Sunday, October 26, 2008


Fall is here. The leaves are turning coloring and falling. The air is crisp and cool.

Quinn is getting his winter coat:

Tehya seems to grow in leaps and bounds. All the sudden one day she will look taller. It seems Shelby grows at a more steady rate, so she will finally catch up to Tehya, only to have Tehya suddenly shoot up taller. Tehya is a nice, strong, solid alpaca with great form (straight back, nice lined up bite, etc). This is a recent picture of Tehya:

Here you can see Tehya is taller than Shelby (Tehya is light fawn color, Shelby is brown. Tehya does seem to have a bit bigger build in general than Shelby, noted by a bigger rib cage and so forth). We've noticed lately how Sommerfield is looking like her mom, Sancha. Sommerfield is the closer white alpaca, Sancha is the one the furthest back. See how their faces are starting to look an aweful lot alike? They do not have the look we are breeding for. We prefer a face with more fiber (like Shelby and Tehya) and we prefer the shorter nose. In our breeding plan, we breed Sancha and Sommerfield to males who have those features we are looking for. Sancha's cria from this spring, Lightning, definately has face coverage. I nick named him Santa Claus cause it looks like he has a beard (I'll get a picture of him for a future post).

Shelby is growing nice and strong. I love her shiney brown color, and her fiber covers everywhere. The shiney looks gives her fiber a slippery feel. She has a bold crimp that is different from our other alpacas. Here is Shelby:

Zack snuggling up to Shelby (she doesn't look too thrilled, but note how much fiber is on her face, all the way up to her black muzzle):

New Feeder

J built a feeder for the alpaca's hay. It works awesome! It's big enough I can mix up the hay (we have mostly grass hay, but the girls get some alphalfa mixed in because they are having trouble with being too thin). They alpacas don't dump the hay out of this feeder. And with the top on it, it stays dry. The bottom of the feeder has slats so if moisture does get in there, it can drain out (rather than the hay buckets that would end up with water sitting in the bottom).

I think he should market his skills. He could build chutes and feeders for other alpaca farmers.

Friday, October 24, 2008

New photographer

Zack took some neat pictures I thought I'd share. I let him use my camera and was very impressed with the picturs he took. I could tell he was playing around with shadows and taking small parts of bigger things (like the tree pictures):

This is a fire I had going to do some housekeeping (burn up old papers and left over wood from building projects, along with boxes). I thought Zack captured the fire well (especially the flames and smoke):

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Feeding program

We tried cutting back on grain. Some of the things we've read and even talking to other owners, it seemed we were feeding an aweful lot of grain. Well, it didn't work. All out alpacas lost weight. At the show we noticed our alpacas were smaller than others there. It did hurt how they placed too.

So we are back to feeding them more grain like we used to. We also are going to do more with Vitamin D and A. We gave them all shots this past weekend. We'll see how this works.

Heartland Classic show in Indiana

We attended the Heartland Classic in Indiana the first weekend in October. We took Sommerfield, Maddie and Maxito. The show seemed to be run quite well. We definately want to attend again next year.

We met the owners of Hibben Hollow Alpacas, the home of Goldsmith. We told them that two of our cria from this year are Goldsmith babies (Tehya and Shelby). We'll keep them updated on future shows that we take the girls too.

Maddie had to be shown in the shorn class, her fiber was not long enough for full fleece. Maxito was also shown in shorn. In the future we will avoid showing in shorn, but this year we didn't realize this would happen. Maddie won a fourth place in shorn. Maxito won a fifth place. Sommerfield was shown in full fleece. There were 11 in her group. She placed sixth, which while that sounds bad, 6 out of 11 is still placing (they only place up to 6). The judge said she would like to see more bone on Sommerfield (in other words she's small, though she is tall, she is lanky). But because of her fleece she placed, rather than the other alpacas who were shown the gate (did not place).

Again we found we learned a lot at the show. It was good to talk to other owners. We also attending a seminar on advertising. I wanted to attend one on guard dogs but that was going on while Sommerfield was to show. I did get to meet an antonlian shepherd though. Wow are they big!
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