It looks like most of my alpaca boys are now sold. I am expecting a contract today for my guy, Valentino. Nickleby and Gryffindor are sold and that leaves only my guy Campion and my boarder, Pendragon who is owned by a friend but boarded here and produced here on our farm.
I am frankly amazed that Campion has not been snapped up sooner! He has proven himself to be so useful here that I feel our business could not have been successful without him. The very first spring that we used Campion as a herdsire, he bred 5 females and all 5 had beautiful female cria! Happy doesn't begin to describe how we felt about our decision to purchase this guy.
Here is one of those 1st female cria, Belladonna Took:
The buyer of Belladonna and her dam, got a female cria almost identical to Belladonna the very next year out of Campion again and we had a lot more pretty girls out of him as well.
Why go on about this guy? Because this boy is a super good deal for some small alpaca farm that wants a lot of very fine, crimpy female cria out of a well-known bloodline. Campy's father was Peruvian Felix, a full Accoyo from Northwest Alpacas. Campy won a 1st in halter at a large show in Estes Park, Colorado and later won a Get of Sire class for us here at Frederick. In case you don't know what that is, it means that he was judged on 3 of his offspring. Here is one of those three who also won a 1st place AND a grandchampion ribbon at that show:
I had no trouble selling these pretty girls for quite a bit more than I am now asking for their sire.
All my alpacas are special to me but this guy is super-special! He was the first breeding male we ever owned. He came here, un-proven and looking a little worse for wear but he jumped right in - LITERALLY - and got the job done spectacularly. Why literally?, because, when we had some of our open females milling around inside our barn one day, Campy shocked us by taking a running leap and jumping right through the top of the dutch door of our barn. We have never seen another one of our alpacas figure out THAT trick! That's motivation!
This guy had a lot of missing nose hair when we bought him and he has never grown that back despite my treating his poor nose with Zinc both topically and as a food additive for many months. He is now 8 years old so he doesn't look as perfect and fresh as some of the young dudes but he still has many years of breeding ahead of him and his fleece is still fine enough that I made a sweater out of it last year and wear it often. His behavior is sweet but he DOES check out all new visitors to our farm because he thinks he's in charge of protecting the herd. He still feels that he is the top man around here.
Now my guy Campion is on a farm without females and I honestly worry about him not having any "jobs" this coming Fall. He LOVES the job! He LOVES to moon over the females even when they want nothing to do with him because he's already bred them. I fear that my boy will be depressed and feel rejected if he doesn't have some nice girls to live with. So I'm putting it out there in the Universe for someone to give this slightly older but still heartbreakingly romantic soul a new lease on life, a new chance to be the respected, macho man he deserves to be.
Don't do it out of pity! Look beyond the fact that he isn't young and perfect anymore and think about what this guy can produce for you. He has had almost all female cria and many of them show winners but here is his only adult male cria, a blue ribbon winner in fleece at MAPACA, a Best Hand Winner at ABC and other ribbons I can't remember. His name is "Rosado" and he is owned by Alpacas of Sunset Fields
Pretty cute huh? Campion (or "Brownie" as my mother insisted on calling him - even though I TOLD her that is not a macho name!) has done a super job for us and we only want him to go to a farm that will love him and care for him as much as we do. Please, no inquiries from distant states. I don't want to put this boy through shipping but we'll deliver him ourselves to farms in states near MD.
PS. That's my good friend Kate McKelvie, "other Kate" we call her, in the show ring with Rosado. I know she isn't wild about this photo so I apologize in advance for using it even though, I think she looks fine. She IS prettier in person though.
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Well I can't take TOTAL credit for Roseann's new knitting blog (click on link above) but I DID suggest to her that she really needed to have one and, Viola!, she did create one. Please check it out because her knitting is amazing and she is a super good hand spinner too. What's knitting and spinning have to do with alpacas - you may wonder? Well that IS the whole point of raising a fleece growing animal and too many alpaca "breeders" seem to be unaware of that. I'm very proud to have learned things about my own alpaca fleeces from my knowledgeable customers of whom Roseann is one. Here are some of her creations from my alpaca queen, Cher (the fawn colored items) and my macho boy, Valentino (the brownish, red colored, Inca patterned head band.)
