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Champion Peruvian Suri Alpacas Visit our website at Ben & Lynda Fisco • 12100 Pekin Road • Newbury, OH 44065 (440) 564-5114 •E-mail:

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PURELYSURI Summer 2003 VOLUME 2, NUMBER 1 â&#x20AC;˘ $10.00

Purely Smi magazine is a publication of Suri

features 12

Why show alpacas?


Electron microscopy: as a window on fiber quality

by Connie Bodeker

by Suvia Judd and Deborah Berman


Evaluating shorn suri alpacas


Suris, shearing and sunburn


Shaping the future of the North American suri alpaca

by Andy Tillman by Gail S. Campbell, DVM

by Dick Walker, MD


What do we mean by phenotype?: a detailed look at what makes "suri" by Gail S. Campbell, DVM


Breeding for conformation: a key to alpaca profitability by Bill Hedberg, DVM


Cold climate herd management

by Brad Sprouse

Nerwork, Inc. Statements, opinions, and points of view expressed by the writers and adverrisers are their own and do not necessarily represent those of Purely Suri, members of Suri Nerwork, the publisher, AOBA, AOBA officials, staff, employees, or agents. Suri Nerwork does nor assume liabiliry for products or services adverrised herein. Suri Nerwork reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter. No part of Purely Suri may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means electronically, mechanically, by photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior express writren permission of the submitting author to which the article, photograph, illustration, or material is copyrighted. Purely Swi assumes all work published here is original and is the work and properry of the submitting author. All product and company names are trademarked or copyrighted by their respective owners. Š2003 by Suri Nerwork, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.



Gail S. Campbell, DVM Steve Quigley

Associate Editors


The lost art - part II: a hand over hand guide to shearing suris by Noelene A. Hayes


To bathe or not to bathe?: food for thought by Ernesto Matos, Jr.


Eye on elegance: a study of 100% suri garments by Patricia Bronson and Cheryl Crosswait

Daphne Aurness Susan Bennett Shannon Knoblock Andy Tillman Catherine Whitman

Art Direction and Design Steve Quigley

Advertising Manager Stephanie Pride



Advice for new breeders: insight from established suri farms


by Jennifer Powers

Able Publishing

Blue ribbon suris: what suri judges look for in the ring



Deborah Berman Connie Bodeker Patricia Bronson Gail S. Campbell, DVM Cheryl Crosswair Noelene A. Hayes Bill Hedberg, DVM SuviaJudd Ernesto Matos, Jr. Jennifer Powers Brad Sprouse Andy Tillman Dick Walker, MD

\ _


Message from the President


Suri Network Statement of Purpose


Suri Network Forum: Feb. 21, 2003


Suri Network Membership List & Board of Trustees


Advertisers index

Sarah Campbell: Concept Angel Forbes: Srylisr Baltimore Color Plate: Photography


About the cover: The cover features a clay "SuriSculprure~" by arrisr and suri breeder Judy Evans Steele. We feel that this intriguing image of a suri portrayed in fine art symbolizes the noble qualities inherent to the rare suri and reflects the current "sculpting'' of the modern suri by breeders. The arrwork's individualiry and beaury, like each living suri, is a masterpiece befitting of the cover of Purely Suri.





Suri Network, Inc.

Suri Network is an affiliate of AOBA.

SIRE: ANGEL'S DEVIL Sire: PPeruvian Angel G4551 Dam: Peruvian Greta Garbo W773


Sire: Prysm Dam: Peruvian Keta W729


Breeding great Suris one at a time! For more information about Red Eminence or his cria, please contact: AL OR DONNA ELSER • P.O. BOX 145 • NEW KINGSTON, NY 12459 PHONE: 845-586-2121 •FAX: 845-586-2337 •E-MAIL: WEBSITE:

