Ribbed Alpaca Socks For Farmers at Perilla
At Perilla at last the shearer came this week to shear our small flock, a month later than normal thanks to the abnormally cold Spring. So glad we only had 15 and not 215 to do in this heat, it was bad enough as it was. When Perilla alpaca socks took off six years ago I sold my beautiful flocks of Charollais and Suffolk ewes that I had bred for 25 years – to do them properly is a full time and exhausting job - yearling rams get to a massive size and weight. I kept 6 Suffolk ewe lambs as they are my favourite breed and they are incredibly long lived. The others I kept were all the duds that had a quarter missing (at some stage in their life they must have got an infection in their udder and lost the use of one teat out of the two) or their teeth were not quite right. Five years later some of the duds are now 12 and 13 years old and are still as fat as butter – just goes to show that having lambs is so ageing for them because when they don’t have lambs they go on and on!
If you ever think it is a good idea to have a small flock be warned that getting a shearer to shear less than 100 sheep is no easy task. In Malvern, about an hour away from us, there is a welfare problem with small flock owners in the area not being able to find a shearer willing to come and do the job.
Here are some images of my sheep; above before they were sheared – we had to keep them in a shed during the day with this hot weather otherwise it would have killed them. Then there is Les Gittins, our shearer for the past 25 years doing his job absolutely dripping with sweat.
Although it sounds bonkers I still wore my short ribbed alpaca socks in my jodhpur boots to do the wrapping of the fleeces and luckily never once felt my feet were too hot which is just as well as it was 28 degrees C in the shed and that was with a breeze! Alpaca not only insulates from the cold but it wicks moisture away from the feet and keeps them remarkably cool.