Saturday, March 9, 2013

Alpaca Show

Rich and I went down to Columbus last night and had a family pizza night with my brother, his wife, my nephew, daughter, Amy, and son-in-law, Steve and assorted grandkids and others. This morning we spent several hours at the Best of the US Alpaca Show at the state fairgrounds. It was a great learning experience and gave us the opportunity to meet and talk with several other alpaca breeders from the state. One of the most impressive sights was to see dozens of alpacas lined up to walk into the show ring.
I took this, not very clear, picture of the beautiful black huacayas in the ring with my cell phone camera. The next time I will remember to bring my good camera!

Rich and I met Joy Mitchell of M-R Alpacas in Wakeman, Ohio which is not far from us. She gave us some important information to consider when we reach the point where we will be selecting sires for breading with our girls. She also kindly put together a packet of four of their very handsome sires for us to consider. Joy answered many of my questions concerning fiber processing and showed us some adorable stuffed animals with felted alpaca costumes. I feel certain that we will be calling on her in the future.

Closer to home we met Patrick Cassese from Glengary Farm Alpacas in Plymouth, Ohio. He and Robin couldn't have been kinder as they patiently answered our questions. Robin and I made a connection since she had substituted in the past at the school where I teach. We both know many of the same teachers well.  They invited us over to visit and we will do so in the near future. They have some beautiful animals.

I had an extended conversation with fiber artist and dyer, Louise Goebel, of Renaissance Farms in McArthur, Ohio which is very near where we spend a family reunion weekend every October. She was a great source of information about processing and dying fibers.  I have already visited her website and we will definitely pay her a visit when we are down in the southern part of the state in
the fall.

The other day, Rich spent a morning at AmyJs Homestead Alpacas where we purchased our girls. Joseph gave him a crash course in toenail clipping and administering shots. The folks at Amy Js have been wonderful and patient mentors to us. Shearing day is scheduled for mid-April and we will transport our girls over there for shearing. We have learned so much from them and look forward to continuing the association.

All-in-all this has been a very productive weekend. Tomorrow when Pressley comes over we will be attempting to trim Took and Mango's toenails for the first time. Look for the report on that endeavor later.

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