New Blog Post
It is time for Majestic Meadows Alpacas & Boutique to get ready for summer!!! Now that winter is over, our beautiful animals no longer need their luxurious winter coat! Some of the animals on the farm here naturally shed it off, but as for our alpacas, sheep, and some of our goats – they need a little more help! That is where we come into play and give them a nice, smooth clean haircut for the hot, summery days ahead! Next time you see our majestic animals, they will be rocking a fresh new hairdo!
So, let us dive deeper into the meaning of shearing. Alpacas are shorn once a year before summer hits and all year long they produce fiber (also called fleece or wool) that represents that year’s harvest. This makes shearing day a major event on any alpaca farm! It is essential that you shear your alpacas every year because their fleece continues to grow even if it is left uncut. It is done for the safety and welfare of the animals. We do this yearly because an alpaca whose fleece is not shorn regularly becomes matted and unmanageable. Overgrown fleece can cause your animal a great deal of distress, skin problems and/or illness. Just imagine if you had a soft and warm but thick blanket covering you on a super-hot day and you could never take it off!
So, what do we do with all the fiber that we shear off the alpacas? We re-use it! It can be sold directly to hand spinners for starters who want to spin their own yarn. It can also be washed and cleaned and processed in a variety of ways. It can be made into yarn which then goes into the making of apparel like scarves, gloves, hats right here on the farm, it can be felted into dryer balls for your dryer, put into nesting balls for the birds to collect and use in their nest building and more, and much more. Alpaca fiber is classified as a rare specialty fiber. It is five times warmer than sheep’s wool and more luxurious than cashmere. There are more than twenty-two natural colors of alpaca fleece. An infinite array of natural colors can be produced by blending these fibers. Alpaca fiber can also be easily dyed. Alpaca fiber is strong and resilient and has more thermal capacity than almost any other animal fiber. One of the unique features about alpaca fiber is that it contains microscopic air pockets that contribute to the creation of lightweight apparel with remarkably high insulation value. Alpaca fiber also does not itch as wool often does because it does not contain lanolin and has a smooth cell structure.
There are many items in The Alpaca Boutique and gift shop right here on our farm that were made from our very own alpaca fiber. We have hats, scarves, socks, gloves, LOTS of yarn, and more. We have our very own knitter named Jen who does amazing work by making these items for us. She uses the yarn we processed from our own alpacas to knit the most beautiful items. It is amazing to be able to re-use it and make something unique and beautiful from it. We love alpacas here on the farm and love their fiber and all that we can do with it. There is no one that does not benefit from it. Even the birds on our farm praise shearing day because they love to fly down and take the loose fiber and add it to their nests during next building season.
After shearing is all done, we feel relieved as we know the animals are happier and healthier for the summer heat. Now it is time for our big baby season and enjoying the sunny summer ahead! We are so excited for you all to see our freshly shorn animals during your next visit with us but for now, here is a sneak peek at what you will see when you come! They look beautiful! We look forward to seeing you all soon!