June 20, 2008

Shearing Day 2008

Progress on the barn, it was nice to start seeing the beams go up and get a look at how it is going to be.

We finally had our shearing day last weekend. Here is the set up we went with since the barn is not completed. We rented one of those canopy tents for the day. It sure helped keep the sun off our backs. Our shearer came from Santa Fe. This is something you need to book way in advanced do to the shortage of shearers available.

Once we were all set up we marched one alpaca at a time under the tent for their make over. This photo is of Magnolia she was one of last year’s girls and her first time being shorn.

Here is the after photo of Maggie.

Here is Kiri enjoying the fan on her new haircut.

Here is Doll, Scher, & Mimosa

Remember these boys, Radley & Dorian they are looking dapper in their new doo.

I think Willy’s new trim accents his moustache. When I am near him I can not help but go into a bad French accent.

Hay & more Hay

Chris & I drove about 90 miles south to buy some oat hay that had just been harvested. The dealer we were purchasing from did not have the hay at the feed store yet so we had to drive a few miles to the farm, and actually pick the bales off the field and load them. We were able to squeeze a total of 64 bales onto our trailer and truck bed. We had a little bit of drama when we pulled out of a gas station and a few of the bales fell off. We had to pull over and load them back up. We ended up getting some better ties and securing the load better for the drive home. Needless to say by the time we got home we were both pretty tired to have to unload, thankfully we had some friends come over to help.

After that whole ordeal with getting the hay ourselves we decided we would go ahead and have the rest delivered. This is what 233 bales of hay looks like on a flat bed. We decided to buy enough hay this summer for the entire year because it is cheaper to buy it in season. Last winter we were paying around $14 to $16 dollars a bale in the off season and that was grass hay. The hay we just purchased is around $6 a bale and it is much better quality. The nice thing is that with the delivery they stack it for you. Unfortunately the barn is not completed so we had to have them stack it in our 2 car garage. Then once the barn is done we will need to have a hay moving party and get some help moving it all to the barn.

Little Lightning Doll’s baby is doing great. She is a month old now. I wanted to thank you all for name suggestions we decided to call her Lily of the Valley, or just Lily for short.

Lily was the only one that did not get shorn this year. I felt she was too little but there are many farms that do shear them young, especially if they plan to show them next year.

Today is the Summer solstice and I think the longest day of sunlight. I feel like I am running full speed through this year. I am so thankful when I walk out with the alpacas and they make me laugh and have me smiling from ear to ear. They give me a chance to stop and live in the moment.