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Friday, December 31, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
and we are very impressed with Illaro’s fibre, cannot wait to see the GIFT (Genetic Improvement Fleece technology) report on this guy, i would imagine he is approx. 14 micron, would not be much higher in micron.
This is his second fleece.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Really odd weather, yet it is quite warm especially when the sun is out.
we have to take advantage of as much dry weather as we can, and yet we are only shearing a dozen or so at a time, as if the weather breaks up, we need to be able to shed all the shorn alpacas. at least for the first few weeks.
Rain and wind is a bad combination on shon alpacas, wind cill factor!
We use a table designed by my husband to shear the alpacas.
We find the alpacas are a lot calmer when they are up on a table.
My husband believes in making life easier for us and the alpacas.
As the alpacas can be difficulkt to get up onto a table, so we have the table top on hinges, and we put a harness around the alpaca, and the alpaca just leans on the table top, and then as we pull the table top down to the horizontal position, the alpaca is quite calm, whilst we stap him/ her down so that we can contain the alpaca, so they will not get accidently cut by the shears.
Alpacas are very leg and head shy, and have very quick refexes, so we do not want the alpaca to startle, and jump, whilst we have the cutting implement close to tendons, legs, etc.
We also try to keep the atmosphere calming for the alpacas whilst being shorn.
We always have them watching the others as they get shorn, so they can see that we are not going to harm them.
A few sunny days with a full coat on, and the alpacas are almost jumping on the table to get their fibre off.
You can also see how the alpacas come off the table.
So i have started with an alpaca coming off after being shorn, and another being placed onto the table.
Also, injections, and toe nails are cut at this time as well.
It is also a time you can really assess the fleeces.
Density especially, as the dense ones, it is very hard to push the comb through their coat.
The fine ones, are just so fine, soft, and light.
It is so beautiful, as you see a beautiful fleece peel away from the animal as the shear glide through the fleece, the lustre and the crimp close to the skin, with no dirt through the coat.
You really then can appreciate your breeding, and the results you are seeing with fleece improvement from each generation.
Whilst you seem to be having very very cold winters, Australia's eastern states are experiencing so much rain, towns are being evacuated, and rivers breaking their banks, and floods, as the water subsides, downstream.
Then the next day you get up, the sun is shining for us in Australia today, look at the weather bureau, weather looks good for a few days.
Out comes the shears, try and get some shearing done.
Finished some quotes and they have been accepted, so more shipments going for alpacas to two completely new destinations.
Watch this space for more.
A gret start for the new year
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Breed StandardsThe grand master breeder, John Ellman took the wild sheep, and developed it into the Southdown that was destined to make its name presence in sheep farming across the world.
Breeding Standards and Practices: Author Valerie Porter writes, "John Ellman once said, that it was more difficult to maintain a good breed thanto raise it to first class and he bequeathed to today's breeders the challenge of continuing what he began."
NABSSAR believes as such, in maintaining the integrity and work that Ellman began and to honor his work by keeping the Southdown conformation without crossing or breeding runt to runt.
The General Character and Appearance of the BABYDOLL Sheep:
BABYDOLL Southdown sheep are known for easy handling and docile dispositions. They are Nurturing mothers. Their small size and easy keeping metabolism requires less acreage per animal compared to other breeds.
Babydoll Southdown's are primarily used as grass mowers, pets, as 4H, and show projects both in conformation and also in wool. The BABYDOLL Southdown is also known for its excellent carcass quality and flavorful meat and are often crossed on light breeds to produce lambs with better carcass characteristics for market
The characteristics of the head give each breed its individuality & uniqueness. The BABYDOLL Southdown is polled. The HEAD is medium length and moderately broad, but not so broad to be a birthing obstruction, and with medium length.
MUZZLE & FACE
The muzzle and face should be moderate in width to insure efficient grazing and moderate in length, straight to slightly dished but not Roman.
COLOR of the HAIR on the FACE and MUZZLE of an OLD WORLD OFF WHITE SHEEP
Color of the hair on the muzzle on Old World type off white sheep should be a shade from light tan to cinnamon brown to dark gray brown with even colors preferred. However, blends of similar shades are acceptable as long they are NOT some pigmented color with large white spots with defined margins or solid white.
COLOR of the HAIR ON FACE and MUZZLE of a BLACK SHEEP
HAIR of the Face and Muzzle on a Black or Two Toned Fleeced sheep should be solid black.
Wool covering in front of the eyes and cheeks to the muzzle should be short and not so thick to ever cause the sheep to be wool blind. Tear ducts should not be over wooly.
