiber.
But even on a perfect shearing day, the alpacas still end up looking like 4-legged aliens!
We didn’t have a perfect shearing day, but we’re so grateful for our professional shearer conducting a proper fiber harvest and leaving our animals uninjured, the tremendous amount we learned throughout the experience, and the laughs we had through it all!