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Us Alpaca Fiber Production PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:40

US Alpaca Fiber Production- A Snapshot as at October 2011.

by: Ian Watt

Part One: Huacaya Populations and Fleece Weight Production Estimates by Color

Part Two: Suri populations and Fleece Weight Production by Color



A developing interest in the utilization of fiber produced from the American alpaca herd appears to lack some fundamental understanding of just what is produced, in what colors, in what micron ranges, etc.

There appears to be a focus on ‘cottage industry’ consumption driven largely, perhaps, by the ability of that sector to pay high to very high prices for what is perceived to be quality alpaca fiber. Certainly the demand by this industry sector has been largely responsible for the burgeoning demand and high price for individual fleeces from particular growers but this demand will soon be outstripped by production if it has not already.

There is no doubt that the existing cottage industry demand is a fundamental building block upon which some producers have built a successful business model and there can be little doubt that this market will continue to grow (albeit at a slowing rate) as more and more fiber artisans, artists, spinners, weavers and knitters get to know and understand alpaca fiber. For many growers, this market is not readily available or open to them.

View this article in the Spring 2012 issue of Alpacas Afield Online Magazine.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 11:10
Colloidal Silver PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:51

Colloidal Silver & Other Natural Antibiotics for Alpacas & Llamas


Candace Wingo L.M.T.,C.A.T.

(Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Animal Therapist & Holistic Practitioner)

What is an antibiotic?

Antibiotic (?n't?-b?-?t'?k), noun

Any of various chemical substances, such as penicillin, that is capable of destroying or weakening certain microorganisms, especially bacteria or fungi, that cause infections or infectious diseases. Antibiotics drugs are usually produced by or made synthetically from other microorganisms, such as molds. They inhibit pathogens by interfering with essential intracellular processes, including the synthesis of bacterial proteins. Antibiotics do not kill viruses and are not effective in treating viral infections.

Antibiotics belong to a category of drugs called "antimicrobials," and include penicillin, tetracycline, amoxicillin and many other formulations that can kill or inhibit the growth of bacteria without causing significant harm to the patient. Antibiotics were initially derived from natural compounds. Many organisms, including various types of fungi, produce substances that destroy bacteria and prevent infection. Penicillin, for example, is derived from mold. Today, there are hundreds of antibiotics in use, most of which are synthetically produced.

View this article in the Spring 2012 issue of Alpacas Afield Online Magazine.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 11:07
Marty Says PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:53

Marty Says….

 by: Marty McGee

I often present seminars at shows. In the process I work with many people who have trouble in the show ring. I listen to their fears and frustrations. My job is to offer advice and help problem solve and it is a very interesting experience. I do my level best to be a good communicator but I am frequently surprised by what I am quoted as saying. I recently heard second hand about an exhibitor that refused to put her arm around the alpaca’s neck to show the bite when specifically requested to do so by the judge, saying to the judge that I had told her not to! More on that later but judges…I promise that is not what I tell people! I console myself by reminding myself that I can only control what I say not necessarily what someone hears. Presenting seminars is a lot like that game we all played as kids—telephone. You remember, one person whispers something in the next person’s ear and by the time it gets around to the beginning it is completely unrecognizable! In addition to clarifying potential misunderstandings I continually refine my techniques— therefore in the interest of being current and accurate here is the latest on handling and training as it relates to the show ring directly from the horses mouth.

My goal is to make showing easier and safer- for the judges, the ring stewards, the exhibitors and the animals. I don’t think this goal is mutually exclusive. In fact my experience is that what is easier for the animals is usually easier for all concerned. I do challenge some of the old ways however I am not so much trying to eliminate existing techniques, only to add options.

View this article in the Spring 2012 issue of Alpacas Afield Online Magazine.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 11:06
Concept of Mult-use PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 22 March 2012 10:57

Alpaca: The Concept of Multi-Use

 by: Dr. John Ferrante

What is this all about?

Let me state the obvious first. We raise alpacas in the United States. They have been, and in most instances are still primarily bred and used for breeding stock to support the expansion of the industry across the Country. Currently alpaca fiber is managed in the U.S. like herding cats - it is a fragmented activity. In my article on the changing alpaca industry paradigm (American Livestock Magazine, Summer 2010, Vol. 13, Issue 2) I discussed the winds of change in the overall industry. There is a significant movement toward promoting alpaca fiber as a valuable commodity and that is good. However in a world of dwindling resources and a challenging economic U.S. environment, wasteful management practices pushed livestock farmers and processors into exploring new ways to utilize what in the past was “throw away”. There is no longer a place for myopic thinking as it has been in the U.S. alpaca industry. This is an industry that had the dubious distinction of being the only livestock industry with a single product – breeding stock. The U.S. industry was founded on the premise that the greatest value of alpacas in this fledgling industry rested solely on breeding stock. An interesting perspective since the alpaca owners in South America (original source of the animals) utilized alpacas for a multiplicity of purposes, only one of which was breeding stock. Expansion in the states required new farms, new farms needed breeding stock, and this rare commodity resulted in a distortedly high valuation – they were very expensive.

View this article in the current issue of Alpacas Afield Online Magazine. 


Last Updated on Thursday, 22 March 2012 11:08

Our Column Writers


Ian Watt

Ian Watt

Ian Watt is a noted author, lecturer and icon of the alpaca industry.

Read Ian's Biography

Dr John Ferrante

Dr John Ferrante

Dr. Ferrante is an Environmental Scientist who has authored many articles on the environment and is a contributing author to the American Livestock magazine.

Read his Bio

Candace Wingo

Candace wingo

Candace Wingo LMT/CAT
"Medicine Woman"
Is a reknowned Certified Animal Therapist, holistic animal practitioner and lecturer on Herd Health Using Natural Therapies.

Read Her Bio.

Marty McGee Bennett

Marty McGee Bennett
Marty brings a variety of experience and qualifications to her work with camelids, including a B.S. degree in Animal Behavior and many years spent as a professional fiber artist.

Read her Bio

Dr. Ben Buchanan &
Dr. Tiffany Hall

Dr. Ben Buchanan
Dr. Tiffany Hall

Dr. Ben is a 2001 graduate of Texas A&M is board certified in Internal Medicine and Emergency Critical Care.

Read His Bio


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