Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fall Show

This fall we are attending the Michigan International Alpaca Fest. For this show we are taking last years cria: Lightning, Shelby and Tehya.

We've heard many farms are cutting back a lot on shows because of the economy. Some farms have stopped showing all together. Last year we did 2 fall shows, this year we are only doing this one. We have cut back, but still feel it necessary to get our animals out there. This way people can not only see the animals at the show, but the animals can gain ribbons and recognition.

The fall Michigan show is going to be at a new venue. Last year it was at Birch Run, this year it is at the Perani Arena Event Center in Flint, Michigan. It is this weekend, September 26 and 27. We are excited to see the new venue. We hope another change for this year will be that our animals will show in full fleece rather than shorn. Last year they showed in the shorn class because their fiber was not long enough. Each spring we shear the alpacas. To me the fiber is the end product and is what we are trying to improve. It is the essential part to evaluate an animal on. However, when their fiber is short, it is very hard for judges to evaluate it. So, if the fiber is less than 2 inches long, the alpacas go into a shorn class, meaning they are only evaluate on conformation not fiber. Conformation is things like having straight legs, a straight back, good teeth. This is important of course, but to me the fiber is essential. In shorn you have no evaluation of the fiber. We have been measuring our animals periodically hoping they will make the full fleece cut off and not have to show in shorn. Tehya and Shelby are true fiber machines and appear to have plenty of fiber to show in full fleece. Lightning's fiber is so crimpy that it appears shorter than it is. We feel he meets the 2 inches cut off, but in the end the color check people make that determination.

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