WHY SHEARING IS GOOD FOR ALPACAS AND SHEEP
Among the misconceptions that circulate around animal husbandry, there are some that place shearing among acts of abuse. However, this is a big error because not only shearing does not cause any suffering to the animal (when properly done), it has also been proven that it is a step which is even essential to its health and well-being. Explanations.
TOO MUCH WOOL KILLS THE WOOL
Because sheep's wool does not have a maximum length that it stops growing, if the sheep or alpaca is not sheared regularly (usually once a year), it ends up completely buried under a layer of heavy wool, felted and, in fact, terribly dirty.
THE RIGHT WAY TO SHEAR
While shearing is obviously recommended, it is not enough to arrive with your shearing scissors and embark on this exercise without being aware of some upstream rules that contribute to its efficiency and to the well-being of the animal to be shorn.
The sheared animal should be set up by the breeder so that there is no risk of injury, not only for the animal but also for the shearer. If the sheep or alpaca feels confident, it will remain calm during the shearing (which should remain relatively fast anyway). A good shearing should also take place when the animal is fasting to prevent the stomach from compressing the lungs and thus making the position uncomfortable.
QUESTION OF TIMING
In the notion of shearing there is also the notion of season. In fact, it cannot take place all the time. In the summer, when temperatures exceed 25 degrees, sheep and alpacas are warm and therefore feel much better with less wool. However, it is necessary to leave enough to avoid sunburn. Late spring is the best time to shear because the animal is lighter in summer but its wool has had time to regrow enough to keep warm during the winter.
IT FEELS GOOD
Once sheared, the animals are clean and feel less "crowded". It is also an excellent way for the breeder to have a look at all the diseases that can affect sheep, ewes or alpacas such as the appearance of parasites like ticks, myiasis, scabies... from a more "practical" view, shearing the ewe also gives easier access to the udders during nursing and thus prevents the lamb from having difficulty in feeding.
Article written by par Laura Isaaz
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Where is he from? What is he doing? How is his fleece? Is he nice, clean and sociable? We have closely studied the different characteristics of the alpaca in order to tell you a little more about this animal species still relatively unknown in Europe. Since its fiber is widely used in the manufacture of our La Maison de la Maille products, it seemed essential to us to highlight the 10 most important (and no doubt surprising) traits of its personality. Focus.