Sunday, September 25, 2011

National Alpaca Farm Days

This weekend is the weekend designated to open our farms up to the public and talk to them about alpacas, their fleece, our industry, and showcase our farms. We have done this event every year for the last 3 years and have always enjoyed. This year is special though. We were featured on the front page of our local newspaper, Today's Sunbeam.

When I found out they were going to write an article about our farm. I was thrilled and excited. I was never expecting to be on the front page. The day the writer and photographer came was a special day here on our farm. Our beloved, Eliza, a dark rose grey modern female decided she wanted to deliver her cria just as they arrived. :-) My first words to them when I came out of the house from changing clothes was "Are you squimish?" They were excited about witnessing the birth. It was an interesting experience giving an interview, delivering a cria, and taking care of it all at the same time. Did I mention I also have a 2 year old and a 2 month old. Who were thankfully sound asleep napping during this time. Eliza delivered a beautiful solid medium brown or rose grey male. We are so excited for this cria as he is our very own herdsire's second cria born on our farm.

Now, back to NAFD. I guess the press in the paper and the ad we put into the Cumberland & Salem Guide paid off. We opened the farm from 10 AM until 3 PM. Saturday was the first day and I have to say it was phenomenal. We had the largest turn-out we have ever had. It was just me today as my husband, Rob, had to work. I couldn't keep up with number of visitors. I know I missed talking to many people. However, the alpacas got lots of grain. There was a lot of interest in the alpacas care, skirting and carding the fleece and many people were amazed at the felted soap!

The challenge on Saturday was not only the volume for just one person, but the rain. It rained and misted just enough that I had to squeeze everything into my husband's shop area. It was a tight fit. I couldn't properly open up my skirting table and show off my beautiful girl, Crystal, fleece. Although, many people were willing to hold the one end of table up so I could quickly show how the process works. The other issue I had was that my child-care for the day fell through. My SIL was suppose to come over with her kids and watch my boys. She got called into work and I didn't find out until 1 PM when I came into the house to feed my children. That made it a challenge because I had to keep track of what Benjamin was doing because 2 year old's can get into a lot of trouble quickly & alot of cars were coming in and out. Thankfully, my 2 month old slept in his car seat most of the time. Thankfully, on Sunday Rob will be home so I will have help with the kids.

Sunday is another day. I can't wait to see what the day brings. Will we have as many visitors or will it be slow like prior years. It is also the last day for the 'name that cria' contest. We have several good names already (I had to peak).

I want to close by Thanking Everyone who stopped by today to learn about the alpacas and shop. We truly appreciate your business and hope that you enjoyed yourselves as much as I enjoyed meeting you. If you bought anything from us, I hope you enjoy the product and that it keeps you snugly warm.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wow, It's been awhile

I can't believe that my last post was over a year ago. Time sure does fly when you work full-time, run a household, take care of one child (and I was pregnant with my second during this time, too), and manage the farm. Well, life has been full of ups and downs the last year. We won't go into that here.

What's new? MFI Peruvian Microman had his first cria born November 2010. We named him Microbrew as he is the nice rich color of a home brewed beer. I will post pictures soon. It is on my list along with updating all my websites. Life has been so crazy that I have not even gotten last year's cria on there. And it is almost time for the 2011 cria to start being born next month. We didn't get the breeding's in for Spring 2011 births due to the cria's being born late and the weather had already turned scorching hot last year. We opted for only Fall births for 2011. This year, we bred for all Spring births for 2012.

I will be starting to post pictures of the farm on the blog along with things going on here so please keep checking back. I am going to try to be more active in my blogging. What is on tap for the next month? Waiting on 3 cria to be born in September; building a skirting table, and working my way through two years of fleece. Wish me luck.

Check back later this week as I am going to post pictures of the skirting table I am going to build. I bought all the material today so hopefully it won't take me long to do this. I have a plan...Let's see how it works. Until later. Have a great week ahead.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


It has been awhile since I last posted. The holidays just consumed our entire time. They were great and we hope yours was too. Now, it is a new year and we are excited about what this year brings to our farm.

