Saturday, June 9, 2012
We decided after a nasty wet winter 2010-2011 that the following breeding season we would leave our girls open and breed in the spring. Well it's proving quite difficult. We started to breed in March and we are sitting here in June, wondering when the last few girls will be receptive.
We started off with 13 open girls and are now down to two who will not accept a male. But in order to get the 13 to start cycling we started to expose a male every single day. It seems that eventually each girl began to kush after several weeks of introducing the males.
So after alot of work, persistence and not giving up we will have our spring/early summer cria next year.
What to do with the last two females? Well the vet is coming out on the 13th, we are going to UltraSound and give them estrumate, unless of course, we see a "wee one" in there, but I'm certain one is a difficult maiden and the other may or may not have a retained CL.
So for today, out to behavior check the other 11, keeping my fingers crossed...wish me luck!
I will follow up after the vet appointment ....until then....happy cria-tions!
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Today I sheared the last angora doe. She just came to the farm Saturday and I wanted to make sure she was settled in.
She was excellent, she stood in the stand the whole time, wish my alpacas did.
We sheared her in about 20 minutes including the does and de-wormer/de louse.
I left her some facial fleece, we do get flies in the summer and the goats hate them they will stomp their feet all day to keep them away.
They look sort of pathetic when they are done, but the luster comes out and within a week they are covered in little ringlets again, they have about 1/4" growth each week! Remember these guys are shorn twice a year. My Champion buck shears 12 pounds twice a year!
She is absolutely stunning, a light silver grey wth a black stripe down her back, she was so ultra fine with little natural oils, just enough to give her luster but not so much it has to be washed off with hot water and Dawn soap.
Now...I think I am going to send it to a mini mill to process with a grey alpaca fleece, I can't wait :)
Fleece Close UP
Starting to shear
Almost done, cleaning her up
Done, left facial fleece to keep flies off
Saturday, May 7, 2011
For the first time I dyed suri fiber!
I used the Jaquard Acid dye, the dye consists of White Vinegar.
I dyed purple, hot pink and turquoise, it was really simple and fun, turned out fabulous!
I am use to dying mohair, this had fewer steps.
I didn't skirt the fleece because it was fairly clean and I didn't wash it before hand because I didn't want it to felt. Here is the process I used:
1. Brought Water to a boil in a mid size sauce pan
2. Took it off the heat and added dye (if you don't take it off the heat it boils over instantly)
3. Added white vinegar
4. Added fiber, just gently pressed it down into the dye.
5. Let it sit for about 15 minutes
6. Rinsed it under warm water
7.Laid it on my skirting table to dry, It was about 80 degrees so it dried in about 4 hours!
A few notes:
Use a dust mask until you are familiar with the dye and use dishwashing gloves, the water is hot and the fiber retains the heat so when you spreading it on your skirting table you will need them :)
I plan to mix it with the mohair for a strong handspun yarn, the alpaca takes the slippery out of the angora and the angora makes the alpaca stronger, they are symbiotic :)