— The Openherd Team

Golden Pine Alpacas

Breeding the Finest

Pat and Barb Patterson
163 Golden PineGoldendale, WA 98620
509-773-6184
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Monday, September 19, 2016

Alpaca Toenail Trimming / a New Experiment

Girls coming down paving stone path

Girls coming down paving stone path

By Barbara Patterson, Golden Pine Alpacas Farm

Like the changing of the seasons, the time to trim the alpacas’ toenails comes around every three months, give or take.

That schedule changed at our farm this year with the addition of concrete paving stones around the feeders, barn entrances, and a heavily used alpaca walkway.

After giving it a lot of thought, my husband Pat came up with the idea of creating an abrasive surface for our alpacas to walk on, which we read more...
Pavers on all sides of feeder

Pavers on all sides of feeder

Pavers on two sides

Pavers on two sides

Pavers at one of barn entrances

Pavers at one of barn entrances

Pavers at a west barn entrance

Pavers at a west barn entrance


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Parasite Control in Dryland Alpaca Farming: Benefits of Low Rainfall

Dryland Alpaca Farming

Dryland Alpaca Farming

By Barbara Patterson, Golden Pine Alpacas Farm

There is something about watching alpacas graze and pronk in the beautiful lush green pastures of alpaca farms in Western Washington or Oregon that makes me feel a pang of envy. These charming pastoral scenes featuring such fortunate alpacas are prevalent in alpaca publications and Facebook videos.

In contrast to this idyllic vision lies our Golden Pine Alpacas farm, located within the arid area of eastern Washington known read more...
Fecal Testing Equipment

Fecal Testing Equipment

Pastures in August

Pastures in August

Sparce green grasses Mid-March

Sparce green grasses Mid-March

Yearlings early summer

Yearlings early summer


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Alpaca Weigh Station


Here's a nifty idea Pat came up with for easily weighing alpacas in our barn. We don't have the space to put in a permanent weigh station so this works great for us. The lightweight movable wall slides over to the scale, providing a barrier that the alpaca won't challenge. A swinging gate closes off the front of the scale, the alpaca's weight is noted, the gate is opened and we lead the alpaca back to its stall.

read more...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Alpaca Shearing Part 3: Prepping for Yarn Production

Skirting Carmella's Fleece

Skirting Carmella's Fleece


Late spring into summer is a busy time for alpaca farms, including ours (Golden Pine Alpacas). This is the time to tackle all those poly bags stuffed with fleece from the May shearing.
During shearing, the fleece from each alpaca is separated into three bags. The prime fleece comes off the alpaca's back and sides, the seconds are taken from the neck and lower thighs, and the thirds are everything else. The bags for each alpaca are weighed then stored in a cool room in the barn.
read more...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Alpaca Shearing Part 2: Please Don’t Rain –We’re Shearing Today!

Midgey Lou & Lori Lou wait for their turns

Midgey Lou & Lori Lou wait for their turns

By Barbara Patterson

Our shearer Kim shows up the evening before shearing and we put her up for two nights. This year 26 alpacas are to be sheared. Each takes about 30 minutes so the plan is to shear 16 the first day and 10 the second.

The alpacas have been cooped up in the barns with fans running for four long days and nights prior to shearing - which they don’t appreciate at all. But it’s due to the rainy weather. Wet weather and wet alpaca fiber is never a good comb read more...
Shearing Silverado

Shearing Silverado

Silverado sheared

Silverado sheared

Shearing Tyler

Shearing Tyler

Tyler Sheared

Tyler Sheared


Sunday, June 28, 2015

Alpaca Shearing Part 1: Prep Work

Setting up canopy for shearing

Setting up canopy for shearing

By Barbara Patterson

At our Golden Pine Alpacas farm lots of prep work is done prior to our mid-May shearing date.

How alpacas love to roll in the dirt! And there is plenty of that on our dryland farm east of the Cascade mountain range in Washington - where rainfall is not abundant and any grass is gone by mid-June. We attempt to get as much dirt, hay, and other debris out of their fleeces before shearing. It’s much easier to get it off the standing alpaca than when the s read more...
Clean-up time before shearing for girls in barn

Clean-up time before shearing for girls in barn


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cute Alpacas Charm Visitors at Open Farm Weekend

Little visitor feeds herd sire  Mackenzie

Little visitor feeds herd sire Mackenzie

By Barbara Patterson

The alpacas were a hit, as always, coming into the barn to greet each new set of visitors. Such curious animals alpacas are! They don’t want to miss a thing, especially the grain handouts which they seem to know are a big part of the fun – for them and the visitors. We’re usually pretty stingy with the grain so these events are a real treat for the alpacas.

In our neck of the woods in rural Goldendale, alpacas are a rare livestock animal. Sheep, read more...
Information Table

Information Table

Grain Treats!

Grain Treats!

Alpaca Products Tables

Alpaca Products Tables

Photo ops!  Get the cell phone handy!

Photo ops! Get the cell phone handy!