First, I'd like to look back on 2009. It was a good year for us, but had its difficulties. We bought 2 new girls last January, Berry Meadow Eliza and Candlelight's Peruvian Mis'chevious. Two nice looking grey females. Eliza gave birth to a beautiful rose grey male, Silver Streak, in June. He has matured nicely and we are anxious to get him into the show ring. Star of Hope was born in August 19 days early and spent slightly more than 3 weeks at the Vet hospital. We are thankful that she is alive and overall healthy. In October, we had another beautiful boy who is a splitting image of his dam. We LOVE both of our boys! Hope is great, but we have to wait to see how she grows. We are thankful for our new pack of cria's in 2009.

2010 looks to be even more exciting. In May we have 3 girls due. In June, we have 2 more girls due who are bred to a fabulous male. We are anxious for these 5 cria's. Cria's are always fun and exciting.

We will also be showing Silver Streak in April and May this year. Microman is going to be in a herdsire auction to auction off a breeding to him. A great marketing program for our farm. We are also updating our websites and I will post the links here as soon as they are done. Our personal website is being revealed all at once. It has undergone a huge overhaul.

Keep checking back for updates and new photos.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


We are at the tail end, I hope, of a nor'easter. This year has been horrible with all the rain. We feel like we never had a summer due to all the rain! The poor alpacas have been water logged all year since our fields are mostly in low ground. Luckily, the girls and cria's were moved to the back pasture for the winter and that is higher ground. However, I didn't get out there before the rain started and my poor Hope and Spook'tacular got soaked. Not a good combination with the winds, too. Yesterday, it didn't rain long enough for the alpacas to dry out so I put coats on the two cria's. Now, they can stay warm and dry.

Spook'tacular is looking fantastic! He is a handful. I think he is hanging out with Silver Streak and Eliza too much as he is picking up their personality not his dam's, who is calm. Spook'tacular is the strangest cria I think we have had born on our farm. He is so independent. You only see him around his dam when he is nursing. Most cria's that we have had born here are near their dam's alot and cush by them. This guy prefers to be alone or with Eliza & Silver Streak.

Hope is doing wonderful!!! She is steadily gaining weight, finally. I think the antibiotics were hindering her growth. Her body size is not increasing, but we expect that since the growth plate in her leg was compromised. The vets warned me she would be a slow grower and not as large as a normal alpaca. However, the weight gain is wonderful! She also feels bigger. She has some bulk to her bones - if that makes any sense. Her fleece has alot of bundling and long staple length. There is alot of luster down at the skin, too. I don't see much crimp, but once again normal due to the antibiotics she was on. Once again, the vets said her fleece would not be good due to her length of time on antibiotics and other drugs she was on during her first 2 months of life.

We are just so happy to see how great she looks! She is using her leg more every day. She still has a limp. I think she will always have this. Maybe, as she uses it more and more each month that it will slowly get better and the limp will go away. I can hope, can't I?

One final note, we have started posting our alpacas on different websites. We have our website at . We also have 2 other websites. Check them out.

Have a good weekend & Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Hallowen! It was Spook'tacular!

Halloween was a fun day around our house and it wasn't from trick or treaters. Which we don't get in the country. It was from my foundation female going into labor. She started at 8AM with her typical humming and at 1:50PM a gorgeous md/dark brown male cria was born. He is everything I wanted from the breeding, except I would have preferred a female. Otherwise, he is a nice looking, healthy, active male. Dense fleece with long stable length, straight legs and lots of curls. Here is his picture and yes we named him Spook'tacular!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hope's One Month X-Rays

Our vet was out on Friday to take x-rays of Hope's leg to send to New Bolton. I have to say I didn't know that they made portable x-ray machine and how NICE they were. The vet comes with everything - even the iron apron you need to wear. Hope was very patient for the x-rays and the vet got great images. The nice part is that the images can be emailed, copied to CD and viewed right there. We had fun blowing up the photos and looking at them. We also got a CD of the x-rays and the software with the images allows us to blow up the x-rays and view them. Pretty cool, Huh!

