Most alpacas in the UK are sheared during May to July. This is an essential part of husbandry once a year for Huacayas, every one or two years for Suris depending on the owners preference.
Note that the local sheep shearer may not have the skill or equipment to shear your alpaca well; alpacas’ skin is finer and can be cut easily so book a professional alpaca shearer in advance, they are very busy during this period.
Shearers are happy to shear in small numbers but this can make the overall cost higher, if you can join with other owner/s, especially if one has a suitable barn then this would reduce costs. Vaccinations, toe nails and teeth trimming can all be done at the same time for a very small charge.
If done professionally there will be little stress for your alpacas, they are normally sheared lying on their side with the front and hind legs tethered. Then the handler holds the head as the shearer shears off one side, rolls the alpaca and shears to the other side. The whole process should about six minutes causing little distress.
If you do not shear then you could cause unnecessary health problems to your alpaca such as mites and mange.
After shearing it is essential you skirt and pack your fleece carefully so it's ready for you to sell or use to make something wonderful!
Here are the contact details for two shearers that operate in the South West:
Colin Ottery: 07773440354
Allen Muriel: 07870612559
or contact Alpacas of Cornwall at firstname.lastname@example.org and quote 'shearing'