Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fiber Farms

  On a recent vacation to Denver Colorado while visiting my sister, we took a trip up to Loveland Co. to see some Alpaca farms. The first one we went to was Deer Valley Alpaca ranch. We were warmly welcomed by
Mick and Debbie Leighton  who showed us around their place. If you have never been to an alpaca ranch then you surely need to go! These beautiful animals will steal your heart and have you trying to figure out where to put some in your back yard. DVA had about 40 animals with two crias(babies) on the ground and more to come. Besides alpacas they have a pair of Paco-vicunas which are a daintier version of alpacas.

Paco Vicuna(internet pic)

  The Leighton's at one time did their own fiber processing and Debbie
showed us how the fleece went from shearing to ending up being yarn, roving and the end products that could be made from the fiber. It was very interesting. She had a wonderful assortment of yarns, fleece, roving and all kinds of interesting handmade things.They had two Great Pyrenees named Colt and Winchester which had replaced their last pair Smith and Wesson!:)

processed fleece


 We also stopped by Mountain Sky Ranch where we had the pleasure
of meeting Deb Dorband. She had a beautiful herd of alpacas and also
pygora goats.As I am very interested in raising fiber animals it was a treat to see the pygoras. Deb explained that even though there are quite
a few alpaca farms that provide fleece it is still unfortunately cheaper to import from Peru where the fleece you get might have other types of fiber mixed in. Deb and her husband are working hard to make alpaca fleece a commodity for the US
and have it sold in bales on the market.

Just try to resist me!

Pygora goats

Pygora males running to say hi.

 Most farms show their alpacas which sounds easier to do than for most show animals. They are not allowed to groom them at all, just pick the hay off of the animals coat. The alpacas are judged or you can just take the fleece for judging.
All in all it was a wonderful trip.  If you are ever in Colorado please ck out Deer Valley Alpacas and Mountain Sky Ranch. You will see some amazing country, meet some really nice people and find some creatures that might just steal your heart!
Deer Valley Alpacas
Mountain Sky Ranch

Blessed Be!

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