ACCEPTABLE COLOR VARIATIONS
1. OLD WORLD TYPE:
Sheep with off white fleece will have muzzle and leg hair of a brown color with even colors preferred.
a. Light tan to,
b. Cinnamon brown to,
c. Gray brown, even colors being preferable.
2. COLORED SHEEP:
Sheep with solid black to gray fleece, or spotted Black and White Fleece will have muzzle and Leg hair of solid black that may show some graying with age. Black fleeces may fade to shade of gray as the sheep ages.
a. Solid colors Black, Grays with solid colored faces and legs similar
to the color of their fleece.
b. Spotted two-toned fleece with a solid shade of black on faces and legs.
Any pigmented color and white spotting with defined margins marking the
face or legs is a disqualification.
ACCEPTABLE FLEECE COLORS
1. Old World Type off white,
2. Black which may fade to Gray
3. Black and White spotted
Ears are of medium thickness, moderate in length, level to the poll, proportionate to the head and preferably covered with wool. Short rough hair is acceptable, slick ears are discriminated against. Black or brown-specked ear skin is common. Nose and lip leather should be black, gray or blue and some speckles are common. Solid pink with out any pigmentation is discriminated against.
Eyes should large bright, brown to yellow.
Incisor teeth should meet the dental pad.
Neck, moderately long and upright, wide at the base and laid well into the shoulders, with skin free of wrinkles.
FOREQUARTERS, SHOULDERS, BACK AND LOIN
Shoulders should be well muscled, well laid in to the ribs and level with the back. The width at the shoulders should be less than the width at the hips to facilitate easy lambing. Flat & wide topped shoulders should be discriminated against.
The BACK is somewhat longer than the animal is tall, with more than one half the overall length in the hind saddle as measured from the dock to the 13th rib. The Back should be level front to rear.
The LOIN should be long, wide and thick.
The ribs should be deep and wide, thick through the heart girth & well sprung
HINDQUARTERS: FEET and LEGS
Short and Straight legs should stand squarely at each corner. Rear legs should stand wide but squarely under the sheep with some angulations of the hocks and slight angulations of the pasterns.
The hindquarters should be wider than the forequarters and have good width between the pin bones.
The rump should be wide and long
The tail carriage level to the chin.
THIGHS and TWIST
Thighs and twist should show deep and heavy muscling.
The hoof color should be black or gray and may have some white stripes. Solid white hoofs are a disqualification.
All measurements are at the shoulder and perpendicular to the ground on shorn sheep.
BABYDOLL SOUTHDOWN SHEEP should be from 18-24" tall.
Rams look more masculine and are usually larger than ewes. They should be rectangular looking, on a moderate frame. A sheep will be faulted for heights over 24" or shorter than 18 ".
Ewes should have a broad well attached, but not pendulous udder. She should be capable of producing and raising twins. With good care, many ewes will be productive for 8-10 years
Rams should move with freedom of gait and remain active and sound for a similar period. Properly managed Ewes and Rams should be easy keepers and maintain thrifty condition with out grain, with exception of during lactation, & lambs in their first 6 months.
When selecting replacement-breeding stock consider selecting for sheep with the genetics to produce animals with sound conformation that provides easy keeping, and easy birthing abilities to their offspring's. Breeding for undersized sheep often produces poorly muscled and unthrifty lambs and breed integrity should be up-held above all.
Under or Over Sized Sheep
Wide Flat-Topped Shoulders
Extremely Broad Heads
Loosely Attached Scurs
Solid scurs or horns
One or both Testicles not descended
Incisor teeth not meeting dental pad
White muzzle & leg hair
Pronounced Roman nose
Evidence of cross breeding
Piebald face and legs
Olde English Babydoll Southdowns are commonly called Babydoll Southdowns or Babydolls for short. Babydoll Southdowns are the Heritage of AUSTRALIAN Standard Southdown Sheep.
These wonderful sheep make great pets for the hobby farm, & a nice addition for a fibre farm. They have a docile temperament and are very personable. Babydolls weigh 75 to 120 pounds; rams a bit more. The breed standard is between 18 and 24 inches at the shoulder. They lamb on their own and quite often have twins.
Their Heritage......Southdown sheep were originally a short and stocky sheep raised primarily for their meat in their native homeland, the South Down Hills of England. Standard Southdowns are still considered just a meat breed. Babydoll Southdowns are now raised as a dual purpose breed.....meat & wool....add pet to that and they can be considered at triple purpose sheep!!..........
Babydolls do have a short fleece, 2 to 4 inches and it might not be the first sheep you'd think of for wool production but they produce a fine to medium weight wool. The wool has become know among spinners in the last few years as very soft, spongy and lofty and blends wonderfully with other fibers such as llama and alpaca.
