Heritage Farm Suri Alpacas
Valuing the Past...Breeding for the Future 
Summer 2007- Vol 2, Issue 4
In This Issue...
Good Weight Records
Argonaut's Quest
Show Season Update
Goodbye City Life
Heritage Cornerstones
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Quick Links

Heritage Farm - Explore our website and discover more about Heritage Farm and our alpacas

Alpaca Sales List -Check out our current sales catalog of quality suri alpacas.
Getting Started Guide -Download our free guide full of information to help get you started with your own alpacas.
Newsletter Archive - Review past issues of Alpaca Works for information about alpacas and alpaca husbandry.
Starter Package - a great package of Alpacas and Services that will get your new herd off to a great start!
Heat Stress Tips - From Dr. David Anderson, here are the TOP TEN things to do to prevent heat stress in your alpacs this summer.
Heat Stress Management - This short article from several well known alpaca vets helps you identify and manage heat stress in your alpaca herd.
The Suri Network - The homepage of the Suri Network, an oganization of Suri alpaca breeders dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Suri Alpaca.
Autumn Alpaca Affair - On Saturday, Oct. 13, eighteen Northern Indiana Alpaca farms will come  togther in Columbia City to celebrate all things alpaca.
National Alpaca Farm Day -  We are excited to be participating in the National Alpaca Farm Day September 29, 2007.

Experience the Elegance

BannerWhile hiking around a small lake the other day, I came upon a stand of large cottonwood trees. The leaves of the trees made a stirring, rustling sound as they danced in the warm breeze.  It is a very unique sound - not easily forgotten - and my thoughts were instantly transported back years earlier when I heard that sound almost every day.
Growing up on the farm, we had three large cottonwood trees in the yard and during those hot summer nights, with windows open, the gentle rustling of the leathery leaves was a sound that often sang me to sleep. Hearing that sound again I was reminded of the fun we had as kids building treehouses and playing cowboys - generally just being carefree!
It seems that sounds are often associated with pleasant memories. Like a long-forgotten song on the radio that sparks a distant memory, sounds stick with us and become integral parts of our lives, both past and present. 
Raising alpacas allows us to experience another pleasant sound...that of the peaceful humming of our herd.  Like the gentle rustling of the cottonwood leaves, it's a sound that both relaxes and soothes.  It's a sound that reminds us of the gentle, inquisitive nature of these wonderful animals. 
I imagine that one day, many years from now, I'll hear a sound that brings my thoughts back to this very stage of our lives raising alpacas.  I'm sure I'll have many pleasant memories of the alpacas we've cared for and the friends we've made along the way. 
                                               Happy Humming!
The Importance of Weighing

In the alpacas' natural environment, it is virtually impossible for them to over eat and get fat.  Unfortunately, that is not the case in North America.  As well as the obvious risk that this poses to health, obesity also leads to lower reproductive capability, and birthing problems.

At the other extreme, a sudden drop in weight should be a cause for concern as well.  Alpacas are very stoic animals - they hide illness extremely well. Quite often, weight loss is the only indicator of underlying health problems that call for your immediate attention.

Too prevent your animals from slowly creeping up in weight or for detecting a sudden drop in weight, it is extremely important to weigh them routinely - on a monthly basis at the very least (crias more often).   For this you will need a digital small-animal livestock scale.  This is one of the first pieces of equipment we purchased and has been of of the best investments for our alpaca's well-being.


During the weighing process, you should also perform body score checks to assess their overall condition. This consists of feeling the animal near the spine, between the withers and the hips, and assessing the amount of fat. 


The score is reported on a scale of either 1 to 5, or 1 to 10.  In either case, the lower score represents being seriously underweight, and the higher one, seriously obese.  You obviously want to be in the middle, at either 3 or 5, depending on the scale. 


Routinely assessing both weight and body score and keeping accurate records can help give you an accurate picture of your alpaca's health and well-being.  It should be a part of your regular herd management practices.  If they could, your alpacas will thank you for it.

Argonaut's Quest Consigned to Suri Select Auction
  We are excited to consign the first offspring of our herdsire SBS Argonaut to the Suri Select auction and event on July 14th at The Pinnacle Banquet Hall in Maumee, OH.  Quest will enter the sale as Lot #2.  Phone bidders can register by e-mail at riverstoneRSVP@aol.com prior to auction day, or call 419-340-6294 or 419-340-6295 before 3:00 PM on the 14th.   
HFS Argonaut's Quest
Spring Show Season Update
The spring show season has ended and are proud of our lineup of 4 juvenile alpacas as they took in a total of 17 ribbons in 4 shows.
Show Alpacas
  • HFS Carmelita -- 1st and Color Champion at the Southern Select Show; 2nd at the Kentucky Classic, 3rd place OABA, 2 place AOBA Nationals.
  • HFS Argonaut's Quest-- 1st at the Southern Select Show, 1st and Reserve Champion at the Kentucky Classic, 3rd place OABA, 2 place AOBA Nationals. 
  • Princess Evelyn -- 1st at the Southern Select, 3rd at the Kentucky Classic, 2nd OABA, 4th Futurity, 5th AOBA Nationals. 
  • HFS Silverado -- 2nd place at the Futurity (out of 9 in his class)
Goodbye City Life

 BannerMany baby boomer alpaca farmers (Including us!) grew up in the 60's watching the corny Green Acres TV show on CBS.   While it was good, fun entertainment, many never dreamed that they would one day leave the city life like Oliver and Lisa and become farmers themselves!  Fortunately, we don't have to be as naive as they were when they first set out to start a farm.  Thanks to an abundance of great information online, in books and magazines and by talking to experienced alpaca farmers, newcomers to this industry have every reason to believe that they can be successful at breeding and raising alpacas.

Just for fun, try your hand at Green Acres Trivia!
  1. How long does Lisa agree to live in Hooterville?
  2. When Oliver originally purchased "The Haney Place" how many acres did it consist of?
  3. When Eleanor has her calf, what do they name her?
  4. Where do Oliver and Lisa typically spend their anniversary?
  5. After selling his farm to Mr. Douglas, Mr. Haney cried for three days, until what?
  6. In order to become a member of the Hooterville Volunteer Fire Department, you must be able to what?
  7. What unusual thing does Oliver collect?
  8. Eb's pet turtle is named what?
  9. The elevation of Hooterville is what?
  10. What brand of flour does Lisa use to cook hot cakes?


Our Heritage Cornerstones
Banner Heritage Cornerstones is a selection of thought provoking quotes centered around a theme appropriate for the season. This issue focuses on...

                                ~ HOME ~
A man's homeland is wherever he prospers.
Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home.
And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
LUKE 15:16
A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
Bricks and mortar make a house, the the laughter of children makes a home.
A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
Love begins by taking care of the closest ones -- the ones at home.
What is a home?  A roof to keep out the rain?  Four walls to keep out the wind?  Floors to keep out the cold?  Yes, but home is more than that.  It is the laugh of a baby, the song of a mother, the strength of a father, warmth of loving hearts, lights from happy eyes, kindness, loyalty, joy.
, as we close this issue of Alpaca Works, we invite you to think about the sounds that revive pleasant memories for you.  Then, just dwell on them for awhile.  We think you'll find yourself refreshed and ready for the challenges of another day.
You are always welcome to stop by for a visit.  Best wishes for an enjoyable summer!
Until next time,
Tim & Beth Sheets
Heritage Farm Suri Alpacas