Thursday, December 27, 2012
Yes, Spring is on it's way, even though it just became winter several days ago. But my mind was drawn to Spring by an e-mail for the Spring shearing of our alpacas. I was so inspired to write this blog about my horrible experience last year to hopefully help you not to do the same.
What a mess!
Our horrific experience began about 9 am on a Tuesday morning in May. We were expecting the shearers to arrive earlier but they didn't. Then after wondering around the farm and talking a bit they finally decided to get their equipment ready and somewhere around 10 am they finally took the first animal. They seemed to be moving too slowly to be done before darkness would arrive.
We had decided to hire these two young men because in their advertisement they offered to buy our fleece in place of payment for the shearing. This sounded really good because the fees from last year set us back, and we weren't going to do anything with the fleece anyway. Boy, what a mistake! We had no idea we were headed for the worst shearing experience yet.
As we talked we found out that they didn't have very much experience shearing and had only worked for another farm for a few years, doing what I'm not exactly sure. We learned that they had spent the night before at the local bowling ally bar drinking and had a hangover which was causing them to have too many trips to the bathroom and complaints of a head ache.
They were also rude and unprofessional in how they talked and dealt with customers. My husband and I were very irritated with their attitudes.
Their work had much to be desired, they left tags hanging from the back of the alpacas heads, their top knots were uneven and left too long. We had asked them to do the teeth of which they did only a few and then quit.
They left rings of fleece around the ankles of many of them, it looked very tacky. Needless to say our patience were wearing thin, not to mention it was noon and only 12 of the 40 had been done.
This was all a mistake and we were kicking ourselves by this point. I had even asked them to be easy on my four girls that were expecting any day. I became furious when I returned from the house to see the assistant sitting my Rosie's back with her tied down, with her stomach flat on the ground. I yelled at him to get off, and after a remark he removed himself. UNBELIEVABLE!!
Finally at 10 pm they were finally finished and we were totally exhausted. My husband was especially angry because he usually goes to bed about 8:00 pm because he gets up for work at 2:00 am.
We hadn't even had dinner yet. He was fit to be tied!
Needless to say I will never hire them again!
But my message is make sure you get someone with experience, maybe even references, orsomeone who is recommended by another farm. And don't do like we did and fall for a gimmick.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
The winter has been long here in Michigan this year, and with spring has come the MUDDDD! We are finally able to get into the pens to do the winter cleaning. Today we decided to use the big tractor which some of our alpacas have never seen before. Most of them seemed to look it over and walk away, but Angel couldn't walk away. She has been curious about things ever since we got her last fall but this was a sight to behold. She walked around and around it about five times, stopping to smell the seat, the steering wheel, the wheels, the front loader and on and on as if she were inspecting every part of the tractor. She even attempted to try to climb up on it at one point. I wish I had a video camera. She didn't stop until my husband drove it out the gate. We had a big laugh watching her. I never knew alpacas could be so curious. She is our curious Angel, always into mischief of some kind.
Angel checking out the chair
Checking out the garage door
Checking out the truck