With the world looking at all enviromental ways of farming, baby dolls are coming in to vogue for the vineyards and orchards, one successful NZ vineyard have been importing Baby doll sheep now for a couple of years to NZ, and they have won awards for this
Uses for the Babydoll Southdown:
Olde English Babydoll Southdowns are outstanding pets who produce wool that is a hand spinner’s delight. They provide organic weeding and make excellent companion animals and are also a sound investment opportunity.
These little Babydoll sheep make excellent companions for the young, elderly, and disabled. Their gentle nature makes them a joy to own, and their diminutive size makes them an excellent choice for 4-H projects.
Babydoll fleece generally runs in the 19 to 22 micron range, which puts the fleece in the class of cashmere. Babydoll fleece also has more barbs per inch than any other wool type, making it ideal for blending with other fibers.
Weeding trials were sponsored and monitored by the association, utilizing Babydolls as organic weeders. They have been used with great success in wine vineyards as well as fruit and berry orchards since they will not harm the fruits, girdle trunks of trees, or harm shrubs. They leave the grounds well groomed and fertilize the soil as they graze.
Babydoll Southdowns are wonderful companion animals for other non-aggressive livestock. Their calm, docile disposition has a soothing effect on other livestock.
Babydolls require the same care as other sheep breeds such as hoof trimming, worming, vaccinations, and yearly shearing. The handling facilities and feed are not as costly as with larger breeds. Shelter can be minimal, except at lambing time. Good fences are essential, more for protection from predators than containment since Babydolls do not challenge fences and do not wonder far. Portable electric mesh fences are great if you do not already have permanent fencing.
Feed, salt and mineral blocks are important for good health but you must make sure you do not give any sheep copper. Any feed, salt or mineral block that has copper in it must be keep out of reach of any sheep.
Why Everyone Loves Their Babydoll Southdowns:
The Babydoll woolly teddy bear face will always give you a smile. Their short legs along with their small size allows them the ability to do well in small areas. They are ideal for suburban lot owners who want the tranquility of sheep as living lawn ornaments. Both ewes and rams are polled (have no horns) and are non-aggressive by nature. The ewes are very good mothers, often raising twins and triplets with ease.
Because Babydoll Southdowns are a ancient breed, they are not prone to many of the modern sheep problems and are resistant to foot rot. In general, they are cared for like any other sheep which includes worming, hoof trimming, shearing, and vaccination..
Returned To Their Homeland:
One of the major goals of the original Babydoll Southdown Registry (Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep Registry) was to return the original breed to England where the little sheep had been extinct for over 50 years. This goal was accomplished in 1999, but their numbers are so few that they remain on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust List (RBST) http://www.rbst.org.uk/
If you are looking for an addition to your current alpaca herd, Baby Dolls are just the thing.
Popular and gaining more popularity, with most breeders have buyers on their books. One lady i know has sold out all progeny until 2014 (4 years away).
they are just so beautiful, they remind me of little elves, they are just so mystifies and so so cute
ONLY A SMALL GROUP TO BEGIN WITH….BUT MANY ORDERS TO FOLLOW.
ALPACAS ARE A HUGE HIT In THAILAND. THEY ARE LOCATED IN CHANGIANG, NEAR THE NORTHERN BORDER IN THE HIGHLANDS.
AVERAGE TEMPERATURE MOST OF THE YEAR 25 C.
A NEW MARKETPLACE FOR ALPACA.
A GREAT EXPOSURE FOR ALPACAS, THEIR GENTLE NATURE, AND THEY WAY THEY RESPOND TO HUMAN KINDNESS.
THESE ALPACAS ARE TREATED LIKE GODS IN THAILAND, AND THEY HAVE BEEN IMPORTED TO ROYAL CIRCLES.
FOR THE FIRST WEEK I AM TOLD, THEY HAVE BEEN HOLDING SPECIAL FESTIVALS FOR THE ALPACAS
THEY HAVE BEEN A HUGE SUCCESS, THE FIRST ALPACAS TO BE EXPORTED TO THAILAND.
|6.||Non-allergenic (aka hypoallergenic)|
|9.||Water resistent, naturally|
Superior in strength, warmth, softness
Smooth fiber without lanolin removed the itchiness and allergic reactions
Comes in 22 official colors!
Naturally rain resistant
Washable with lower tendency to shrink
Resilient - your cherished alpaca garment can last for many years
Alpaca Fiber is Superior to Man-made Fibers:
More comfortable in cold weather
Warm even when wet
Better wicking of body moisture, superior breathability
Resists odors, even in socks!
100% natural luxurious fiber which is environmentally excellent
Naturally wind resistant
Does not mat or pill
Fire resistant, will not melt
Wrinkle resistant (hang up and wrinkles fade away)