— The Openherd Team

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Alpacas of Somerset Farm


Dianna and Jack Jordan
8226 Stoney Creek RdSomerset, CA 95684

Phrenic Nerve Disorder…”What Is That?”

Hint….it’s not a good thing!

After nearly thirteen years of raising and caring for our alpacas there seems to be no end to experiencing and learning something new. This is our story about a Phrenic Nerve Disorder diagnosis.

The first indication something might be wrong with our Remington Steele was an episode of flared nostrils and open mouth breathing on an extremely hot day in the summer '17. I hosed down his belly and it seemed to help so I attributed the episode to heat stress. I observed another episode a few days... Full article >

Minimum Standards of Care for Alpacas

Alpacas do not require much in the way of day-to-day care. However there are some basic standards of care to keep alpacas safe and healthy.

1. WATER: Alpacas should have continuous access to clean drinking water.
2. NUTRITION: Alpacas do well eating orchard grass hay. They will eat approximately 1-2% of their body weight per day. So the average alpaca of 130 pounds will eat approximately 2.6 lbs. of hay per day. That is approximately 38 servings from a 100 pound bale of hay or little l... Full article >

When You Buy, Keep An Eye On The Numbers

...Exploring the value of the histogram

The information contained in a histogram report is a valuable tool when assessing the quality of alpaca fiber. Yet, the histogram results may be the least understood factor for prospective or new alpaca owners, and even experienced breeders.

The results of a histogram, using a “good” sample (as outlined by Yocom-McColl Testing Laboratories), provide objective information regarding some of the characteristics and quality of the fiber produced by an individual alpaca. When tracked over time, ... Full article >

Measuring Improvement in Drips, Dribbles and Streams

Treating Urinary Track Inflammation/Blockage

The phrase “Urinary Tract Blockage” can send shivers down alpaca breeder’s spines, especially if they have experience with the situation. At the very worst, the condition can be fatal. Full recovery can take a few days or weeks. Days or weeks usually filled with frustration and anxiety.

I was on an extended trip when I received a call that one of our males (11 months old) was straining over the poop pile and only producing an occasional drip of urine. We had experienced this before with one ... Full article >

You've Got Fiber…..Now What?

Exploring the choices for fiber processing

The shearing is finished, life is back to normal for your alpacas, and you find yourself surrounded by bags of your bountiful harvest. Now, what are you going to do with it? Fortunately, you have many choices available…..from independently owned mini mills to fiber cooperatives.

Determining your best option(s) begins with asking some key questions. Your answers will help guide you to the fiber processing choices that best meet your needs. Some questions to ask include:

• Does your... Full article >