So Soft – Just Don’t Pet Him!


Grumpy closer

 

Look at that face! Isn’t he the cutest darn thing?

He hates being petted, which is just TOO bad because he’s SO SOFT! Last winter I’d corner him in the stall and pet his neck and he’d scream “Ewwww!” and stamp his little bitty feet. I’d laugh at him. “Too bad, Grumpy. Get over it! You’re just SO soft!”

I’ve spent most of the afternoon on the back porch, playing with Grumpy’s fleece. I’ve picked it. Carded it. Spun it and plied it.

It’s just so soft!

I don’t know what I’m going to make with it. It’s very fine and a soft creamy white.

Digital Camera

Look, you can just grab a handful and spin it just as fine as froghair, with a drop spindle. My wheel makes it into yarn so fast, the stuff just flies onto the bobbins. The yarn I plied an hour ago needs to be measured and weighed so I know about where I’m at with it.

I’ve discovered how to wash it – just soak it in water for a week. Change the water every day. Use soap and hot water the first day, leave it in the sun the rest of the week. This is a very slow process, but the fleece is just as soft and clean as it can be…after a week. If I go any faster, I get FELT. You can’t agitate this stuff. Even spinning it in the washer felts it.

Now the sad part is that Grumpy appears to have the coarsest hair of the three alpacas. But his is the longest, and the cleanest. I bag it up an ounce per bag – soak it and forget it.

I’ve got more fleece from Atlanta, but I haven’t tried to wash it up yet. I’ve washed one ounce of black llama and an ounce of mouse-colored llama.

Last weekend we went to Wampum Stompup farm. I saw the most beatiful alpacas. Fawns, red-browns and blacks that had some really dreamy looking fleece. There was one red-brown that I’d really like to buy. If he were fixed, which he isn’t.

She breeds her males. I just want geldings. No females, no babies – though her babies are adorable. They are just so hard to keep up. She’s got to deworm hers every 10 days because of some weird worm that comes from the deer.

I deworm mine twice a year. The chickens have developed a taste for Alpaca Poop that defies logic. They like it more than they like horse manure.

Well, the tractor repairman is here, gotta go!

**********

Had to make the picture bigger so you can get the full squee from that cute little face.

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8 thoughts on “So Soft – Just Don’t Pet Him!

  1. Deb Logan says:

    She is worming them every 30 days (vs 10) to prevent Meningeal worm which is carried by white tailed deer and spread by the snails that eat their manure. Llamas/alpacas eat grass or leaf litter where the snails have left a trail and get infected. The parasite can cause awful neurological damage that is irreparable.

    • K. A. Jordan says:

      Thank you! I get really confused with this. With horses there are stern warnings about using dewormer too often because it creates immunity in parasites. It becomes more difficult all the time to find a secondary dewormer. That’s where the chicken are worth more than just their eggs. They don’t get horse worms. They break the cycle.

      My chickens would not allow a snail to survive long, they are too tasty. The alpaca poop hardly hits the ground before the girls are on it. Another win for the chickens.

      • Deb Logan says:

        Yes – it really does seem contradictory! And YES, using the 30 day protocol will most definitely render gut parasites immune to Ivermectin so that is why most have moved to another class of drug for gut worms. M-worm is not a gut worm which fuzzes things up even more as life would be so much simpler if you could just find it (or not!) in a fecal check. It usually takes a spinal tap to confirm it’s existence and that is after the fact and you have already noticed symptoms which is why you are checking, Chickens are a good thing but many a camelid surrounded by chickens, ducks and even guineas have contracted M-worm. It all depends on whether you have the “right” slugs to carry the parasite. Even after the little bugger has been eaten his slime trail remains.
        A really good overview can be found at http://www.bagendsuris.com/?page_id=269

  2. Ila says:

    Hi! It’s Wampa Stomp Farm, and I’m so glad you enjoyed your visit. And Thanks Deb for explaining the M Worm. I really believe all alpacas in Kentucky are at risk as we have a large deer population and the snails can travel a long way. Also, as long as you only have boys, why do they have to be geldings?

  3. You’re living my dream! One day I want to learn how to spin and make things with alpaca fiber, and I love the alpaca’s too. I can just imagine squeezing his little neck even if he doesn’t like being petted too, at least when he was little.I used to do that to my horse when he was too little to get away. Now he just tolerates it.

    • K. A. Jordan says:

      Its strange where book research will lead you.

      I got started spinning because I wondered how hard it would be to stay clothed during the Apocalypse. My research tells me that the fight for clothing would be just as bad as the fight for food. Once the stores close, everyone will be dressed in rags and barefoot in less than a year. Our clothing isn’t made to last.

      My curiousity took off from there.

      Learning to spin was the first step…and SELR (South East Llama Rescue) seemed to come as a natural second step. There are SO MANY alpacas and llamas needing good homes that I couldn’t resist getting a pair of gelded males.

      I don’t want to breed alpacas! The crias are beyond cute, I couldn’t sell any. But it’s just like breeding horses or dogs. Too many animals are homeless. I respect the people who choose to breed animals. I just don’t want to join their ranks.

      But shearing, fiber processing and spinning are great hobbies.

      Good luck with your dream. You seem to be getting a lot closer.

      • Preparing for the Apocalypse is partly to blame for all the things I’ve learned how to do too, lol. I just like knowing I can do without retail outlets if ever I need to, apocalypse or not. Yes, I’m the same mind about not wanting to breed more of them, geldings are what I’d want too. How long does an alpaca generally live? We are getting closer to the dream but it seems things keep getting put ahead in the priority line – like the retaining wall we’re having to build before the house slips downhill. Still, it’s good experience. We’re learning as we go.

      • K. A. Jordan says:

        We had a Suri alpaca die this winter of appearent old age. We aren’t sure his exact age as he wasn’t micro-chipped, but I’m thinking he was between 16 and 20 years old.

        Geldings have the best fiber, and they are the ones in greatest need of homes.

        My second set of alpacas have papers, their sire was $5k for a breeding. Insane prices! We got them as rescues for $200 each.

        My father was a “Doomsday Prepper” before there was such a thing. This second Great Depression scared me, but I’m glad for all the things I learned from him and my grandparents.

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