Saturday 2 July 2011

Day 1 of a busy weekend

Complete the shearing day - with a little woofling in the middle.  Hay is drying beautifully - smells wonderful and no rain - - - yet!

We had shearing to complete as today's task.  Now, normally I am assistant to Sam who is shearing assistant.  Normally I am required to brush, collect fleece, photograph things, comfort the screechers, check there are no signs of mites, get in the way, provide drinks and "Manage Things".  This is all fairly relaxed and very manageable and this is how we started out.  We had the worst to do today along with Dude and suris.  Lina set the tone for the day with screeching, spitting, weeing and generally being as obnoxious as possible.  Next up was Bert who followed suit but also added in farting and pooing.  By this time I was not looking forward to Islay who is normally a monster with kicking on the way in as well as everything else - but she was a little star, good as gold!  All going well and then Sam had to go off to work with the Shepherd making me shearing assistant number one ( in fact only assistant) - Managing Things, Photographing and making drinks went by the wayside as I now had manoeuvring animals onto the mat,  passing oil, toe nails, bag labelling  . . . on the list.  Carl and Sam have a really good system - Carl and I do not!  All my fault, I know, but "Lift the back end round" is a bit beyond my capabilities!  Anyway, we managed with Carl only getting cross a few times when I wasn't quick enough moving things, picking up fleece, putting the bag on the neck. . . In fact I forgot totally with Crispie and she was so good we only noticed when Carl started on her neck!
It was all leading up to Dude though and there I was a little worried.  He is a lovely tempered boy - but he is a big boy and strong so I wasn't quite sure if I could manage that tricky moment of getting the ropes on before they are stretched.  Well, he was superb!  I won't say he came in and lay down but he certainly was not scared - the only time he twitched was when Carl was doing round his equipment and at that point he lifted his head , turned and glared - he had the neck bag on but treated it like a feather!  We have never had that quantity of fleece from one alpaca and the blanket kind of peeled off, not separating at all.  He looks gorgeous now - or he did until he rolled!  . . . and Dylan has a rival for the biggest pair of under tail ornaments in the Westhill Herd!

Now I have to check on Carolyn - not due until August (not one we sheared today) but she is behaving very oddly.
Hopefully, we will be baling tomorrow and I will try for photos.

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