Alpacas

Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:53 pm

Em has been wondering if any of our members here raise Alpacas. Em is very much in tune with the old ways and she knits, weaves, crochets, quilts and all kinds of the back to basic stuff as they sometimes call it. She now has a spinning wheel and carder as well as two looms. We are currently buying her wool on the open market shall we say -- aka direct from the alpaca farms. She wants to learn as much as she can about Alpacas and as we are traveling (please read as hopefully doing a Fest circuit) that it would be really cool if there were members who raised em or who knew folks who do. Her goal is in a year or so to maybe get into it in a very small way, just enough to keep us busy and traveling during our "retirement years" :D

Re: Alpacas

Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:19 pm

Rudi, Some friends of ours raised goats for cashmere. One of their biggest problems was the small amount of fiber they got per animal per shearing. I'm sure that would be different for Alpacas. The other problem was finding someone to do the shearing. You might want to borrow a couple sheep from someone and see how much fun it is. :D

Bob

Re: Alpacas

Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:50 pm

Bob:

Shearing is not a problem. There is a lad from Harvey about 2 hours from here who comes to the Moncton area to do exactly that for the other Alpaca farmers in our area. He is quite accomplished at it and it costs are reasonably cheap... depending on what package you get.. as in how many getting a trim job.

These are still a rather new breed locally but it is catching on well, especially since we have one of the oldest mills in Canada very near us and a lot of Acadian/Pennsylvania Deutsch/Scottish heritage that is very much into the artisan scene who all appreciate fine fibres. I am amazed every time we go to Heidi's .. I am sure that Sue would remember that visit to LondonWul in 09.

Arnold is a chum of mine (Heidi's other half) and he is into wood as well and of course trout ponds, woodlot management .... a lot of the same things I am into. They have sheep - quite a few of them and Em is going to be there for the next delivery. JP and Nancy are down the street and they have California Reds ... interesting breed of sheep.

She has been researching this for months and months now, and really wants to be able to have a list of Alpaca destinations that we can go to... well as soon as we can hit the road... my fingers are crossed.

Re: Alpacas

Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:04 pm

Sheep or goats Rudi, if your a meat eater it kinda works well young lambs and wool ,you can't miss. the Alpaca will spit on you.... some don't mind,plan on going back packing? Just seems expensive for a sweater. :wink:

Re: Alpacas

Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:34 pm

Michael:

It is something that Emilie has wanted to do for years and years. Now that the last two are much closer to finally leaving the nest, Em wants to get to stuff she had to put off while we had younguns. I doubt if it will ever get very big.... I don't think I have the health for a large herd. A half dozen maybe or so and it will provide her a lot of enjoyment. Whatever makes my bride happy works for me. Plus it will give me a reason to maybe acquire a few more task specific Cubs :D

Re: Alpacas

Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:15 pm

To continue in this vein, we are still interested in finding wooleries, farms, mills as well as guilds that are into handling alpaca, sheep and other fleece bearing critters around the CubFest circuit. Ohio, Colorado, Florida, New York, Connecticut, Vermont etc.,

Em has already done the 2nd level processing of the 4 sheep fleeces, 2 California Reds and 2 Finn Arcots as well as a couple of the dozen or so Alpaca fleeces we have. Been to the show in Navan and have visited a few of the farms around the Maritimes. The spinning wheel is set up in the living room and the looms are set up in the old bedroom upstairs that is now her hobby room.

So, let me know if there are Alpaca farms, mills etc., in your area folks. We wanna visit :D

Re: Alpacas

Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:26 pm

I've got alpacas right around the corner from me, probably less than a mile away. I'll check with them for more information.

Bill