In Spring, Alpaca Farmers' Fancy Turns to Shearing

Gazette Newspapers 
By: Martha Sorohan
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture 
Original content from Gazette Newspapers.       

May 4 was payday for Diane Watson.

The joys and struggles of raising 24 alpacas comes down to one day each spring known as shearing day, when the alpacas are shed of their winter coats.

The shearing gives Watson precious fleece that is turned into fiber for hats, gloves, socks, scarves, shawls, and more, all sold at Watson’s Sweet Heart Suri Alpaca Farm’s gift shop on Church Street.

May 4 was shearing day at not only Watson’s Kelloggsville alpaca farm but also Ramblin’ Rose Alpaca Farm in Monroe Township, Ashtabula County’s two remaining alpaca farms.

After completing the shearing at Ramblin’ Rose, professional shearer Franc Winkley drove over to Kelloggsville to give haircuts to Watson’s herd.

The annual shearing prompted Watson to host an open house at the farm that drew curious visitors.

Watson’s alpacas are among 2,500 alpacas that Winkley sheared this spring. Leaving his Texas home in April, he travels east to Georgia and north into Michigan before the shearing season is over at the end of June.

Read the rest of this story at Gazette Newspapers.