NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Shearing Alpaca with horse shears  (Read 1965 times)


  • Joined Aug 2013
Shearing Alpaca with horse shears
« on: June 28, 2018, 12:53:06 pm »
I have been let down by my shearer and having exhausted all other areas it looks like im going to have to do it myself (GULP!)

The only shears im able to get hold of are horse clippers.  Wolseley with A6 coarse blades.  Is it possible to shear the alpaca using these?  i know its far from ideal.

alternatively what are the repercussions if they weren't shorn till next year?

thanks in advance
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Nov 2010
  • Near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Re: Shearing Alpaca with horse shears
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2018, 08:34:17 am »
Hi Dan
I am a llama keeper rather than an alpaca keeper, but the same principles apply.
I wouldn't shear them with horse clippers, and in answer to your question I think they would be fine left until next year.  As llama fibre does not have the same value as alpaca fibre we tend to shear less frequently, and as they get older the growth rate slows down.  My llamas have not been shorn completely for several years, and definitely have only been done twice in the last eleven years.  However as the fibre does not have a value I tend to hand trim them each year for their benefit with craft scissors, and let the fibre fall to the floor.  They don't look as good but as you can see from the photos they look OK and it does not cause as much stress.  I do this on my own in a small pen, but the animal is not restrained in any other way.  If you want to use the fleece you would better to wait until next year when the professional can do it. 


  • Joined Nov 2010
  • Near Mansfield, Nottinghamshire
Re: Shearing Alpaca with horse shears
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2018, 08:55:49 am »
I didn't make it clear that I lightly grasp a clump of hair and cut downwards with 'Fiskars' craft shears and let the hair fall on the floor.  Also I think horse clippers would cut too closely and get snagged all the time on the debris that is in the llama fibre, as they are only designed to deal with clean and short horse hair.


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