PS. I realize that it's hard not to just HATE Roseann once you see how perfect her knitting is and how it makes most of us other knitters feel totally inadequate BUT, if you knew her, she's soooooo nice that you just can't hate her after all, even if you really wanted to.
Speaking of creations and fleece, Alpaca breeders! Due to a delay in getting out the catalog for the Great Frederick Fair, you still have until September 1st to enter your fleeces and skeins. You do NOT have to be from Maryland, anyone can enter and you can mail your entry in if you want so what are you waiting for? Here is the link to the exact location of the entry forms, scroll down to "Fleece and Skein Entry Form."
http://www.thegreatfrederickfair.com/20 ... atalog.htm
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Thanks for your comment Roseann! I know that you understand how I feel about my babies and I really treasure the skein, hat & sampler that you made from Cher that you were kind enough to give me.
Anyone out there who needs an expert to teach a class or lecture on the spinning and knitting of alpaca, here's the person you should contact. And I can attest to the fact that she's an excellent teacher as well because she's kibbitzed (sp?) me through some tough knitting classes!
Tuesday, August 15, 2006, 04:59 AM
I'm a bit teary-eyed after reading your poignant blog. I like that all your girls are together in a beautiful home with a loving family. I have spun such lovely yarn from Cher's fleece. Thank you for all the pictures, it is a great little documentary. Is there some Alpaca magazine you can publish it in? Or maybe write it up for the last page of Spin Off where someone writes a story about their spinning. I know this is quite an adjustment for your entire family and I will be thinking of you.
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Very, very sad day! Today we delivered our last 6 female alpacas to their new home in Lexington Park, Maryland near Solomon's. I took a bunch of photos of my girls as they were eating yesterday so that I could remember them just as they were on their last day here at the farm. Here they are eating together at my farm Mount Airy Alpaca Company
Chloe kept looking up at me wondering why I was standing there with the camera watching her eat. How cute is this little fluff ball? Sooo cute! And Reinette has hose marks on her as usual because she can never totally decide if she wants to be hosed with cold water or if it's too scary.
And my girl Sheherazade (Cher for short)! The first cria ever born on my farm, the star of the Television show that National Geographic Channel filmed here, the first alpaca shown by my two children. Cher beat 2 National Show winners the first time she ever entered the show ring. Everyone who visited us over the last 7 years loved Cher and she loved them right back. She was our diva, our goddess. She is the hardest of all to give up. Here she is with funny, kooky Reinette who was named after my own mother.
My little princesses! Every one of them was very special to me.
Whenever I did chores inside the barn, Jezebel would look in the window and watch me with her solemn eyes. She loved to be hosed with cold water and she was always the first one in the barn when the fans were turned on.
So today we hooked up the livestock trailer and went up to the barn to halter our girls for the last time.
They were standing around looking at me wondering what was up.
We make the 2 & 1/2 hour drive down to Lexington Park, over the Solomon's bridge.
Here they are walking in to their new pasture. Cher leads the way as usual.
They have two people who will take good care of them now, Rose Page (Dameron Alpacas) and her brother, Ben Clark(Wishful Thinking Farm.) Both have been to our place faithfully on shot and toenail days to learn alpaca care, they came and sheared with us on shearing day. They are so ready to do this and that's wonderful. And they said we can visit our girls whenever we want so we can't ask for better than that.
Ben and his daughter bring the girls their hay.
Ben's daughter walks over to hang out with Cher and Reinette, both of whom love kids.
It made me teary to see this sweet little girl lay her head on Cher's back but so happy too. This is the love and care that I wanted for my girls.
Bye bye my pretty little girls. I'm so grateful to have had you here on my farm, watched you born, watched you grow, spun up your fleeces and worn you as sweaters and mittens and hats, watched you carry your first babies - all the times of your life that I shared are so precious to me. Now I leave you to work your magic on the lives of others.
We drive across the Solomon's Bridge and head for home feeling sad but proud to have found such a good home for our alpaca girls.
Soon we will sell our last 2 males and the breeding part of our business will be over but we will continue to do the things that we can still do lecturing, movie making, web site producing, hand spinning, knitting and judging. And, I know that the friends I have made in the business, both 4 footed and 2 footed, will continue to be a big part of our lives.
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