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Chasca and Blanca ribbon at the 2012 North American Alpaca Show!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Every year in early April we attend our first alpaca show of the year – the North American Alpaca Show. The NAAS has the reputation of being large and highly competitive and this year was no exception. We are very proud that the two juvenile females we took to the show both ribboned in large, competitive classes.

Incan Chasca placed 4th out of 13 dark brown females with judge Judy Anderson commenting that Chasca has a “…lovely soft handling fleece that speaks to the uniformity of micron across her fleece”. Chasca has also been privately evaluated by Wade Gease (AOBA certified judge and judge trainer) who noted that the density of her fleece and her balance & profile were well above average. A short video of Chasca is posted below and more information on Chasca is available here.


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Blanca placed 5th out of 14 beige females with judge Judy Anderson commenting that Blanca’s strong presense caught her eye as soon as she entered the ring and that her fleece was very soft handling. Blanca has also been privately evaluated by Wade Gease who noted that the handle and luster/brightness of her fleece were well above average and resulted in a silky touch. A short video of Blanca is posted below and more information on Blanca is available here.


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Friday the 13th – our lucky day!

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Why was Friday the 13th lucky for us? Because we became the proud new owners of the True Black juvenile female Aramaar’s Good Golly Miss Molly! Molly is incredibly dense and fine for a true black and will significantly advance our color breeding program. Molly was shown at the 2012 North American Alpaca Show and took the 1st place ribbon in a class of 14 alpacas. Molly is also half sister to our Dark Brown juvenile female Incan Chasca who took a 4th place ribbon (in a class of 13) at the North American Alpaca Show. Molly and Chasca share the same sire – Cedar Brook’s Incan Treasure. Chasca’s mom – Petula – is currently rebred to Incan Treasure and available for sale for the very reasonable price of $3,500. Click here for more information.

Thank you to Robert and Michel Richards of Aramaar Alpacas for offering Molly for sale and to David and Kathleen Van Gelder of Cedar Brook Alpacas for facilitating the sale. We will soon be posting pictures and more information about Molly so please stop back soon!

Thorn Hill’s Arianna – our silver grey girl

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Update: Arianna was sold on 12/5/11. Congratulations to Melissa and Andrew Patterson!

We’ve decided to offer our lovely silver grey female (Arianna) for sale. Arianna will be 5-months old on 12/5/11 and is developing nicely. She is the product of some of the most elite black and grey genetics in the country – not to mention some notable white genetics too! Begin with the legendary Shackleton 562 as a great grandfather and add Patagonia’s Neruda and Sinopsis Nocturna as her grandfathers. Neruda was the cornerstone of the renowned breeding program at Alpacas de la Patagonia where he consistently produced their finest black and grey fleeces that were recognized for being virtually free of medulated fibers. Sinopsis Nocturna was also a famously fine-fleeced, jet-black herdsire who earned a blue ribbon at the 1999 AOBA Nationals. Arianna’s sire is Patagonia’s El Chono who never placed less than 2nd in the show ring and earned the Reserve Champion banner at the 2005 AOBA Nationals! Arianna’s white genetics come from her maternal side and include Vengador – the famous white herdsire – and El Senor who sired numerous champions including The Aga Khan.

Arianna’s half brothers include Elixir and Caleb from Staghorn Valley Alpacas. Elixir has earned 4 Champion Banners and Caleb just earned his first blue ribbon at the 2011 NEAC.

Arianna was evaluated by Wade Gease (AOBA certified judge and judge trainer) at about 1 month of age. Wade noted Arianna’s solid conformation and the potential to develop a dense fleece based on the rolling skin evident on her neck. Arianna is offered with a complementary breeding to our herdsire or any herdsire from our breeding partners’ farms (Finca Alta Vista Alpacas, Cedar Brook Alpacas, French Hollow Alpacas, and Stillwater Island Alpacas). The buyer also has the option to include a cria gender guarantee whereby the complementary breeding is repeated at no extra charge until a cria of your gender choice is born.

Arianna’s price is based on Wade’s evaluation, the fact that she is developing nicely, and whether or not the buyer would like to take advantage of our incentives. Contact us today for more information!

The video below shows a 2 minute clip of Arianna roaming around our pasture. The video was shot on a slope but still highlights Arianna’s strong conformational characteristics.


