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wpe5E.jpg (4970 bytes) Fibre Works Farm: July Step By Step Journal

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Alpacas    Buhunds    Fibre Works Gallery    Shetlands

Limerick Link


July saw us through some sun, some rain, some frost and some snow.  Not our usual July weather menu.  As a result, the barn is still only slowly taking shape.  We have the roof on now but there is still lots of work to do siding, staining and working on the interior.  Now that the mud has abated somewhat, we can start working on the ground treatment for the immediate barn area as well as in the corrals surrounding the barn (which haven't been built yet either!).  Trenching for water and power and the fencing in the barn area all need dry weather so we will keep our fingers crossed.

Fibre Works Alpacas:  At Fibre Works Farm, July has come to  mean "Alpacafest", the largest alpaca only show held in Canada.  It takes place in Red Deer, in conjunction with Westerner Days.  This year I was able to attend a number of seminars, very informative and entertaining.  In previous years, I have been presenting information and so unable to take in all of the workshops, etc. that go along with the show.  Fibre Works Farm was one of the sponsors of the inaugural International Alpaca Fleece Show presented by the Canadian Alpaca Breeders Association at Alpacafest.  More than 80 fleeces were entered from Canada, Australia and the U.S.  The top Huacaya fleece was from West Wool, a Canadian breeding operation.  Nola Graham from the U.S. took top honors for the Suri fleece classes.  On another fibre related note, the incorporation documents for the Canadian Camelid Fibre Co-op have been sent around to the Volunteer Steering Committee and to the Director of Co-ops for Alberta for comments.  We hope to see this Co-op come into being sometime this fall.

Fibre Works Shetlands:  We moved both the Fibre Works Farm and the Niers Lake (Baker) ewe and lamb flock from their Crossfield winter home to summer pasture at the farm near Bergen.  We have really enjoyed watching the lambs develop and the ewes are great personalities to have around too.  Fleece type on our lambs is very soft and tending toward single coated.   One of the ram lambs has swept back horns that will not clear his cheeks when the curl comes around.  As he has very nice fibre and a very winning personality, he will likely end up as a wethered pet.  Another of the black ram lambs has very nice fibre, a nice short tail and so far his horns seem to be wide enough.  He will be for sale if we feel his horns continue to develop in an acceptable manner.  We may have one ewe lamb left for sale but have a number of interested potential buyers.  Please contact us for more information if you are interested in buying breeding stock or wethers.

Fibre, Yarn and the Fibre Works Gallery:  Norma Westcott has finished weaving a wonderful ruana (or cloak) out of soft spun black alpaca and white reeled silk.  It is spectacular.  There are a few finishing details left to do but we hope to have pictures up in the Gallery soon.  Norma has also started on our next joint venture.  It is a series of scarves woven out of fine, handspun fawn alpaca yarn and honey coloured tussah silk yarn.   The alpaca was handspun by Kathy Buse and is so soft, you almost can't feel it.   This project will be less dramatic than the black and white cloak but will have a very sophisticated look and will be a joy to wear.

Bergen Norwegian Buhunds:   Tjalfi and Treva have been very keen on helping with the sheep.  Both show great drive and instinct.  Now if only I had some experience training sheep dogs, we would be away.  Treva has come into season at the end of this month.   We will not breed her this time around but look forward to her next heat (likely in January) when we will breed for March puppies.  Our waiting list for puppies is growing so please contact us if you are interested in getting a puppy from this planned litter.

Farm Stuff:  We spent quite a bit of time finishing our first small stock (sheep or alpacas) pasture set up before we brought the flocks home.  We now have a very secure central pasture (about 1/2 an acre) that has a five foot perimeter wire mesh fence.  The wire extends 18" into the ground at an angle to prevent predators digging in.  Each corner has two sections of board wind fencing about 24' long and 8' high to provide shade and shelter.  This portion of the fence also has an inground wire extension.  Our 10' by 20' small stock shed is located in a handy spot on high ground in the central pasture.  The central pasture is surrounded by four other pastures with secure gates linking them together and serviced by a central waterer.  We hope we will be able to rotate stock through the pastures to make the most of the grazing while always having a secure home base for the animals.  If this works well, we will use it for a model as we develop the remaining small stock pastures around the barn.

Limerick Link For July

Montana is home to a flock
That seems fertile right round the clock.
This spring Judy was busy
And sometimes quite dizzy
With not enough jugs for the stock!

Bitterroot Ranch

Judy Colvin



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Linda Wendelboe
Fibre Works Farm,
Box 43, Site 2, RR#2

Sundre, Alberta,  Canada  T0M 1X0

Telephone   403-638-3912
FAX     403-638-8052
E-MAIL     info@fibreworksfarm.com

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Last modified: December 21, 2001

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