Today was the day for PLLL to have her shearing.
I know nothing about this stuff – being new to llamas and all… but clearly, PLLL had too much hair for this hot weather so…
I called the people who bred her and raised her. As all good llama people, they offered to come over and sheer her themselves.
I agreed and met them over at Fran’s place – where PLLL now lives with Stella and Gus, the donkeys.
Well, I didn’t ask and they didn’t tell me what they needed for the shearing. So, when we both arrived at Fran’s place at exactly 11 am, I jumped out of my car and pointed to PLLL.
“There she is”, I said…
“We need power”, they said.
Here I was at a neighbor’s house, and neither Fran or Adam were at home to direct me, so I found myself trying to channel their spirits as I searched for outlets – or any nearby power – that might get the clippers anywhere close to PLLL’s enclosure.
“If I were Adam, where would I have put the outlet…”
I found plenty of power cords, but no actual power.
Finally, I decided to find the hideakey, enter their house and call them – my cell phone had no reception – to ask if there was any way to get power to the barn.
In the meantime, Mom and Dad previous PLLL owners asked if they should just put PLLL in their van and take her to my house nearby…?
The ordeal of bringing PLLL out through the DonkeyGuard (Stella and Gus), then loading her into the passenger van and then to my house – and back again – seemed daunting.
NO! I will find a way!…!
Once inside Fradam’s house (I felt like a cat burglar), I called Fran’s husband, Adam, using their house phone.
Adam answered and was confused.
A: “How are you calling me on our house phone…?”
Me: “Long story… anyway, do you have power anywhere near PLLL’s area?”
Me: “Today is PLLL’s haircut day!”
“Brilliant !!(they are from the UK) … be sure to take lot of photos…” and he proceeded to walk me through their property until I was able to locate a power box.
Once I found the outlet, I was excited! “I can take it from here!”
I then found 10,000,000 foot extension cord and we were in business!
We had power to the LLAMA BARBER SHOP!
There is quite the procedure to shearing a llama.
I had no idea.
Luckily, PLLL remembered her birth family and was very relaxed around them. Her human Dad kept scritching her and she loooooooved it.
I really was warmed to see how PLLL remembered her breeders. It must have been very sweet for her to be in the presence of those she knew from babyhood.
OK, so … the procedure…
First, you have to blow off all the excess dust and leaves, etc.
(PLLL wasn’t too happy about that part.)
Then, you have to start the shearing.
Next time, I will know to totally clean the floor so the fiber won’t get dirty… but the idea is to shear the good fiber first (shoulder, belly, barrel and thighs) then get the secondary fiber which is good for a number of uses and then the excess.
The cleaner you keep it all – the better.
Once bagged, you take the fiber to people who clean it and spin it.
(I hope to get yarn for my mother’s birthday present. She likes to knit.)
PLLL loved her haircut! I’m sure she was relieved, having all that fiber – gone.
However, her belly was another story…
She laid down as soon as they tried to do her belly.
PLLL: That tickles! Uh un, no!
But, her birth breeder tricked her via some odd brushing tactic that distracted PLLL. And, the tummy was done!
Then, a final blow dry with a dusting of sunscreen, and she was done!
PLLL looked like half the llama she once was!
I had three bags of fiber.
One bag was the fantastic fiber that I need to have someone wash and spin into yarn.
The secondary fiber was good but not as good. That went into a second bag that I don’t know what I will do with it yet.
The third bag was nice fiber that got dirty when it fell to the ground. I think I will use that to stuff MamaTess’ new boots.
I wish I could make a saddle pad out of the stuff. Nice felting material. I wonder if anyone had ever made a saddle pad out of llama wool?…
Ya learn something new every day!!