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Katy Spears's Blog (25)

Meet Our Lastest Alpaca Cria - Red Eye

Meet our latest baby alpaca. I call him “Red Eye” because he has the cutest red eye lashes.”
The cria’s dam, Sonyadore, sticks close while Jim corrals the…
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Added by Katy Spears on July 15, 2012 at 3:12pm — No Comments

Over 90 Alpacas Get Naked

White alpacas get shorn first

White alpacas get shorn first

Shearing alpacas kept us busy on St. Patrick’s Day at Fairhope Alpacas with 92 alpacas to shear. Shearing day is about working hard and working together towards a common goal.…

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Added by Katy Spears on April 6, 2012 at 8:32pm — No Comments

National Alpaca Farm Days

This weekend alpaca farms across America will be hosting National Alpaca Farm Days on their alpaca farms. Our farm, Fairhope…

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Added by Katy Spears on September 19, 2011 at 10:10pm — No Comments

5 Tips For Faring Winter With Alpacas



  1. Don’t Let the Fluff Fool Ya! – Alpacas Look Fat and Happy in the Winter with all that Fleece but they may actually be loosing weight under all that fleece. Be sure to get your hands on them and body score at least once a month to be sure they are still in good body condition and you don’t have any surprise “skinnies” in your herd. You want to catch any problems…
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Added by Katy Spears on February 16, 2011 at 9:36am — No Comments

Tiny Phoenix Alpaca Rises

Andy with Phoenix. Photo by Cheryl Bowen



It started out a glorious morning. My beloved herdsire Magnum was coming home from a long breeding engagement in Colorado. Another of our herdsires, Firecracker, was on trailer as well. IN addition there were three other alpacas who belonged to me but that I had never seen in person – Guardian Angel (our Archangel daughter) and her male cria by side, and Foxy Lady who we had gotten in exchange… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on December 22, 2009 at 2:30pm — No Comments

What Do Alpacas Eat?

Alpacas are ruminants. Their digestive system are different from humans. Their stomach has three compartments, and they chew their cud like cows do. However, cows can exist on low quality forage, while alpacas need higher quality grass and hay.



Alpacas should have access to young, tender pasture grass or good quality hay at all times. Alpaca Nutrition expert, Norm Evans, DVM recommends for alpacas hay or pasture that is 10-14% protein with a… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on October 11, 2009 at 1:57pm — No Comments

Farming Is Like A Disney Movie

Farming is a metaphor for life. Everything that happens on a farm – birth, growth, harvest, successes, failures, and eventually death – happens in real life as well.



In most jobs, we expect to have things go well. And when they don’t – we have a bad day. We’re disappointed and hope the next day goes better. The same thing happens on a farm, but in more of a Man vs. Nature format. When things go bad on the farm – let’s face it – they can go… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on September 2, 2009 at 8:27pm — No Comments

Alpaca Bunny Smackdown



It started as a friendly competition among online Twitter buddies Kathryn and Lynn. They got to talking about whose fiber was finer (& perhaps better), Lynn’s adorable angora rabbits’ or Kathryn’s beloved alpacas’?



They decided that they would settle the matter once and for all by having an impartial judge, master spinner/knitter Chris, spin a sample of both fibers. Each participant sent a sample to Chris for him to spin. They also… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on August 6, 2009 at 10:05am — 2 Comments

A Tale of Two Cria

Welcome to the Herd!





It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was a day of easy births, it was a day of dystocias (difficult births), it was a season of tiny babies, it was a epoch for a rather large baby. One cria was up and running around, the other was weak and wouldn’t stop bleeding!





Rachel Alexandra's first minutes. Photo: Cheryl Bowen



Saturday,… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on June 22, 2009 at 1:10pm — No Comments

2nd Annual World Alpaca Conference Blog Coverage

This week I’m gearing up for the National Alpaca Conference and Show. This year AOBA (Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association) is hosting the Second Annual World Alpaca Conference in Cleveland, Ohio June 3-7. It is to be held at the I-X Center and will include an International Fleece Show, National Halter Show, Fiber Arts Competition, Vendors, Fashion Show, the Annual AOBA Auction, and much more. It’s like Disney World for Alpacas… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on May 31, 2009 at 7:00am — No Comments

What Small Farmers Can Learn from Alpaca Nation

Alpaca Nation Means Business





Alpaca Nation recently sent it’s customers an email. In it, they let customers know that they appreciate their participation in their customer satisfaction surveys and that they will be making some changes based on the feedback they received.