a message from the president

to the second edition of Purely Suri, a publication of the Suri Network, Inc. The Suri twor is dedicated to the preservation of the suri alpaca. As the only national affiliate of AOBA, n the unique position of being a truly unified voice for the suri alpaca industry. No matter etails, all of us are clearly interested in protecting the industry and promoting suri alpacas as well as the products produced from their luxurious and silky fiber. Many projects have been completed by volunteers in the past two years. There is a comprehensive Suri Network web site that serves as an effective means of communication and includes an online membership directory. An attractive and educational brochure was developed by Brad and Jandy Sprouse and is now available for purchase. And, finally, this edition of Purely Suri was completed. I would like to thank the tireless Board members and Committee volunteers for their selfless devotion to the Suri "cause." In 2003, the Suri Network hosted the first Suri Network Forum and Long Range Planning Committee Meeting. At this forum, through educational presentation and discussion, consensus was reached on most issues. Ongoing discussion and research is needed to achieve consensus on more controversial issues. Several new committees were formed, and generous volunteers have committed to serving on them: Education, Marketing, Sponsorship, and Research. There is a more in-depth report on the Forum in this issue. Overwhelming interest and exponential growth in the suri alpaca industry has invigorated participation in the Suri Network. Membership is currently well over 200 and continues to grow in spite of the fact that suris comprise only 1% of the world alpaca population and 16% of the U.S. alpaca population. I would also like to thank the membership for their patience, support, and suggestions that have made this publication possible. A special thanks goes out to Gail Campbell for her enormous contribution of time and resources without which this edition of Purely Suri would never have happened. Please enjoy the results and feel free to contact any of the Board or Committee members with additional ideas or suggestions for the next beautiful publication.

• • • • •

• • • • ••••• Connie Bodeker President Suri Network, Inc.



Suri Network Statement of Purpose

"Dedicated to the preservation of the suri alpaca" The purpose of the Suri Network shall include, but not be limited to, the following: • To promote, through education to the alpaca community and the general public, awareness of and interest in suri alpacas and their fiber and related business interests. • To promote the growth of the suri alpaca industry. • To serve as an industry and marketing group to promote and protect the collective economic and legal interests of the Network's members. • To organize and conduct, from time to time, a suri alpaca event which shall be open to the public and which shall further the purposes of the Corporation . This event shall provide members and other participants with the opportunity to share with each other their ideas, encouragement, knowledge and companionship.

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why show alpacas? there's more to it than just ribbons by Connie Bodeker

howing alpacas is a win-win venture for both breeder and animal, whether or not you take home blue ribbon. As many seasoned breeders have learned, earning a prize is only one of the numerous benefits of showing. "Whether your emphasis is breeding stock or fiber production animals, the show ring can lend credibility to your breeding program and add value to your product. Further opportunities to enhance your business await you outside the ring. Showing is not only an excellent marketing tool, but also an unbeatable way to evaluate your efforts, improve your breeding knowledge and skills, promote the alpaca industry, and enjoy the company of those who share your passion.

A small farm with qua/Uy breeding stock can quickly earn respect and credibility lJy presenting themselves and their alpacas in a professional manner.



Showing is especially beneficial for small to medium-sized farms because in the ring, the size of your farm doesn't matter. There, you are on equal footing with all other competing farms; your animals have the same amount of time in front of an audience and a trained, professional judge. No one knows whether you own five alpacas or 500; all they know is that you have enough confidence to attend the show and display your alpacas. A small farm with quality breeding stock can quickly earn respect and credibility by presenting themselves and their alpacas in a professional manner. For farms working with a small staff or tight budget, shows are an efficient means of getting wide marketing exposure. The AOBA National Conference Show hosts an estimated 1,000 alpacas and nearly 2,000 participants. At a show, your prospective sales audience expands from a local to a national level. Your farm display and alpacas are in front of the ideal target group - alpaca owners and other interested parties. How much effort would it take to get that many breeders to visit your farm and look at your alpacas? Using shows as a marketing tool is more cost-effective than conventional advertising. "When you consider the cost of running a single full-page magazine ad ($1,200 in some cases), attending a show seems quite reasonable for the time your alpacas are in front of so many prospective buyers. Even if you don't make a sale at the show, others will begin to know you, and seeing your animals may lead a prospective buyer to visit your farm later with a purchase in mind. Shows are not just for show-quality animals; you may be able to market others as well. Some show rules allow breeders to attend with animals they don't plan to show but want to expose to prospective buyers. Some breeders, even large ones,

Using shows as a marketing tool is more cost-effective than conventional advertising. When you consider the cost of running a single full-page magazine ad ($1 ,200 in some cases), attending a show seems quite reasonable ...

have never shown their alpacas but effectively use shows as an excellent marketing tool simply by bringing sale animals to shows. If you do enter the competition, extra animals can make good companions for your show alpacas.

fiber attributes and the overall quality of breeding stock you produce, as well as those you intend to purchase. When alpacas are for sale at a show, you can also get a realistic view of pricing.

Attending shows gives you the opportunity to hear expert opinions that will help you assess your own operation. Barn-blindness is a common ailment among alpaca breeders. The cure is to go to shows and see the characteristics selected for by other breeders. Judges have been trained to evaluate alpacas based on specific criteria for healthy breeding stock, so shows are an excellent place to learn what breeders look for when selecting new stock. You'll be able to evaluate the merits of your own breeding decisions and find out whether you are on the right track or need to make changes to keep up with the market.

