Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fiber Animals

All alpaca farms have fiber animals or animals that are not used in the breeding program. They are sold are very low cost in comparison to the breeding and show animals.  These animals are valuable because of their soft fiber that can be used by their owners in a variety of hobbies  - spinning, knitting, weaving, and felting. They are a source of rich manure for compost, gardening, and agricultural purposes. 

Some people entering the alpaca business world for the first time are buying only fiber animals! Why? Because they want to harvest soft beautiful fiber and sell that.  They are not interested in breeding and delivering babies. They are able to start their farms with relatively low cost because the alpacas are not expensive and the animals they want to buy are relatively easy to fine in their local area. They are able to build up a large herd quickly and have lots of fiber to sell. When a fiber boy is gelded, his fleece becomes remarkably softer because there are no longer hormones in his system that make fiber coarser.  Of course, in the alpaca world, their fiber was already very soft before they were gelded.  It just gets softer. 

Alpacas are a hearty livestock and generally need much fewer vet visits than other livestock.  They have a longer lifespan than other livestock - 20 - 25 years.  Most importantly, they are "green" in that they are gentle on the earth and provide many (22 distinctive) colors that are all natural.

Examples of fiber boys are ones we have here at Summer Brook Valley Farm. They are beautiful animals, plus they all have gentle, loving natures.

Matteo is a handsome son of Greybeard’s Molokai and grandson of Greybeard. His dame, AAR Honey Crystal is a Kabellero daughter.  Matteo has excellent fiber coverage and a beautiful dense fleece.  His brother is a handsome and proud herdsire on our farm, and Matteo will be one too by next summer. Matteo has a gentle disposition and easy manner. ARI registered.

Estevan is a dark reddish brown with excellent fiber coverage and a dense fleece. He is a Thelonius son and his mother, Summer Brook Arabella, was Reserved Champion at the New England Coastal Classic two years ago. Arabella is an SA Peruvian Normandy daughter and Estevan has inherited the beautiful fiber qualities of his mother and grandfather.  

Midnight is the shiny true black son of Moore Brook Astarte.  He has a beautiful soft and bright fleece. Midnight is a sweet and friendly alpaca.

EWF BERTO – Burgundy Brown, Gelding 
Berto is a gelded boy whose fleece is very soft and beautiful.  He  is incredibly protective of his herd and is as effective as a  guard llama.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

William Tundermann Playing Zither with a Zither Band

I have been spending a lot of time working on our family genealogy of late and found out many interesting things about my family and my husband's family.  It's neat when you join because they find information and pictures. For example I found this old newspaper article online. It is JULY 1974. Len's dad, William Ernst Tundermann is the 2nd person in the front aisle of zithers. Dad always loved to entertain the family with his zither and get us to sing old songs together. One of his zithers is in the Ellis Island Museum!

Yearling Like to Eat Together

I couldn't resist taking a picture of 4 yearlings eating together.  I fence them off together so that they are not stressed out by competing with the adults who spit at them and push them around in order to hog all the grain. The four of them have to be in exactly the same order each day.