Three Years in a Row!

Last Saturday was llama/alpaca shearing day at our ranch. I am happy to report that I have set a new record. Three consecutive years. Three consecutive years of not needing first-aid during some point of the shearing. Sadly, my record for NEEDING first-aid far outpaces my record for NOT needing first-aid.

For twelve straight years this group of llamas and alpacas have made sure I have at least needed a band-aid before we were finished shearing. Our llamas weigh 300-450 pounds. If they don’t want to be sheared, they will throw a person through a fence when walking to the shearing platform. For twelve straight years our llamas have helped me set a bleeding record I hope is never challenged again.

I love when people tell me llama shearing is stressful. They have no idea. There are two winners at a llama shearing; first, the llama gets all that hair off and is much cooler. They certainly are winners. The other winner is the makers of “Neosporin” and “Band-aids”, because someone is going to need them.

When I extended my “no blood” record last year, unfortunately not everyone fared as well as me. The shearer’s assistant was bitten by one of our young male llamas. Male llamas develop “fighting teeth” that are similar to a dog’s canines. This young llama bit the assistant on the inside of his leg about two inches from where his legs meet. If that doesn’t scare you, you are obviously not a guy.

The poor guy screamed and stood up with torn pants and a bloody leg. He didn’t come back this year. He must have found another career. Kids these days cannot get a job and stick with it.

This year’s shearing was unique in two ways. First, no one was hurt. That really make me proud. Second, this was the first time we have invited customers of the store to watch. Wonderfully, the customers, who are really friends decided they didn’t want to watch, they wanted to help. This made me a little nervous, but the shearing was injury free.

It was really a great day. We had a couple cousins (one of which,I have not seen since 1985) drop by and help. They brought