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Shearing Alpacas at Tin Dragon Cottages

Christine Booth
August 28, 2021
Woman shearer with red hair is holding a black alpaca on the shearing table, while two male shearers have started shearing.

Saturday 31st October 2020 was a big day for our herd and for us! We were shearing alpacas at Tin Dragon Cottages.

If you are a home spinner – and there are many of us in Tasmania – you will know how difficult and painful it can be to remove grass seeds from alpaca fibre! So we prefer October for shearing, not just to avoid the heat of summer – but also to avoid the grass seeds and buzzies.

Six black alpacas are standing on green grass. Two are looking directly up at the camera.
The waiting room
The rear door of a mercedes van is open. A woman is taking some shearing equipment from a man standing inside the van.
The shearing team setting up
Four men have just lifted a black alpaca up onto a shearing table.
All hands on deck!
One man is shearing a black alpaca, while two other people are assisting.
First alpaca shorn for the day

Toffeemont breeds alpacas, hosts farm tours and specilises in alpaca shearing and husbandry. Notice how Byron uses a shearing table. Also he doesn't place a sock over the alpaca's mouth. This is much kinder on both the alpaca and the shearer.

Alpaca whispering...

This year Janelle and Byron drove two of their stud alpacas over to Tin Dragon Cottages. (So now in 2021 we are just weeks away from up to five crias being born!)

Two stud alpacas, one brown and one white are standing in a fenced enclosure. In the background are two mercedes vans and four people.
Chicko (brown) and Doonan (white) were transported in the back of the air-conditioned Mercedes van.
A white stud male and a brown female alpaca are mating.
A white stud male and a brown female alpaca are mating. Close up of their faces.

So, when Toffeemont alpacas-shearing team visit again in October this year (2021) we are hoping to have four or five crias at foot!

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