SHEARING YOUR OWN LLAMA
Sorry, we do NOT shear alpacas but guard llamas are welcomed.
Learn to Shear YOUR Llama with Hands-On Instruction. Why? Because it’s the Right Thing to do! Shearing is a Health Management tool for herds of every size.
Although llamas are quite adaptable to our climate, they do have health problems with extremes in temperature. Heat stress occurs easily in areas that have both high heat and humidity. It can also happen as llamas exercise, fight, run a fever, or are “down” for long periods of time. Overweight and heavily wooled llamas also have an increased likelihood of being heat stressed. Llamas lying in the “tea cozy” position naturally create a cooling tunnel of air under themselves but this is blocked when the fiber is too long.
Llamas sweat and produce body oils which can be trapped with excess fiber against the skin creating a variety of skin disorders. As new hairs emerge, llamas periodically shed; some showing obvious patterns while others appear to retain most of their coat. These partially shed fibers will interlock with the rest of the coat if the llama is not periodically shorn. Fiber that is left on the llama will mat with various degrees into felt, creating a heavier coat for that animal. Heavily matted and entangled locks are also more apt to catch on doorways and fences with painful consequences for the llama. Shearing removes this excess and gives the animal’s skin a chance to “breath”. Although most light and some medium wooled llamas can be routinely brushed out, those without protective guard hair appreciate the liberating effects of shearing. Our rule of thumb is to shear a single animal minimally every two years.
This is strictly a Private Hands-On Workshop for 1-2 people with 1 llama. The participant must bring a llama to be shorn. You will do the majority of the shearing under direct supervision.
We find the full body clip procedure is the most educational for the person and the best accepted by the llama. The full body clip removes fiber from the body and down the legs (shearing the neck is optional). Don’t expect the animal to look ready for the show ring. We will use a restraint chute to assure the safety of both the animal and the shearer unless the llama proves to be extremely well tolerant of the procedure. The participant will learn about preliminary grooming and blowing although the full extent of this “clean-up” will be solely dependent upon the llama’s fleece condition. We will not wash nor deeply groom the llama prior to shearing. A fleece sample for micron testing will be collected if you wish and the fleece skirted as it is shorn. The use of economical scissors and hand shears will be taught; electric shearing will be discussed. Harvested fiber remains your property. Only one llama will be shorn to allow for minimal stress on the animal and additional instruction about llama fiber preparation will be given as time permits.
This is an All Day (Rain or Shine), Hands-On Workshop that runs 9:30 a.m. until done including over the lunch time. Expect it to take all day as it depends on how well the animal cooperates and your progress. We want to keep this learning process as low-stress as possible so we will allow for many breaks for both you and the animal during the workshop. Llamas must be at least 8 months old to minimize the stress of traveling, a new environment, and the shearing itself. They should also be already trained to lead reasonably well and you are expected to be able to physically handle your own animal. We ask that you deworm your llama 2 weeks before you bring it to our farm.
After this workshop, you’ll have no more waiting for the regional shearer to fit you into their schedule as YOU keep your herd healthy!
Shearing workshops are conducted May thru August at our farm in Central New York. Early scheduling arrangements are encouraged. Please bring a bag lunch and beverage for yourself, and appropriate clothing. We will provide a morning and afternoon snack. Cameras & tape-recorders are welcome.
Leave young children at home; this is a working farm & you will be fully occupied. And please, NO PETS – do not plan to leave them in your car!
Private (1-2 people with 1 llama): $75.00 per person
or $125 per farm or family couple.
Call or email us to set up your appointment. A minimum $25.00 non-refundable deposit will hold your date. Full refund if we must cancel the workshop for any reason and a new date cannot be agreed on.