Llama Shearing Day

Llamas and Alpacas originated in the Andes of South America and are adapted to cold weather but, unfortunately, not to our hot summers. To keep them comfortable in the Midwest you need to give them an annual haircut.

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I admit that the first year we owned them we attempted this ourselves, inviting all our friends to “help” us!

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Ruffian sniffs Katy

We bought our llamas in Pinedale, Wyoming. With an elevation of 7,000 ft. summer heat was not an issue. When we first sheared them it was the first time for them – not that they like it any more ten years later!

Ruffian and Jenny3

I really enjoyed looking at these old photos including this one of my daughter, Natalie:

Christine, me, and Ruffian

Then I discovered Floyd Zopfi, a Wisconsin Llama aficionado who comes each year hauling this contraption behind his truck.

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Floyd has been a godsend to us as well as to the many farms and zoos that employ him throughout the Midwest. And what an interesting fellow he is!

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Floyd set the Guinness Book of World Record for using 56 llamas harnessed to a single cart, a fact that he displays proudly on this truck. He and his llamas are quite a spectacle at the Labor Day parade each year in Janesville, Wisconsin.

The huge hitch stretches 140 ft. when it’s all hooked up. Floyd positions three out-riders on each side of the hitch, equipped with walkie talkies so they can communicate with each other. “They look for any problems with the animals such as tangled harness, and keep kids and other bystanders away from the llamas during parades.”

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Sorry to not provide a better photo of this amazing sight, but here are some others of llamas in harness:

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Did I mention how much llamas HATE to be poked, pricked and prodded?

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I opted for the complete cut this year as Lefty managed to get himself entangled in burdock, yet again, leaving him looking pretty silly indeed!

Another way llamas cool off:

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I end up with several bags of fiber which I gladly give away. Any takers?

Two colors only!

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And one more of Lefty lusting over those daylilies:

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