Shearing Day - Tuesday, May 6, 2014!
Master Camelid Shearer Danny Parker and his team from New Brunswick will be at Serendipity Farm Alpacas & Llamas on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 for our first ever shearing day! Danny’s team shears the animals on a mat on the ground. Volunteer helpers are needed for this work which is likely to take about 1/2 day for our current herd size – we estimate needing 6 helpers working in shifts to cover: handling the “on deck” alpacas / llamas; taking blanket (prime fleece) to skirting table; bagging fiber “seconds” and “thirds”; skirting; and, sweeping. We are fortunate to have our volunteers in place for this year, however anyone is welcome to come and watch. This is an annual event and we hope to make some new friends and renew old acquaintances during our shearing days each year!
10-month-old "Serendipity" with his dad "Chico".
||Welcome to Serendipity Farm!
||2 New Boys - Perseus and Eragon arrive - February 2014
||Olive and Electra arrive at Serendipity Farm - January 2014
At Serendipity Farm Alpacas & Llamas our mission is to raise healthy animals; breed for quality fibre; and recognize the value in each and every animal. We are also dedicated to providing information and promoting the benefits of raising camelids in Canada.
Alpacas – An Overview
Alpacas are small animals of the camelid family (other members include llamas, camels, vicunas and guanacos). They were domesticated over 5,000 years ago by the ancient Inca civilization. Their fine cashmere-like fleece was once reserved for Incan royalty.
Alpacas produce fiber that is as fine as cashmere, soft, silky and much warmer than sheep's wool, while also wicking moisture away from the body. Alpaca fiber is lanolin-free making it virtually allergen-free! With the exception of mohair, alpacas produce the strongest animal fiber in the world. Their fleece comes in 22 natural colours, the widest assortment of colours of any fiber-bearing animal. Prized for its unique silky feel and superb handle, alpaca fiber is highly sought after by the textile makers of Britain, Europe and Japan.
Alpacas have a life span of 20 - 25 years. Adults weight 125 - 200 lbs and stand 34 - 36 inches high at the withers. Baby alpacas, called crias, generally weight 14 - 20 lbs at birth. Gestation is approximately 11 months. As a rule, alpacas are born during the day, usually between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Alpacas communicate through soft humming noises and a unique body language.
Today, in Canada, alpacas are raised for their exquisite fiber, and are enjoyed for their delightful personalities as well as the financial returns of raising and breeding them.
There are two types or breeds of alpaca, the huacaya and the suri, which differ primarily in the character of their fiber. The huacaya, the most common alpaca breed has a crimped or wavy fleece, whereas the suri has straight, lustrous fiber. In full fleece, the huacaya has a full, fluffy appearance, while the suri is elegantly draped in long, wavy locks.
Various worsted and woollen mills in Canada offer custom processing of alpaca fiber into various yarns, fabric and felt. Sweaters, blankets, mitts, socks, shawls, hats and duvets can be purchased through various home-based businesses.