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Fiber seminar with Wade Gease

Monday, October 17th, 2011

This summer we hosted our first educational seminar for the alpaca community – A Comprehensive Fiber Seminar with Wade Gease. Wade is an AOBA certified judge and judge trainer and brings many years of experience in the evaluation of alpacas. Wade focused his discussion on how to evaluate the quality of alpacas from head to tail and what constitutes an elite fleece. His explanation of how desirable fleece characteristics are often linked together through “trait linking” provided insight into evaluating the quality of fleece on our alpacas and his discussion of tools such as skin biopsies and EPD’s illustrated how alpaca breeders can make more informed breeding choices in the future. Based on the overwhelmingly favorable comments we received, it seems those attending the seminar found this material to be as interesting and informational as we did! We are already looking forward to hosting additional seminars in the future.

Wade Gease

Wade Gease

Visit from East Greenbush Mom’s Club

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

We recently hosted the East Greenbush Mom’s Club – a group of mom’s with children that get together a few times a month for various activities. This time they thought it would be fun to visit an alpaca farm. We spent some time at the barn looking at the females and I brought out some of this years crop of crias for everyone to get their hands on. Afterwards we looked at a fleece from this years shearing and talked about some of the products made from alpaca fiber. Then all the kids got a homemade coloring book Megan put together the night before. It seemed to be a succesful event as all the kids enjoyed the alpacas and the mom’s had lots of questions too! Thanks to Alyssa Bonitatibus for putting the event together and providing the picture below.

East Greenbush Mom's Club

2011 crias

Monday, June 13th, 2011

So far this season Caroline, Petula and Galena have had their crias and all 3 are females so we’re off to a good start! Caroline’s cria is named Blanca and was sired by Snowshoe Aristides. Petula’s cria hasn’t been named yet but she was sired by Cedar Brook’s Incan Treasure and looks to be a dark brown with black tips/highlights. Her true color may become more apparent when we shear the cria tips in a few weeks. Galena’s cria is also unnamed but was sired by El Chono and is a dark silver grey.

Blanca

Blanca

Blanca

Petula 2011

Petula's 2011 cria

Petula 2011

Petula's cria less than 24 hours old

Galena's 2011 cria

Galena's 2011 cria

Ana participates in her first alpaca show

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Our daughter participated in her first alpaca show at the 2010 Eastern States Exposition (Big E). Ana entered the sub-junior (under 8 years old) showmanship class with her favorite alpaca – Kito. The showmanship class is judged solely on the handler’s ability to prepare and present their alpaca at halter and at the sub-junior level it’s all for fun. Kito is a young but intact male and as the video below shows he became a bit distracted by the female alpacas that other kids entered in the class. This is why you’ll see Megan standing nearby to make sure Kito didn’t get too rambunctious. But Ana’s obvious enthusiasm at winning her first blue ribbon made the experience all very much worth while.


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Heat Wave

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

The East Coast is experiencing record breaking heat this week. When the heat and humidity get too high we help keep the alpacas cool by running fans in the barn, providing plenty of cool water and offering baths from the garden hose. The alpacas come running when they hear the hose turned on. Check out the video clip below to see some of our alpacas enjoying a hose down.


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Skirting, sorting and grading alpaca fiber

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

We recently attended a workshop on skirting, sorting and grading alpaca fiber offered by Wini Labrecque and hosted by Spruce Ridge Farm. Wini is a AOBA certified Alpaca fleece judge. The one and a half day workshop covered everything from shearing alpacas to collecting, grading and skirting the fleece. The primary goal was to learn how to sort and grade to (1) seperate fleece into more uniform groups based on fiber characteristics such as color, length and fineness, (2) reduce waste in processing and reduce processing costs, and (3) create a more uniform quality end product such as yarn and roving. We’re currently using what we learned to process our own fleeces from this years shearing and look forward to processing the fleece into improved yarn products this year.

Wini Labrecque lectures on sorting and grading alpaca fleece

Class participants practice what they've learned from Wini

Birth of a cria

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Our girl Caroline had a cria (baby alpaca) yesterday. The cria is a solid white boy that weighed 19 pounds when born. He is the first of 3 crias that we expect this season (Petula and Sasha are still expecting). The video clip below is a 2 minute summary of the birth that took about 20 minutes in real time. As you’ll see if you watch the video, the other girls in the pasture take a real interest in the birth of the new cria!


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