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Island Alpaca 7th Annual Shearing Day - April 2014

  • Angelito

  • Boys waiting to be sheared

  • Angelito shorn

  • Norma Jean shorn

  • Girls shorn

  • Boys shorn

  • Silver Angel Shorn

  • Talon

***** *****

Shear Delight!

Island Alpaca Seventh Annual Island Alpaca Shearing Day Event was once again a HUGE success!

April 26th marked the event, which was well attended, inspite of the cool, overcast day.  Islanders and off-island visitors alike came to watch and explore the full process of harvesting the fleece from the herd and witness the start of the fleece to fiber transition, shearing 78 alpaca and one llama for the farms annual harvest. The end result for Island Alpaca Co. Alpacas was a yield of a hearty 615 pounds of Alpaca fleece, bagged and separated by individual animal, and ready to process into yarn. The average harvest per animal was nearly 8 pounds, well above the national average!

The alpaca were thrilled with the work to remove their winter coat. The expert team: Matt Best from New Hampshire, and his assistant Nate Trojanski from Connecticut. The shearers and the crew of helping hands, were hard at work for nearly 10 hours, working efficiently averaging just seven minutes per animal. Assisting were Island Alpaca volunteers, friends, and staff: Ashleigh Plante, Phoenix Russell, Ivy Ashe, Nicola Blake, Susan Currier, Jeane Delgiudce, Caila Drew-Morin, Barbara Dutton, Andrea Figaratto, Caleb and David Hannon, Rosmarie Jost, Philippe Morin, and Heidi Wild. 

Do make note on your calendars for our Eighth Annual Shearing Day, April 25, 2015, 9 am - 4 pm. 

Island Alpaca Shearing Day Raffle winner Calder Martin of Chilmark, MA won our alpaca blanket, congratulations!


Shearing Fun Facts: Alpacas are shorn just once a year in the Spring. Each alpaca produces between 3 to 13 pounds of fiber depending on age, genetics, environment and nutrition. Island Alpaca shear the alpaca stretched out on a thick rubber mat the ground or a table. Tying the front legs together and the back legs together. This method allows the shearer to work faster and get a more even cut, it is less stressful for the alpaca this way. Shearing time varies greatly by the expertise of the shearer, but generally 6 minutes per animal is standard. Alpacas are shorn with the same clippers that are used for sheep. Blades have to be sharpened and oiled often. Because alpacas don't have natural lanolin oils like sheep, the clippers need to be oiled more frequently.

Visit their farm store at 1 Head of the Pond Road, in Oak Bluffs to see the end result of this great process. Find beautiful roving, yarns, and locally produced garments from these wonderful animals that graze in their pastures!


Phone: 508-693-5554
Location: 1 Head of the Pond Road, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard
Mailing address: PO Box 1515, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

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