Hello Amanda, thanks so much for you very nice words
about Camelidynamics! I am so pleased that the
methods have helped to make your alpaca calm, cool,
confident and companionable! Shearing day is a
challenge I know, but there are several things you
can do to make it easier for your fuzzy friends.
* First of all be very very VERY organized. For
example do not make
your alpacas wait in confinement any longer than
* Arrange your barn so that the animals can be
herded to the shearing area caught in a small pen
and moved to the tarp without having to be
haltered. This is easily done with a combinations
of panels, a catch pen and the bracelet technique
for moving animals by the head.
* There should be a minimum of noise and hustle
bustle. No loud music no crowds.
* People assisting with shearing day should be
taught the principals of balance. There should be
one or two dry runs with a person posing as an
alpaca so that everyone knows where to move and what
* Tell helpers to minimize stepping over the
alpaca's head or moving fleece bags or bins around
the alpaca's head. The calmest and most competent
handler should be at the alpaca's head and can do
some soothing body work on the ears while the alpaca
is being shorn. Taking some deep breaths will help
the animal to breathe and relax too.
* Animals that are difficult should be shorn first
and ideally should be sedated. An appropriate dose
of torbugesic is very safe for alpacas even pregnant
* While it is great idea to catch up on toenail and
teeth trimming when the animals are stretched out it
is not a good idea in my opinion to give
vaccinations or other injections while the animals
are being shorn. Being stretched out and restrained
is stressful and mixing stress with injections is
not a good idea. Injections are easy to give
without restraint so doing them another time is not
a big deal.
I hope these suggestions help make your shearing day
a lot less stressful.