Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Fiber Boy

Last winter we had a boy, Golden, join our herd. He was young enough, it was tough to tell if he'd be herdsire quality or not. We took a wait and see approach to him. As spring came and show season hit, we decided not to take him to shows. We had limited room to take animals to some of the shows, and we gave priority to animals out of our own girls because of course we want to see how our blood lines do (and how the breeding choices we've made do). Golden isn't out of any of our animals, and wasn't our breeding choice. We also felt he would not do well in the show ring because he is not dense, not at all. While Golden's fiber is very soft, and has a nice handle, he has no density. We've felt enough cria (from our own farm and other farms) that we know signs to look for. We've seen how the cria end up doing in the show. We just knew Golden doesn't have the density to make it in the show ring. Not only would he not do well in the show ring, but we felt he is not herdsire quality. A herdsire really has to be in the top 30% (or 10% or top 5% depending on who you talk to). We knew his lack of density was enough to keep him out of that top range.

While his lack of density kept him out of the show ring and makes him not herdsire quality, his fiber is soft and would make some splendid yarn. He is the perfect fiber animal. It also doesn't hurt that he's on the smaller side. Many fiber farms like smaller animals because they are easier to care for.

We found a wonderful farm not to far from us that raises sheep. The farm they bought their sheep from had a guard llama, so they wondered if they could use Golden as a guard alpaca. While alpacas are herd animals and need a herd, they can be a herd with other herd animals. I've been told in other countries (like Australia), they often use alpacas as guards for other livestock.

I was not able to go with J and the kids to drop Golden off today, but they told me all about it. It sounds like Golden went to a wonderful family with a nice farm, the perfect place for him. I think he will get more attention there than he did here (unfortunately here he was behind our super studs in the attention area, though Emma does feed the boys and he was her favorite, there is only so much time a 10 year old girl spends in the pasture).

Here is a picture I took of Golden this morning:

Here is Golden with his look alike Cavalier:

Cavalier may miss his friend, but it won't be long until this years cria, Copper, Chaz and Challenger join Cavalier up at the little boys barn. (Cavalier is with Georgio now, and they share a fence line with big boys, so he still has a herd, just not his buddy).

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