- Alpacas are sheared once a year usually before the end of July, depending on location.
- Alpaca must be sheared annually. If not sheared the fleece will continue to grow for a number of years and cause distress.
- They are normally sheared lying on their side as opposed to sitting on their rump like sheep.
- Two people lift the alpaca off its feet and lie the alpaca on its side. This can be done on the floor or on a table.
- Once laid on its side the alpacas front and hind legs are tethered.
- Then the handler holds the head as the shearer shears the fleece off one side. The alpaca is then rolled and turned and the shearer shears the other side.
- The whole process takes about six minutes, causing little distress to the alpaca.
- Occasionally some Suri alpacas are deliberately allowed to grow a two year fleece but their welfare – especially in hot weather – needs special attention.
- You can down load a 2 page document here outling the basics of why and how to shear.Shearing Guide – Basics
If you are not a member of the British Alpaca Society and are looking for an alpaca shearer, please refer to the Alpaca shearers on this website.
There is a national shortage of alpaca shearers. If you are seriously interested in working as an alpaca shearer, please contact Duncan Pullar, the BAS CEO, for guidance.