Archive | Ranch News

RSS feed for this section
NRMA_HUACAYAS

Montana Suri Alpaca Farm acquires Huacaya Alpacas

NRMA_HUACAYAS

When I first became interested in alpacas I soon found there were two different types – huacaya and suri. Huacayas dominate the world population with roughly 95% and as much as 85% in the USA. The extremely fine crimpy fibers grow perpendicular of the body, much like sheep grow wool, creating this wonderful soft fluffy long necked teddy bear. Most of the alpaca fiber related products in the marketplace are from the huacaya alpaca. Suris are a rare breed of alpaca with their lustrous, silky smooth draped fleece. The fiber grows off the body draping elegantly into locks of luster. These incredible characteristics make suri a very unique natural fiber.

Huacaya Alpaca Fleece | Northern Rocky Mountain Alpacas  | Bozeman, Montana

Huacaya Alpaca Fleece | Northern Rocky Mountain Alpacas | Bozeman, Montana

I was first introduced to the suri alpaca while living in Hood River, OR. The pacific northwest has a healthy population of alpacas and was one of the first locations with the original imports from South America. Wanting to learn as much as I could from all the local ranches, I made frequent farm visits to the surrounding areas. I was intrigued by both breeds of alpacas and knew someday I would own both breeds but it was the suri alpaca that I fell in love with. I liked the fact suris are a rare breed of alpacas, the suri breeders community is well organized with the Suri Network, and the fiber just

Suri Alpaca Fleece | Northern Rocky Mountain Alpacas  | Bozeman, Montana

Suri Alpaca Fleece | Northern Rocky Mountain Alpacas | Bozeman, Montana

feels so dang good. Not to mention, there isn’t anything so elegant in animal than to have a suri alpaca in full fleece come running down the hill. The lustrous, shiny fiber just sways back and forth. They’re just awesome.

After 7 years of raising suri alpacas, I went to the dark side (or came from) and now have a small herd of wonderful huacayas. When it comes to fiber and end products, there is no better yarn than huacaya and suri blended together. For years I’ve kept my yarn and products to 100% suri but have realized suri fiber should be treated as the secret sauce in a blended yarn or felt. At least this is the direction we are taking for some of our

end products. But of course, it really depends on the desired end product. Suri does really well in woven products due to its straight fiber that lacks any memory. Knitted items tend to grow on a person or become larger due to the heavy drape. Whereas huacayas does a lot better with knitted items having more memory with its crimpy fibers. The natural luster and silky smoothness compliment the huacaya fiber nicely.

At the end of the day, there is no better or worse alpaca fiber between suri and huacaya. With the new introduction of huacayas, we now feel complete in raising alpacas for the wonderful natural fleece they provide each year. Come take a look at the best of both worlds and visit with us. We’ll let you make the chose which you like best huacaya or suri.

Montana Alpaca Farm

Montana Alpaca babies are here for 2013

Montana Alpaca FarmIn a responsible effort to breed properly and not have too many alpacas,  we decided to only have 2 baby alpacas this year. Our first was Stryker of NRMA a nice light brown male DDF Magnum x ATV Goldie Fawn. On July 4th, Soltice of NRMA was born. A beautiful white female DDF Magnum x Constance del Sol of NRMA. Both progeny are out of our main herdsire DDF Magnum. Magnum paired with both of these girls produced great babies. We are especially excited about the little white Solstice. The pairing of her two parents is genetically stacked and we are looking for her to shape up nicely. Look for her at GWAS in Denver next spring.

Montana Alpaca Shearing

Alpaca Shearing is complete here at NRMA

Montana Alpaca ShearingWith spring weather upon us here in Bozeman, MT, we are fortunate to have a completely enclosed barn for our alpaca shearing day here at Northern Rocky Mountain Alpacas. Peter and Charlie of Pura Vida Shearing, volunteer Jeff Sery, and myself took on 15 alpacas and 8 llamas in cloudy, chilly weather Tuesday morning.

It was a great pleasure to get know Peter more better understanding his long experience with alpaca shearing of 10+ years with territory stretching from California, New Mexico and Arizona in March followed by a quick stretch to Florida finally arriving northward in Montana the first of June. Peter is also an ambassador for Altera Alpaca Socks, Kentucky Royalty Socks, and Flaggy Meadow Fiber Mill.

It took us roughly 4 hours to complete the alpaca shearing job. Since this was the only job for the day, we were able to take our time sorting the fiber as it fell from the body, inspect teeth and toe nails trimming as necessary and taking proper fiber samples for testing.

In the end, I felt like we did our best with a great outcome. Using the Suri Networks harvesting codes of practice as a guide and applying great information we received at this years Yellowstone Alpaca Breeders Association alpaca shearing festival, we anxiously await the next steps of processing and manufacturing to a great end product.

Montana Alpaca Farms

Alpaca Summer in Big Sky Country

Montana Alpaca Farms
What are your plans for the summer? Heading to the Big Sky Country of Montana?

If so, we invite your for a visit. Northern Rocky Mountain Alpacas is located a few shakes outside of Bozeman, Montana. Come for a visit and see the naked alpacas, alpaca babies (cria), pick up a wonderful Made in Montana Alpaca Scarf, grab a gift of stellar alpaca compost tea bags, and check out what Montana has to offer with the various farmers markets, Music on Main, Art Walks and more.

 

happy-late-holidays_v3

Happy Late Holidays from all of us at NRMA

For this past holiday season and in Santa style, I had asked my suri alpacas to hand deliver our first ever Northern Rocky Mountain Alpaca Holiday Card by sled. It was an exceptionally well designed card by Unparalleled Advertising Group. But, as you can see below, the handsome Magnum and stunning Goldie Fawn encountered some technical difficulties.

After turning the project back over to the humans, they, as well as the rest of us at Northern Rocky Mountain Alpacas, hope you will accept this email holiday card late. We anticipate you had a great 2011 Holiday Season. We hope to see you soon in 2012.

happy-late-holidays_v3