• Designer Suri Fleece for the Most Discerning Mills and Designers

    Four suri breeders stood anxiously around the table as the bolt unrolled. Despite the sampler being washed only and half rotary pressed, the outcome was exhilarating – already apparent was the wonderful lustre and soft handle that characterises suri fleece on the animal. The first stage processing had done nothing to diminish its luminosity. The mill’s technicians were fulsome in their praise of the way in which the suri fibre had scoured, gilled and converted to yarn. There were no problems in weaving either. Eureka! more »
  • Alpaca Parasite Control

    Camelids are very susceptible to gastro-intestinal parasitism and this is probably one of the most common cause of illness we see as veterinarians, yet it is mostly preventable by employing some basic strategies. Alpacas have little natural resistance to parasites due to a lack of parasites in the climate and environment of the South American Andes. This poses a problem under the more intensive systems in which they are kept in the UK, where typically gastro-intestinal parasites are highly prevalent in all farmed species and on our pastures. more »
  • Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Parasites in Camelids and Small Ruminants

    A presentation on how to perform a diagnostic fecal examination and identify the eggs of common ruminant gastrointestinal parasites. more »
  • “It’s Hard to Stay at the Top of the Game”

    The alpaca “business” is still a game....right or wrong, we need to acknowledge it and not try to call it something else. We base breeding decisions on winnings in the show ring so that we can then produce a “winner” and sell our animals. It hasn’t changed in the ten plus years that we’ve been in the business. I wish I could share in the excitement of seeing our show system “coming back” and the numbers picking up at the shows. However, without apology, I cannot see the jubilation in perpetuating a system that doesn’t promote our alpaca industry as a livestock industry. It continues to promote it as an entertainment industry akin to the equine business. more »
  • You Won’t Find Hobbiness in Wikipedia!

    Hobbiness, noun, a combination of “Hobby and Business.” Fiction. The word Hobbiness is not in the dictionary. This concept cannot exist in reality. In other words, your craft cannot be both a Hobby and a Business. You must decide whether you want to pursue a vocation as either a hobby or business, and this is the first concept that I advise people to choose when contemplating owning alpacas. It is “alright” to keep alpacas as a hobby. You do not need to turn it into a business. more »