Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Do you shear alpacas in my area?
A. We spend the majority of our alpaca shearing season in New York State. Although we also shear in many other states in the Northeast and beyond. Wherever you may be, we will always try our best to get you on our schedule or help you find a quality alpaca shearer that services your area. We advise that you plan with other farms in your area when booking a shearer – this way, it makes scheduling easier and allows us to travel to areas we otherwise wouldn't be able to.
Q. How should we prepare for our shearing appointment?
A. We ask that you have the alpacas dry and penned up if possible. We are able to help bring them in as needed – though the animals can tend to get a bit spooked when unfamiliar faces enter the pasture. We will need access to power to run our shearing machines. You will also need large bags to save any fiber that you'd like while we're shearing (we can assist with collecting blankets as needed). We do appreciate bottled water/sports drinks to stay hydrated while we work, but that is certainly not a requirement!
Q. How long will alpaca shearing take?
A. We typically shear about 8-12 alpacas per hour, depending on the setup and conditions.
Q. Do you trim alpaca teeth?
A. Yes! Jeffrey has helped over 10,000 alpacas and llamas with their teeth and is always ready to do so when on a shearing job.
Q. When should I contact you to get onto the alpaca shearing schedule?
A. We are happy to try to fit everyone in that we can, no matter when they contact us. But the best time to reach out about getting on our shearing schedule is in January and February. We usually ask that you provide any days or dates that DO NOT work, that way, we can get you on our list and start working on getting you some date options. We will typically have a date set for you at least a month ahead of time.
Q. Can you shear wet alpacas?
A. We can shear alpacas when they are wet if absolutely necessary, but it's best to keep them dry before shearing. Wet fiber is much more difficult to sort and save, and it makes it much more difficult to shear well.
Q. Do you clean equipment between farms?
A. Yes. We disinfect and wash our equipment between farms as often as we can.
Q. Do you use an alpaca shearing table?
A. No, we use custom-made, padded shearing mats and ground restraints. This system is more efficient for speed and allows us to produce a better blanket quality from your alpaca. They also provide safety and comfort for your animals and everyone's knees.
Q. Where's a good place to purchase alpaca supplies?
A. Our favorite place to shop for alpaca equipment and supplies is Light Livestock Equipment. Jonathan Capen is the owner and sales manager at LLE, and he is always very helpful to me.
Q. Is shearing alpacas cruel?
A. The yearly shearing process does not hurt the animals in any way and is an important step in the proper care routine to keep them healthy and well. In fact, leaving an alpaca’s fiber on them for a hot summer is cruel as it puts them at serious risk for heat stroke and other serious skin conditions. We shear them in springtime so that they are cool enough for the summers and have enough time to grow back a warm coat for the following winter.