There are numerous alpaca fiber products. Each year we shear and the fiber falls to the floor waiting to evolve into something to wear or use. Alpaca fiber is know for it’s luxury feel and durability. Turning the fiber into end product is a fun part of working with alpaca because each of our beautiful creatures has unique fiber qualities. Venus, Vera, Lady Gaga and Trifecta are different color alpaca, so when they are shorn I look at the color and length of fiber to decide if it should be dyed, prepared for spinning or roving and what a buyer like yourself might want to do with that fiber. Vanilla, Cleopatra and Ledgend are also different colors but their fiber is more useful for certain products because of the color.
Steps to the end product
Scarves, sweaters, rugs, yarn and roving become items that we can sell in our boutique because of the next steps. Once an animal is shorn and the fiber is placed in a bag and each one of the animals fiber is looked at individually. Because alpaca like to graze and find all of the weeds, branches and leaves, their fiber picks up debris. I remove from the fiber while we are deciding what colors and grade (ie, quality) of fiber will be put together. Those beginning stages of processing are important to be sure that the person who receives the product is happy. From there the fiber might be prepared in many ways depending on the beautiful creation that will result. Washing, dying, carding, spinning are a few examples of steps of the process. These steps can be completed at Golden Spirit or the fiber might be sent to a mill for processing into end product.
When you visit the Ranch
If you are taking a tour we spend time talking about how we remove the fiber from the animal and what we do to reach the end product. You can visit our EveryWear Alpaca Boutique for shopping and will see alpaca fiber products that are a result of raising alpaca with fiber that will be turned into items to wear and use.
In our blogs and social media, we frequently share updates about our alpaca, event news, show winnings, new babies, and new homes. Yet we haven’t taken the opportunity to share information about our wonderful and knowledgeable team! Behind the scenes of many ranches you will find a dedicated team, and at Golden Spirit we have the best.
Although the team changes periodically, our core members, Herd Manager Angel Rodriguez, along with Aaron Cotton, and Heather Prosperi, keep the wheels turning. Angel has worked in the alpaca industry nearly 20 years, and helps us to maintain close observation and health standards. Heather and Aaron weren’t sure what an alpaca was when they applied for their jobs, but have proven invaluable at the ranch as they have learned about many facets of alpaca care and handling as well as property maintenance. Heather brings a varied perspective. She has worked with horses from a very young age and her talents are being transferred to alpaca as she helps with many jobs, including working with the animals before they go to shows.
With our strong belief in learning, we always hope to have people surrounding us at the ranch who want to challenge and extend their continuing education in this industry. As a team, we recently worked on improving our handling techniques at a two day CAMELIDynamics seminar. We had a fun time practicing techniques that can be used in day to day activities. It was two full days of rethinking our ranch set up and nuances and applying new methods that might make it easier for both the alpaca and handlers. We took three of the boys – Ice T, Moki, and Maverick – from the ranch to be ‘victims’ for the attendees. And good sports they were.
We returned to the reality of our work with an enlightened view from the eyes of an alpaca. It does take practice to change habits, and after years of working with alpaca, we have some habits we want to break. Fortunately our herd – for as large as it is – has tolerance for our misbehavior. After working with different techniques, the alpaca probably go back to their pastures shaking their heads and wondering why our handling is alpaca-friendlier these days. Whoever doesn’t realize how smart alpaca are doesn’t know alpaca, because we are sure they have been training us all of these years.
We had a very busy jump start with our show schedule. We had a stellar line up to take this year and each one of our animals showed very well. We attended Royal Alpaca Challenge, VAOBA Alpaca Expo, Sunshine State Alpaca with Florida Alpaca Breeder’s Association (FABA), Carolina Alpaca Celebration with Carolina Alpaca Breeders and Owners (CABO), and Southern Select by Southeastern Alpaca Association (SEAA).
Kairos took 4 first places, Vera took 3 first places, Sensi took 3 first places, GQ took 2 first places, and Myrrh took a first place. We cannot be more proud of the caliber that represented Golden Spirit this show season.
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We have a sire that exudes perfection in every way possible. From his perfect conformation to his impeccable fleece counts, Brilliance of Peru is a model male. When all signs of age point to degrading genetics and representation, Brilliance’s stats reflect one who is years younger. His genetics are proven time and time again with his offspring.
Brilliance’s histogram at 10 years is 20 microns, which is very unusual for his age. So in addition to his histogram, we did a skin biopsy to look at the glands to see how many follicles are in each one. And his glandular structure supports the numbers on the histogram, basically pointing out that his glands are the driving force of his fiber excellence.
Why is this such good news? Well, if Brilliance is bred with females, ones who are also going to add qualities to the offspring, he brings to the table the ability to produce animals that will in turn produce long term fineness. This is his strongest characteristic. If your herd is populated by Brilliance and a dam who has the ability to recreate the same fineness level in offspring, over time the herd collectively will have 20-22 micron fleece counts. There will be a longer term profit, and a long term ability to reproduce these genetics.
Brilliance has a track record in his offspring. His cria have all been excellent and beautiful. He has passed on the characteristics you look for in an animal – a full fleece head, full coverage, perfect conformation, and a gentle spirit. Every one of his cria look just like him. Take a look at some of his offspring: Rainman, Flashy, Aurora, Encore and Zivah.
But you don’t need to take our word for it, just ask Dr. Norm Evans DVM, renowned veterinarian.
I would describe this guy, Brilliance, as a Wow male much ahead of his time. I would certainly like to check some of his offspring for the hybrid vigor he has thrown as they are likely better than him. I have never seen these stats for this age male. Breed this guy to the best females you can arrange to maintain these genetics. There is no fiber blow out with Brilliance. I appreciate the opportunity to be a party of your program.
When considering who to breed with Brilliance, you want to pick one quality that you really need to improve on. Does your dam have great coverage but you want to improve the consistency of the blanket? Make sure you first decide on your end goal and then figure out if you are wanting to have a fleece improvement or a show animal. We can help you figure that out!
Contact us if you would like more information on Brilliance and to see how we can work together on breedings.