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  • Writer's pictureWisdom Preserved

How to Shear an Alpaca; with Guest Alpaca Shearer, Clint Goodwin

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

A few years ago, my husband and I decided to shear our own alpacas. While we were successful, it took much more time and seemed more stressful to our animals than necessary. After our one experience we went back to having our shearer, Clint Goodwin, do his magic. Clint was kind enough to agree to do a video with me to share some of his 23 years’ worth of hard-earned knowledge about how to shear an alpaca. Clint is based out of Northport, Washington at Sandy Springs Homestead. He has a Facebook page titled Clint’s Shearing; Make sure you check him out. Clint shears approximately 1000 animals a year and is currently training Anthony Pierce to take over for him.

Guest Alpaca Shearer; Clint Goodwin standing with Marie Overton from Wisdom Preserved.


A few tools are necessary for properly shearing an alpaca; a pair of heavy-duty clippers (These are fairly expensive.) with a 9 tooth comb with a cutter on top. You will need multiple sharpened blades as you generally shear 2-3 animals for one blade. Beginners tend to go through more blades. Clipper coolant spray and storage bags for the wool are a must. Some forms of restraining device and a tarp are also helpful.

Clint holding a set of professional grade clippers for sharing alpacas.


The first step when learning how to shear an alpaca is to properly restrain the animal using hobbles, a shearing table, or something similar. This is for the safety of the animal and the human. Having an additional person to help move the animal can be very helpful.

Clint Goodwin shearing a restrained alpaca.

When shearing, take care around the transition of legs to the body and the head. These can be especially easy areas to nick the animals’ skin. The area between the front legs can be a particularly easy area to knick them with the clippers. If the alpaca gets a cut, use wound spray, super glue, or a vet if you are especially worried or can’t get the bleeding to stop.

Clint Goodwin shearing a restrained alpaca.

The first portion to remove is on the main part of the body (sides, back, top of thighs) this is referred to as the blanket. It is the most desirable portion. The thighs and neck are considered seconds, the rest is thirds. (I use the seconds and thirds with my rabbits for nest material when they have bunnies.)

Clint Goodwin shearing a restrained alpaca.
Clint Goodwin shearing a restrained alpaca with the assistance of his apprentice.
Clint Goodwin and apprentice clipping alpaca toenails while being shorn.

While the alpaca is being shorn is also a good time to trim toenails and check their teeth for any issues.

Clint Goodwin shearing a restrained alpaca.
Shorn alpaca being released from restraints.

Place the alpaca wool in bags according to the cut and the animal for future use or selling. If you plan on selling the blanket or sending it to a mill they often have specifications on how they would like it bagged.

Marie holding haltered alpaca that has just been shorn.

Hopefully, this was a helpful video and answered some of your questions about alpaca shearing. I highly recommend Clint if you are in need of a shearer for your animals.

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