[Shearing Title]

Preparation for Shearing

[Haggis Ready for Shearing] [H]ere is a list of things that will make shearing easier for us all. While this list is primarily intended for alpaca and fiber llama shearing, many of the items are also applicable to maintenance shearing.


Choose a location with a flat solid surface that is easily cleaned. This prevents color contamination.

While I can work out in the sun, I prefer to be under cover as long as there is plenty of light.

I will need access to electricity (closer is better).

Two anchoring points not less than 15 feet apart for alpacas or twenty feet apart for llamas. The anchor points should be within six inches of the surface and solidly fixed so that the restraint system can safely control the animal.

There should also be sufficient space for fleece sorting (10' x 15', close to the shearing area) and record keeping.

[E]quipment and Supplies

[H]elping Hands

Enough people should be available so that the shearing proceeds smoothly and efficiently. During shearing there are several jobs to be done. You will need:

Separate crews are not required since many of these tasks can be shared among the several team members. Enough hands to do the work will speed us along, too many hands will hinder us.

[T]he Alpacas and Llamas

Your animals should be kept clean and dry before shearing day. If necessary, keep them in the barn. On shearing day, move the animals to pens near the shearing area.

[T]hings to Do Ahead of Time

Make a list so that you know the order in which you want your animals shorn. If you use a sorter, your sorter will enforce a standard order so that the possibility of color contamination is minimized. The standard order by textile color is:

This list should also include animals that come to your farm for shearing. The list can also serve to remind you of special things that you need to do with each animal (shots, tooth trimming, etc.). Leave room to make notes during shearing in the event we discover something that you need to look into after shearing - in the heat of the shearing day you will forget.

Label fiber sample bags with the date and name of each animal from which samples will be taken. Keep these bags in the shearing order.

Label storage bags with the name, date, and fiber type (blanket, neck, etc.) for each animal. Keep these bags in the shearing order. This step may be omitted if you use a sorter. The sorter will combine fleeces of like color, fiber diameter, and staple length so individual storage bags are unnecessary except for those special fleeces that you wish to keep separate.

Clean the shearing and sorting areas. Move anything that might get in the way or contaminate your fleeces.


Last modified: 2010 Feb 16 0035:54 UTC