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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Meet Flat Beary

Where is Flat Beary?

Where is Flat Beary?

Flat Beary here to tell you about the wonderful alpaca products available for sale at Quarry Critters Alpaca Ranch.
Let me tell you how I got my name, “Flat Beary”
Santa had me come along on a trip to Quarry Critters Alpaca Ranch. My job would be to wander

around the alpaca gift shop, looking at the luxurious alpaca gifts and fiber to see what Santa might use

in his gift giving season. I gathered up lots of ideas and left the shop to tell Santa all about my findings.

When suddenly, from nowhere, there appeared, a whole herd of reinpacas running towards me. Before

I could get out of the way, they ran over me. It seems that Santa was training them, to help pull his sleigh.

Getting run over didn’t hurt but it did leave me flat. Santa thinks that now I’ll be able to fit down some of those skinny chimneys. I’m so excited about my new job.

Here are some alpaca gifts I thought Santa might be able to use this season.

Alpaca Socks- so many colors and styles to choose from

Scarves- handmade from the alpaca fibers on the farm, co-op milled scarves and woven
brushed alpaca from Peru

Lots of stuffed alpaca friends, oh so soft, all sizes to hold and love. I hope Santa puts one of these in my stocking.

Hand knitted alpaca caps and hats

Gloves, alpaca fingerless and mittens

Fiber, Yarn, Roving
- soft and silky in so many colors both natural and dyed
This is a reinpaca

This is a reinpaca

Monday, May 12, 2014

Oh that darn Meningeal Worm....

In Memory of
Peruvian Ace of Heart

March 28, 2004 --- May 12, 2014

As an alpaca owner we are always worried about that darn little worm that can migrate into the alpaca and cause damage to the central nervous system or result in death. That worm is know as the meningeal worm and is hosted by the white tail deer. In PA, we certainly have lots of white tail deer running about about therefore protocol calls for deworming of our alpacas. Here at Quarry Critters Alpaca Ranch we use Dectomax every 6 weeks and we have Guinnea Hens. Guinnea Hens are a pea fowl that eats this snail and their eggs/larva. Another dewormer often used alternatively is Ivermectin.

Here are some other means of prevention:
* Ideally alpacas should not graze in the same pasture as the white tailed deer.
* Placing a deer proof fence may offer some protection, but that would be a 12 foot high fence of
woven wire not high tensile fencing.
* eliminate organic matter. Snails and slugs prefer dark, damp areas therefore these pests will gather
around the leaves, buildings, wood piles, compost, etc. It's a good idea to keep pasture and areas
around the barn clean.
* placing gravel or limestone around the fence lines can help to reduce migration of these slugs
into the pasture.
* Fowl such as Guinea Hens will help decrease snail and slug population in the fields
* Use of dewormers are recommended such as Ivermectin every 30 days or Dectomax every 45 days

Make every effort to know the prevention and be diligent in your management to reduce risk and maintain a healthy meningeal worm free herd.

I'm so sadden at the lose of our favorite herd sire Peruvian Ace of Hearts. Yes, he was infected by the meningeal worm. We first noticed lost in weight. Then he stopped following us around eager to eat, and stopped eating. We called the vet and got lots of help and meds. This helped his spirits and his appetite returned. He was his old self again except he wasn't using his legs. We work physical therapy on his legs twice a day in an an attempt to keep the circulation moving. The vet loaned us a hoist to help lift him so he
would be able to put pressure on his legs. This was incredibly helpful. He fought a good fight. He stayed true to the end. May 12, 2014 at age 10 Ace passed away.

Ace is survived by many fine off springs both male and female. He was able to produce many colors but his favorite color was medium fawn. His EPD put him in the top 1% of the American herd for his fine crimp. Ace participated in alpaca shows such as 2005 Empire Show and placed 5th out of 12 white yearling males, 2006 was in the North American alpaca Show and placed 6th. He was also known for his incredibly dense blanket.

