Farm Tours Available by Appointment Book a Tour
Farm Store Open by Appointment
Follow Us

What! Naked Alpacas?

Naked as the day they were born.

It is that time of year when alpacas are liberated from their winter coats. If you ask an alpaca if he is happy to be relieved of his coat, he might say “NO”. When I ask Georgie, he tells me he likes his coast as he has grown attached to it. As a farmer, the alpaca coat is actually our harvest, our way of making a few dollars. To an alpaca, removing the winter coat is a way of keeping cool during the summer. So actually, it works for both of us. If an animal is not shorn, he could actually dies of heat stress. We call shearing day “a day at the spa”. We give them a pedicure, a new hairstyle, then we do some dental work if needed, and finally vaccinate them for good health. They get the full treatment. When this is completed, we put them on an exercise program. Yup, an exercise program. Every alpaca runs to pasture led by trustee Border Collie. The happiest day of the year, for my dog Boom Boom, is when he is rehired to herd in the springtime and the saddest day is when he is laid off for the winter. Boom Boom loves to work and the alpacas love to be led to the fields as they know green grass is a-waiting. 

Shearing is very demanding; it takes 8 people to do an efficient job. You have the shearer, of course, then you have a team of three working with him, the head handler, who is also the hair stylist, then we have the extra hands to help load the animal on the table, and give the pedicure. Then there is the medic who gives the shorts and keeps the medical records for each animal.

Once the animal is relieved of his coat, the fleece goes to the skirting table where the fibre is prepared for the mills. Three to four people are working at this table. Wondering what my job is? It’s the dirtiest job ever. Before all of this, I clean the animal using a stock blower. A stock blower is like a powerful hair dryer that blows warm air on the alpacas removing all of the dirt…. And you wind up wearing all of this dirt. We do approximately 250 animals during the month of May.

Our Location

RR#1, 908 Carter Side Road
Bruce Mines, ON
P0R 1C0

Phone: 705-785-3389

Other Places to Find Us

Soo Market
73 Brock Street
Sault Ste. Marie, ON

Every Saturday 9am - 2pm

Farmers Market
1 Cameron Street
Desbarats, ON

Every Saturday 9am - 2pm (Spring - Fall)