First off, Happy Father's Day to all you blog readers who are dads... we had hot but good weather here for Father's Day celebrations. My own dear Pa has been gone since 1969, how I wish he could have seen our little place here, our animals and our gardens. He would have liked them a lot, and would have liked to have a good jaw with Keith on the porch in the evening.
Today friend Joani and her nephew Ethan came to help us shear the llamas. Let's face it... THEY sheared. Keith had built a catch, and this first use showed us how we need to modify it for next year.
Here is Tony in the catch:
That's Keith, Ethan and grandson Chris calming him. Notice there is a cinch over his neck to keep him from jumping.
This was his third time being sheared, and he actually walked in calmly, but did not like being haltered so much.
If llamas could talk....
Here, Joani and Ethan have begun the shearing.
One of the modifications we are making is to lower the top bar, and remove the removable bottom bars totally. We think that will work better. That's padding on them so no one would be hurt. Tony actually stood very well... except for when he kushed and we had to get him up so his belly could be finished.
Here he is, belly and haunches shorn very, very well for the first time! Last year he had just a barrel cut.
Then it was Aztec's turn.
It was Aztec's first time being haltered, and first time being shorn.
The catch really helped, because we could put a sling underneath to keep Aztec upright.
Once the catch was made, and Aztec haltered, Joani walked around to take a look before starting to shear. She came back around laughing... and told us that AZTEC IS A GIRL!!!!
Azzie did very well for her first time.
Yes, she jumped around a little, and came up out of the catch at one point, but Chris and I were able to lift her back in. Her wool is very, very light and fine. Under the brown overcoat, she was gray.
Joani trimmed her toes, even though they were not too overgrown.
You can see her grey coat, and the wool on the ground. By this time, all the humans had llama wool everywhere on them. It was a HOT day, too. She absolutely HATED getting her wormer. They also got tetanus and CDT inoculations.
Then it was time for this one.
Last year was Inca's first shearing. It did not go well, she bucked and kicked so much in the borrowed apparatus that we used that she hurt the man shearing. We were only able to get a strip around her belly cut, so her wool was very matted. She does lay in the swimming pool regularly, though, because she's one smart mama.
She hummed to Aztec while she was in the catch, but really stood remarkably calmly.
Keith held her on the back of the neck firmly, and she did not struggle... much. The shears kept getting very hot, and very full of wool, so we had to stop while Ethan took the blades off and brushed the wool out, and oiled them. It makes the whole process take MUCH longer than it would if we did not have to stop. Joani did much of Inca's left side with the hand shears.
While all this was going on, Tony kept wandering in, smelling the shearing kit, looking at the spare baby halter on the fence post, and checking Keith and Joani out very nonchalantly.
This was the last step, the wormer. Inca didn't appreciate it much, I'm afraid.
It occurs to me now that I did not take a picture of the three shorn babies after we finished... we were all so tired and hot and covered with wool.... but I will get one tomorrow and post it tomorrow night. Inca is also gray under her outer coat of brown.
We are also down six roosters... Joani took two back to a friend in northwest Missouri.... and lo and behold, I ran an ad at the feed store, and father and two little boys came tonight, took four roosters and two hens home to their farm. I asked.... they said they were for pets.... I went on that trust because I just had to downsize some roosters. Two of the Battling Brahma Brothers are gone, thanks heavens, and two hens that will be good for the little boys, if they are indeed raising chickens for fun.
Keith has been asleep for an hour, and I am going to tell the grands to hit the hay, and hit it myself. It's been a long Sunday since church early this morning!