Ace was loved by all and will be missed.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

What is a micron?

A micron?

A micron?

A micron?
When I first started looking into alpacas I kept hearing this word micron. What the heck is a micron? After listening, asking questions and reading research I think I have it figured out. Pretty important word to know as an alpaca breeder. So here is what I found. . . .

Micron count is a way of evaluating each hair or fiber on the alpaca. So in many ways a micron is a tool. It's a way to figure out the value of your alpaca's fleece. Like this . . . . .

I shear my alpacas, send the side sample off to Yocom-McColl which is a lab that use microscopes, scanners and computers to evaluate that sample and then tells me the results. Based on the micron count, that they tell me, I then know the best use of the fiber.

Like this. . . . . . .

Very fine 20 - 22 micron count

I have an alpaca that has a micro count of less than 20 up to 22 microns then I'll want to make something that is next to the skin and will be gently used maybe a shawl or baby items.

Most versatile 23 - 28 Micron count

Micron counts that are 23 - 28 are the most versatile and can be used for lots of items that are worn very comfortable next to your skin. Because alpaca is so soft, alpaca breeders want everyone to feel this comfortable fiber.

Then there is the higher number of micron count such as 29 - 32 this might start to feel a little less comfortable. There is still a use for this warm and cozy alpaca fiber and that would be to use it in batts, felt or outerwear.

What is a micron?

A micron is a tool that alpaca breeders use, to determine what product to make from the raw alpaca fiber that comes off their alpacas. A micron is a tool that helps alpaca breeders breed for that product. Do you want your alpacas to make rugs, felt, batts, outerwear OR baby soft blankets and shawl? It's helpful to know this word micron. What is your goal for breeding alpacas? Now you know, plan accordingly.

If you need answers to important questions like this then contact
Quarry Critters Alpaca Ranch -
Very fine 20 - 22 micron count

Very fine 20 - 22 micron count

Most versatile 23 - 28 Micron count

Most versatile 23 - 28 Micron count

Alpaca Fleece

Alpaca Fleece

Monday, July 15, 2013

What's a Knitty Knotty?

Linda is taking her yarn off the spool and winding it on the knitty knotty.

Linda is taking her yarn off the spool and winding it on the knitty knotty.

Fiber night is held at Quarry Critters Alpaca Ranch every other week. We call this night "Knitty Knotty Knight", well some of us also call it "Knitty Knaughty Knight". We come together to knit and spin.
I want to tell you about one member of our group named Linda. She is one of the 2 Linda's in our group. I first met Linda on Lincoln Square in Gettysburg, PA one Saturday morning at my vendor booth for Quarry Critters. I sell my alpaca fleece, roving, yarn and other items made from alpaca fiber at the local farmers market. I was sitting and busily spinning away as she told me that she use to love to spin and that she still had her spinning wheel.
"I'm going to learn to spin when I retire", she would tell me.
So I invited her to our group. She continued to come, as she would sit and knit she kept saying how she had a spinning wheel and wanted to learn to spin.
I'm happy to announce that Linda retired and she learned to spin. Yea!!!
At our last "Knitty Knotty Knight" she brought her wheel. She showed us what she had spun in class. Linda had done an excellent job of learning to spin. Upon filling her spool she asked if she could borrow a knitty knotty, then listen to this, this is so cute,
then she says, "Hey, that is the name of our group!"
Love that.

Linda is happily looking forward to her new life in retirement and spinning.
She has her next project already under way. She is spinning blue wool and is thinking about plying it with green wool to create a barber pole effect. I wonder what she will make with her new yarn she made herself.

Thank you for visiting our blog and reading all the way to the end. I hope that you enjoy what you find here. Please visit our website to find out more about alpacas and all the fine items and clothing that can be made by their fleece.
After the yarn is on the knitty knotty,  it is secured in 3 -4 places then taken off the knitty knot

After the yarn is on the knitty knotty, it is secured in 3 -4 places then taken off the knitty knot