It's almost impossible to leave a weekend show without gaining new knowledge or skills. Many events offer educational seminars and demonstrations. At the AOBA National Conference, for example, you can learn about cria care and delivering babies, methods of shearing, medical updates and research, business plans and marketing, and the latest developments in the political scene, among other topics. These workshops give you a chance to ask questions and learn from respected breeders who have

Along similar lines, shows give you a wider perspective on the quality of your alpacas. You'll see the best alpacas available from across the country. These top quality alpacas can serve as a standard against which you measure your own herd. No matter how your animals stack up, this is a useful exercise. Being around other alpacas helps you learn to more accurately assess conformation,

Attending shows gives you the opportunity to hear expert opinions that will help you assess your own operation.


experienced various stages of our industry's development. Most breeders are more than willing to share their mistakes, as well as brag about their successes. Attending shows is an enriching experience as well for alpacas, who adapt readily to living on the road and among the public. Showing requires training alpacas to the halter and lead, forcing you to give them extra time and attention that you'll both enjoy. The show experience is even beneficial for young animals, who are very receptive to humans at weaning and take to showing easily. The more alpacas are trained and handled, the better they will adapt to future travel and confinement when taken to shows or shipped to other farms for outside breedings. The show experience also helps alpacas learn to handle stress, which can be a concern in alpaca management. Finally, showing provides an excellent diversion for alpacas who, as highly intelligent creatures, may grow bored from routine farm life.

Children can also benefit from show practice, especially in agility competitions. Along with learning to handle alpacas, they develop future skills for competing in the big ring.



Shows can be a lot of fun for owners, too. You'll have plenty of time for socializing and entertainment. Dinners and other gatherings let you meet people you might otherwise never know. Nothing beats getting out and talking with those who share your enthusiasm for the alpaca industry. (Believe it or not, you are not the only one suffering from "alpaca fever.") Traveling to shows is also an opportunity to get off the farm, see the countryside, and have some relaxed, uninterrupted conversation with your spouse or partner. When you attend a show, you play a role in promoting the alpaca industry. Each of us is an ambassador for the entire alpaca community. Often, an interested person comes in to a show off the street and spends time talking to a receptive breeder. Those first impressions are very important. They may ultimately lead to the purchase of an animal or simply create more interest and awareness about alpacas. Either way, our industry benefits. Showing is hard work but well worth the effort. When you think about it, there's really no good reason not to show. Not only will you promote your business to a large market, you'll also gain new insights, information, confidence and perspective - and both you and your animals will have a great time. You're a winner just by being there. See you in the ring! â&#x20AC;˘:â&#x20AC;˘ Connie Bodeker and her husband, Rick, have owned and operated BBF Alpacas Inc. since 1996, specializing in suris and suri fiber products. Connie holds a B.S. degree in Animal Science from the University of Minnesota. Academic emphasis included: genetics, nutrition, meat science, journalism, and farm management as it pertains to production animals. Connie served three years on the AOBA Show Committee during its initial development, two years on the Suri Network board of directors, and has also attended three Judge's Training Sessions. (507) 263-5441;

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electron microscopy as a window on fiber quality by Suvia Judd and Deborah Berman


hen we were beginning alpaca buyers, we were offereH a choice between two young suri males as art of a package. The fleeces of the two animals felt different to our hands, but we could not pin down the difference except that we preferred one to the other. We set out to find a microscope that would allow an in-depth view of the fiber surfaces and ended up at the University of Idaho Electron Microscopy Lab, where the director kindly took some pictures of our samples. The resulting electron micrographs clearly showed the structure of overlapping scales on each fiber. In the fiber from the fleece we preferred, the scales lay smoothly along the length of the fiber. In the other one, the edges of the scales were tipped up. We did not know whether the difference was due to damage to one of the fleeces or to genetic differences in the animals, but we chose the one with the nicer handle and smoother scales.

•• •• ••

Suri alpaca fiber is characterized by flat, smooth scales.According to this research, the length of the scales is a good predictor offiber qualities such as handle and luster.