I called New Bolton today since I hadn't heard from anyone. I was told someone would call me back later once surgery viewed the x-rays. Dr. Norton, who was one of the vet's on duty during her stay, called to discuss everything. She said there is no sign of active infection in the joint. Great. She said the growth plate was compromised and that she may be small overall or the leg may not grow the same length. The good news is that we could allow her to go out with the rest of the herd, stop the antibiotics and just keep an eye on her leg and weight.

I mentioned her weight. She is not gaining as she should be. This is disturbing to us and the vet. There are several reasons why this could be: stress, antibiotics, infection, or maybe not enough milk from the dam. There is no active infection so that cause is taken out of the equation. We are all thinking stress or ulcer since they were alone for so long and we have been catching her every 3 days and injecting medicine into her. We will watch her weight now that she is off the antibiotics. We will only need to inject her once a week for another 2 weeks with some medicine our vet put her on to help the cartilage. That will be over in a few weeks. I am also giving her probios every few days to help with the stress/ulcer and Vitamin ADE&B12 every 2 weeks. We will see if she starts to gain better.

I let her out tonight. I watched her running and pronking in the field with Silver Streak and Dawn. She was having such a ball! I have never seen her so happy. I was worried she would get hurt as I don't want her to strain the leg since she has been inactive on it since birth. However, I let her run as she wanted. I did notice she started to limp when she was done. I left her out with the herd tonight. Tomorrow I only want to leave her out a few hours and then move her and Bellafina back in. I want to slowly give her time out so she doesn't overwork that leg.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Herdsire

Yesterday was the Magical Farms Auction. If you don't know Magical Farms is one of the largest farms in the US and maybe THE largest with over 1600 alpacas. They usually place first or second in all the major shows and many times come out with a color championship or reserve championship. Why wouldn't they? They have over 1600 animals and can take their best to the shows.

Anyway, I have been wanting a herdsire all year but could not find one I liked. Then, Hope was born and I spent the money for a herdsire and even future breedings on getting her well. I have been trying to figure out who to breed Crystal and Bellafina to and if we could afford it. I didn't want to put Marauder on my top female, Crystal. He is nice, but I don't want to make white out of my dark brown. I want dark brown out of my dark brown. I was figuring I would put him on Bellafina. Unfortunately, I wasn't sure who to breed to Crystal for this year.

I solved my problem yesterday. I am usually very picky about my selection for a future herdsire for the farm. I want a specific crimp style, fineness, and luster plus perfect conformation. I had my eye on two males at the magical farm auction. One of these males, dark brown, did not have a fleece sample posted on-line so I had no clue what his fleece might look like. However, he did have a color championship from MAPACA (Level 5 show) and a few first place ribbons. Obviously, a decent male. The other male, medium fawn, had a fleece picture posted. It looks nice. It is not the high frequency crimp I have been looking for in a fawn or brown, but still nice. You cannot tell fineness without a histogram or touching the alpacas (to see if you like his handle). I signed up for phone bidding on the two males. The first one to come up was the medium fawn, Microman. After that, I didn't bid on the other male. One I couldn't afford two males and two I only needed one male.

Microman is related to two of my girls. One girl, Dawn, already has a scheduled breeding next year and the other one is a white girl. I can always use Marauder on my white girl and had planned to use on that female in the future anyway. Hopefully, by the time Dawn needs a breeding either Silver Streak will be breeding, Dawn may be sold, or Microman is producing solid cria's and we can exchange breedings with someone.

I do have a fear that he isn't as nice as I would like. I would have MUCH preferred to have seen him in person and put my hands on him. However, with a 4.5 wk old baby just not possible to go to Ohio for a weekend and do an auction. We shall see what he looks like when he gets here. This male has 3 color championships, multiple first place ribbons, and two seconds. Obviously, several judges liked him. We shall see. He will be breeding just about my entire herd once he arrives here. He has already settled females at Magical Farm so he is ready to go.

I will post pictures of him once he arrives on the farm. I am waiting on a call from the auction agency to sign paperwork and arrange transport here. I just hope it was the right decision.