I’d venture to say that most alpaca breeders don’t shear their crias until the spring following the crias’ births. But those cria fleeces become messy very quickly as their fine, velcro-like tips attract hay and other debris. We’ve learned that we can get much cleaner and more valuable fleeces in the spring if we shear [...]
It’s over! And with the help of very good friends, shearing not only was not painful, it was actually fun! Many, many thanks to Larry from Twilight Ridge Farm, Jane from Berry Hill Alpacas and, last but not least, Kathy and Tracey from Foggy Bottom Ranch who went above and beyond to help us.
Most of us who have owned alpacas for any length of time have experience treating skin conditions. Diagnosing skin conditions has been difficult and there are a number of theories out there about the cause – or causes – of skin conditions. The symptoms we generally see are hair loss and toughened or crusty skin, [...]
No sooner are the holidays over and, instead of enjoying the relative quiet of winter on the farm, we are already faced with making decisions about and getting registered for spring alpaca shows. We have to decide which alpacas we will be taking to which shows so we reserve the appropriate number of pens. We’ll [...]
Adding value to the fiber produced by our alpacas is an important part of our farm business. But finding time to sort through all the fiber during the busy spring through fall months is difficult. This year, our project (one of many!) has been to weatherize my fiber room in the barn. Insulation, new windows [...]
We’ve been watching this beautiful young female cria, Snowshoe Fancypants, tear around the pastures – she’s something else! Her fiber, we could see when we recently sheared her, is starting to crimp at the base and should be looking great by spring shearing. Fancypants is sired by our 8X Champion/Reserve Champion, Snowshoe Aristides.
As part [...]
Shearing alpacas keeps Ron very busy during the spring and makes it difficult for us to participate in many alpaca shows. Tomorrow we will be heading to Syracuse for the Northeast Alpaca Expo, our last show of the spring season.
Ron will be taking two of our males, Snowshoe Aristides – 3X Color Champion, 4X [...]
We’ve been shearing our herd of alpacas all week here at Snowshoe Farm. Though we’ve had quite a bit of unseasonably warm weather this spring, this week it feels like winter is back. We now have 51 naked and shivering alpacas in the barns. Oh well…we worry more about the alpacas overheating than we do [...]
The forecast for tomorrow and Friday is sunny and 30′s. Perfect weather for skirting alpaca fiber in the barn. The south facing window warms the space up nicely when the weather is above freezing. I still have a fair amount of fiber to skirt and move before alpaca shearing starts in April!
Here at Snowshoe Farm we are looking back at 2011 and counting our blessings. Despite a down economy, we’ve managed to sell quite a few alpacas this year; we had a beautiful crop of crias – mostly female (yes, that’s a good thing); our homegrown herdsire, Snowshoe Aristides, won another Championship (his sixth banner) and [...]