Both of us have a long-time interest in the field of evaluation, so it was only natural that as we became more involved in the alpaca industry, we began to think about how alpaca fleece is evaluated. The luster in suri fleece fascinated us, and we wondered what kind of objective measurement might be used to evaluate it. Could it be that fiber with smoother scales has more luster than fiber with rougher scales? To test this idea, we designed a small pilot experiment. We gathered samples of 10 white suri fleeces and split each sample in two. Then we sent one set of samples to senior alpaca judge Maggie Krieger and asked her to evaluate them as if she were evaluating fleeces in a show. The other set we took to Franklin Bailey, director of the UI Electron Microscopy Lab, asking him to measure whatever could be measured about the scales. Maggie Krieger evaluated the samples using five criteria: fineness and handle, density of lock, luster, character, and the presence or absence of medullation (guard hair). She assigned ratings of one to 10, with 10 being best. Her ratings of each sample are shown in Table 1.

Franklin Bailey found that scale height could not be measured, contrary to what we expected, so he measured scale length. He prepared the samples with silver coating to make them visible in the electron microscope, then made a videotape of 10 fibers from each of the 10 fleeces. For each fiber, he measured the diameter and scale length of five scales. This gave us 500 scale measurements. A still photograph example of a scale length measurement is shown in Figure A.

Early in our investigations, we had also asked Franklin Bailey to make an electron micrograph of a silk fiber. The best suri fiber is often compared to silk, and we wanted to compare the two more closely. As an extruded fiber, silk has no scales. Not surprisingly, it appears perfectly smooth in the micrograph. Electron microscopy could be used to evaluate our industry's progress towards a goal of making suri fiber more silk-like, with longer scales and a level profile. (See Figure A.)

We transcribed the videotaped results into a table and sent them off with Maggie Krieger's ratings to our biostatistician friend, Liesi Hebert. Dr. Hebert found a strong relationship between scale length and three out of five of the fleece quality criteria. Longer scale length was associated with greater luster, greater fineness and handle, and less medullation. Table 2 shows the probability that the relationship between scale length and each criterion is due to chance. For fineness/handle, for example, a "p" of .02 means that there is only a two percent probability that the relationship between handle and scale length is due to chance, and therefore a 98 percent probability that the relationship is not random.

Although the number of samples in our experiment was too small to constitute a truly scientific study, additional research could explore fiber evaluation further. One could expand on the pilot study, using more animals to confirm the statistical result and adding some other fiber characteristics, such as color and lock type. Does the relationship of scale length to fiber quality hold true for colors other than white? Across different lock types?

Previously, we had not thought much about scale length, but these results made sense. Longer scales mean fewer interruptions (at the scale junctions) in the light path down the fiber, leading to greater luster. Similarly, longer scales mean fewer "bumps" in the fleece as one feels it in the hand, resulting in better handle. Longer scales were also associated with a better score for medullation, i.e., a relative absence of medullated fibers. To a judge evaluating fiber, more medullated samples feel coarser and rougher while less medullated samples finer and smoother, so this makes sense.

VI notable aside: Our interest in fineness as a criterion used by judges to evaluate suri fleece had previously led us to have fiber diameter measurements run by the Yocum-McColl lab. Interestingly, our fiber study did not find any consistent relationship between diameter ofthe fiber and scale length.) We noticed that the ratings for each of these variables - luster, handle and (absence of) medullation - tended to be higher in younger animals than older animals, and in animals in better health and condition than those in poorer health. It is possible that younger or healthier animals have a faster rate of scale growth, causing their fiber scales to grow longer before new ones form.

Table 1: Fiber Assessment (courtesy of Maggie Krieger) Sample 5 6











Density of lock



















































7.5 8.5

Table 2: Association of Microscopic Measures with Observed Qualities Single Scales n=499 est* p Fineness/handle Density of lock

.097 - .014

Average of Scales n=10 est p


.709 - .101



















*est= increase in score for 7 unit increase in scale length Note: Average of scales is the average scale length for each animal. Statistical significance is even higher if all 499 scale measurements are looked at together (Single Scales).


electron microscopy (continued)

Figure A. Electron micrograph of a suri alpaca fiber showing scales and measurement of scale length (indicated by white bar).

One could also look for other information to extract from the raw data of the pilot study. For example, when one looks at the 10 fleeces as revealed in the original electron micrographs, it is clear there is an individuality to scale shape. Can we characterize and group these patterns? Would this information be of any practical use? One could even strike out in new directions with electron microscopy of fiber scales. For example, one person asked us if scale characteristics could be used to distinguish suris from huacayas. We suspect not. We have read that huacaya scales tend to stick up more, but in our very preliminary look, the suri and huacaya scales appear similar in pattern, and huacaya fibers do not have a rougher profile. We were also asked if scale length could be used to distinguish the fleece types. Again, we think not. If there were a difference, one would need a statistical evaluation to tell. We view scale lengths as a continuum, with no dividing line where all suri scales are longer and all huacaya scales shorter. We hypothesize that the scale length, height and pattern of suri and huacaya fiber converge on identical as the fleeces increase in quality. If this is true, then whatever makes suri and huacaya fleece different must be happening in the subsurface structure.