They report that they will be upgrading with larger photos, lineage reporting, and show results in the… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on April 19, 2009 at 8:00am — No Comments

Alpaca Shearing Day

We shear the alpacas once a year. Since we do a large number (77 this year), it works best for us to have a professional shearer come in and to do it all in one day. Our shearer is Mark Loffhagen who lives in Colorado. Mark and his team travel around the USA and shear over 7,000 alpacas a year. Each year he brings a “head man”. This year it was Jason from Wisconsin. The head man is Mark’s right hand man and moves the alpaca into the different positions… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on March 25, 2009 at 2:27pm — No Comments

10 Reasons Spit Happens



Ever wonder what goes through an alpaca’s mind before they spit? Here are some humorous answers to the question, “Why Alpacas Spit?” - from the Female Alpaca’s perspective.



1. “Don’t even THINK about touching my cria. Or any other cria, for that matter.”

2. “Excuse me! That’s MY feed bucket.”

3. “Teats?? You want to check my what?”

4. “I’m pregnant and you looked at me the wrong way.”

5. “That’s my girlfriend. Don’t… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on March 15, 2009 at 11:18am — 3 Comments

How Can You Eat at A Time Like This

Note: I know lots of you are cattle ranchers, so please find humor in my first experience with a slaughterhouse.



Years ago, I was caring for an adorable, little cria named Bennie. Bennie kept getting sick, and against all odds, he kept getting better. He had pneumonia several times, many IV’s and even TPN (total protein nutrition IV). On 3 different occasions I kissed Bennie goodnight and goodbye, only to return again the next… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on February 11, 2009 at 2:49pm — 2 Comments

I'd Been Waiting for Rusty



Our first two alpacas were scheduled to be delivered soon. I wasn’t sure how we would keep them safe from predators. Our fences were new and strong, but I knew I needed to find some livestock guard dogs.



Enter Beverly Coate. This wonderful old country woman had been raising and breeding Great Pyrenees for dozens of years. Since I was 8 months pregnant at the time, I told Beverly I didn’t really want a puppy. Instead I was looking for… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on January 27, 2009 at 9:00am — 2 Comments

Alpacas Pronking!

After one of my Twitter friends said that “Pronking” sounded dirty, I figured I’d better explain what it is. Pronking is a verb that describes the alpacas’ version of skipping. Most of you are familiar with PePe Le Pew doing this when he’s in love. It is like hopping around with all four feet hitting the ground at the same time. There is a kind of “Boing! Boing!” feeling to it. Alpacas do this when they… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on January 21, 2009 at 8:30am — 5 Comments

Old MacDonald Learns A New Verse

Alpacas are certainly a hot trend in investing right now. In the past two weeks, we have entertained no fewer than 7 groups of farm visitors interested in investing in alpaca breeding stock. So yes, the market for alpacas is still great and the number of alpaca farms is growing!



Traditional farmers are finally coming around to the benefits of raising and breeding alpacas. They already have the land and the animal husbandry knowledge. Those… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on January 8, 2009 at 8:19pm — No Comments

My Home for the Blind - Beloved's Story



No, I’m not breeding for blindness. lol. However, I have three wonderful alpacas with eye problems. Read My Home for the Blind - Part I (SiSi)



Beloved



This story begins with a wonderful fawn herdsire named Tre. After we had been breeding alpacas for a few years, we realized that we needed to beef up the density of our herd. (this… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on December 17, 2008 at 2:03pm — No Comments

12 Christmas Giveaways - $100 Home Depot Gift Card



To thank our readers this Holiday Season, we have 12 prizes which will be given away at Alpaca Farmgirl. From December 12-23, one Giveaway will be ending each night at midnight. Check back to see if you’ve won.



Our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways include something for everyone. There are prizes for fiber… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on December 12, 2008 at 2:01pm — No Comments

Giveaway - Hay Bale Bag

Got Hay? Need to take it somewhere without losing half of it between the barn and where you’re going? Want to take your hay on the road with style? Then you need this Hay Bale Bag from Useful Lama Items! ($80 value)



Part of our 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways, this bag will hold a 30lb. “square” bale of hay.… Continue

Added by Katy Spears on December 1, 2008 at 7:30pm — No Comments

 

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