Shearer Trudy McCall works with a team from Kensington Prairie Farm to shear an alpaca. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

VIDEO: Alpacas lined up for shearing in Fraser Valley

The annual event is open to the public this Friday and Saturday.

Alpacas from across the Lower Mainland will be getting haircuts this week at Langley’s Kensington Prairie Farm.

On Friday and Saturday, the public is welcome to come and watch as the alpacas get professional shearing and lose anywhere from five to 10 pounds of fibre.

There will be 85 alpacas coming to Kensington Prairie, said farm owner Catherine Simpson.

“Our farm makes up 45 of them,” she said.

The remainder are from eight different nearby farms.

The shearing started on Wednesday, and Kensington’s alpacas will be sheared on Friday and Saturday. They’re halter-trained, so it’s safer for the public to be around them, Simpson explained.

Simpson has been raising alpacas for 20 years. She and her husband bought Kensington Prairie and wanted to add some animals. They were advised to get alpacas instead of llamas because alpacas are better tempered – they don’t spit at people.

For shearing, the animals are briefly strapped down to a table to keep them immobile, and a shearing team will apply the electric razor.

“They feel pretty good when it’s gone,” Simpson said of the newly-sheared animals.

The fleece is then sorted by colour, length, and grade. A single alpaca can provide several armfuls of fibre.

Simpson said it’s an opportunity to see where the yarn that becomes a baby blanket or a scarf originally comes from.

This weekend’s event takes place April 6 and 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the farm, located at 1736 248th St.

Refreshments will be available by donation, with funds to go to support Quechua Benefit.

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Farm manager Dee Martens with an armload of alpaca fibre. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Post-shearing. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

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