I have some really exciting news! I just finalized the details on the purchase of four alpacas and two livestock guardian dogs for the farm! We'll be bringing the animals to our farm in early April. The owners of an alpaca farm, A&J Suri Alpacas, LLC, in northeastern Ohio have decided to retire from alpaca farming and move to Michigan to be closer to their grandchildren, so they are selling their entire farm and all of their animals. Someone that I know knows them and put us in contact. I wasn't really planning on buying any more alpacas at this time, but I'm getting a good deal on them and they're a very different kind of alpaca than we have now (more about that later) so I figured I'd go for it! We've been looking for a dog that would help watch over the livestock, so the inclusion of their livestock guardian dogs fell right into place too. So here are the exciting details! The dogs are Duchess, a 9 year old Great Pyrenees, and Diva, a 2 year old Karakachan. Both dogs have been living with alpacas most of their lives and know how to take care of them! Diva even breaks up fights between the male alpacas!
And more exciting news - the alpacas are suri alpacas! We currently have huacaya alpacas, and we are really excited to add suri alpacas to our herd. Suri alpaca fleece is very different from huacaya alpaca fleece and suri-huacaya blended yarn is really wonderful! You can read a little bit about the difference on our Fiber Products page. The alpacas are all white so I can dye their fleece as well. We are getting two bred females, Shimmer who is bred to a white male and is due in September and Soleil who is bred to a bay black male and is due in July; Shimmer's 2012 female cria, Diamond, who will turn 1 year old in August; and a proven male, Rembrandt, who is 4 years old and who we can breed to any of our new girls and their offspring except for Soleil (they have the same paternal grandfather).
Our new suri alpacas will be here in time for shearing in May, so we'll be debuting the first suri alpaca yarn from the farm with our next batch of yarn later this year. All of our new animals will be here in time for the grand opening of the Farm Market which we anticipate will be sometime in mid-to-late April, so you will be able to see them out in the pasture if you come for that exciting event. And it won't be long before we have babies too! We thought we were going to have wait until our huacaya girls have their babies in Spring 2014, so we are very excited to have cria due this year! Stay tuned for more photos and news as we get closer to moving day for these exciting new additions to our farm.
Update as of March 29, 2013: I can hardly believe it myself, but we are actually going to get 5 new suri alpacas! We added 1 more alpaca to the deal and her name is Espirit. She's a beige female who is also pregnant and is due on May 20, 2013! That's a week before my birthday - maybe she'll go a little long and surprise me with a birthday cria! Either way, we are even more excited now and can't wait for all of our new arrivals to come to the farm next week! Oh, and she's Soleil's dam too, so we'll have 2 mother-daughter pairs on the farm (for now anyway, until the new babies arrive)!
Note: All of the photos featured in this blog post were taken by Andrea and John Niehaus of A&J Suri Alpacas, LLC and used with permission.