Blueridge Farm Spring Newsletter 2018
It is official, by the calendar, spring is here.
Jobs to be done:
- 1. Book in shearer
- 2. Vaccinations, AD & E injections & toenail cutting (usually done at shearing)
The number one job to do now is to make sure you have booked in with a shearer to have your alpacas shorn. The shearers often plan ahead to group jobs in the same location so by booking in now you wont miss them when they are in your area and have to wait until they do their next run. All huacaya alpacas require annual shearing. Shearing usually starts in late October and a snow comb, designed to leave some fleece on, is used. Pregnant females, handled gently, are fine to be shorn. In fact it is preferable to have this done for their comfort and also prevents an “identity” crisis when Mums and newborns don’t recognise each other after being shorn. Often the young ones are left with fleece on the top of their heads and their tails so that they are easier for the Mum to recognise.
Below are 3 shearer’s that are located in the Waikato and do shear further afield.
- Mike Ottaway 07 870 3920 or 021 022 36850
John Waterson 07 823 6685
- Keenan Scott 021 033 5589
All three shear on tables and will come and set up at your farm.
If you are not intending to do anything specific with your own fleece there is the option of selling it to fleece buyers. One such company is Pacific Alpacas. If you register your farm with them they will provide you with fleece bags for your different coloured fleeces which you then drop off at one of the collection points. For more information on this scheme check out www.pacificalpacas.nz.co
Fleece is sold in bulk to national & international buyers by NZ fleece buyers. Your fleece is added to other similar fleeces to provide the volume required by the purchasers. Payment varies depending on the quality and colour of your fleece and the prices achieved from the bulk sales. Payment is usually made the following year after the fleece is sold.
Fleece Skirting Workshop
The Northern Region of the Alpaca Assn is holding a fleece skirting Workshop in September for members to show how to skirt your fleece. Skirting is basically separating the best fleece, the blanket, from the short fleece of the neck and the coarse hair of the legs and belly. All fleece is saleable even the short coarse areas which can be used in insulation.
Having Your Own Fleece Processed
If you would like to have your fleece processed and spun check out Mesa Natural Fibre Mill run by Peter & Tessa Mckay in Hastings www.mesamill.com. They will wash, dehair, card, spin and felt smaller quantities of fleece. Their website gives good instructions on how to prepare your fleece for processing.
The National Alpaca Show alternates between the North & South Islands and this year is being held in Christchurch on 5-7th October. It is streamed live if you are interested in viewing the judging. The Alpaca Assn website will have a link to follow see www.alpaca.org.nz
We wont be entering this year as we have cria due but hopefully will be out in force for the Waikato Show at Claudelands at the end of October.
Alpaca 101 Workshop
It was really nice to catch up with those of you that managed to come to the AANZ workshop held here recently. There is another one in the pipeline to be held in South Auckland if you missed this one and would like to attend. I have always found it helpful to have a chat with other owners as generally we are all dealing with the same issues and you can pick up all sorts of good ideas.
As always, if you have any queries email, phone, or call in and see us we are happy to help.
Kerri & Neil