Another application might be identifying the causes of fiber damage, which can occur on or off the animal. In the field, animals that have the same treatment may show differing amounts of sun damage. Electron microscopy could be used to visualize this damage more clearly, perhaps helping to identify animals with more UV-resistant fleece. After shearing, damage may occur to fleeces during processing. We suspect that sometimes the most desirable qualities of suri fleece are lost in washing, carding/combing or spinning. We know that damaged fleece shows a more ragged profile, with tipped-up scale edges where the scales overlap. Perhaps electron microscopy could help prevent damage by pinpointing where in the processing it occurs.

Yet another possibility might be in training novice judges. If further study found that scale length is predictive of the fleece quality ratings made by other experienced judges, then the technique might be used to give feedback to those just learning to evaluate fleece. For now, we have evidence that longer fiber scales in suri fleece are associated with better handle, greater luster and an absence of medullated fibers. We believe that further study could be beneficial to the suri industry. Perhaps the electron microscope holds a key to unlocking the secrets of the suri's most irresistible feature, its fabulous, fascinating fleece. â&#x20AC;˘:â&#x20AC;˘

An earlier account ofthis research appeared in Suri Network News, Fall 1998.

Deborah Berman has degrees in physics/chemistry, environmental health administration and environmental health science/toxicology. Suvia Judd has degrees in biology, public health and law. Both have a long-time interest in the field of evaluation, and Deborah designed evaluation indices for her doctorate. They are two of the partners at Lazy M Suris in Moscow, Idaho. Deborah and Suvia welcome comments on their fiber research. (, or PO Box 8665, Moscow, Idaho)

evaluating shorn suri alpacas it's easier than you think


Article and Photos By AndyTillman

t is surprisingly easy to evaluate the fleece of a shorn suri alpaca. AOBA rules require a suri with less than three inches of fleece length to show in a conformation class. Staple length three inches or greater can show in a full fleece division. This rule is entirely in keeping with industry norms which prefer a 7 cm (2.75 inch) staple length. AOBA'.s 2002 rule book permits a maximum fleece length of 12 inches. This encourages shearing and is slightly more than a mill which specializes in long staple processing can handle. Most suri alpaca breeders delay shearing their best show quality suris until their second, or even third, summer. While these over-mature fleeces may look dramatic in the ring, the weight of a twelve pound blanket of cotted fiber adds environmental stress which may lead to sub-fertility in the male, lack of milk production in the female, and lack of normal weight gain in both sexes. The fiber itself is cotted, too long to process, and has no commercial value. So why do we do this to our favorite animals? Once breeders and judges both learn to confidently and accurately evaluate shorn suris, it is likely that more breeders will shear their animals. The conventional wisdom is that exhibitors who shear are at a disadvantage compared to those who do not. Unfortunately, this is probably true. How can judges learn to evaluate suris unless they shear themselves? The same is true for exhibitors.

Fig. 1: 20 micron fancy



Fig. 2: 20 micron fancy 60 days after shearing

Fig. 3: Rose grey wlnarrow, flat locks and great luster

As you can see from the following photographs, it is relatively easy to evaluate a shorn fleece just two months after shearing. This is easy with an exceptional fleece like the 20 micron fancy with fawn saddle (Fig. 1). The exceptional staple length of this suri has helped its second fleece gather into well formed locks in just sixty days (Fig. 2). Note the uniformity of the fleece throughout the neck, hip, barrel and britch. Now take a look at the rose gray with his head down, eating (Fig. 3). This suri has a narrow, flat lock, with great luster. After just two months regrowth, you see the same narrow flat lock (Fig. 4). This suri showed again in full fleece just six months after being shorn and won his class. The fleece type is the same in his second fleece as his first. This medium brown male (Fig. 5) has exceptional coverage and a bold, uniform, corkscrew lock on his neck. Despite having a much shorter staple length on the neck as the barrel, the corkscrew lock has reformed into an identifiable lock with great density just sixty days after being shorn (Fig. 6). It is somewhat more difficult to judge a narrow twisted lock so soon after shearing, like this dense black male (Fig. 7). Look closely and you will see his barrel is forming into a pencil lock, but the neck has not yet grown enough staple length for the fleece to gather into a lock (Fig. 8) . However, you

Fig. 4: Rose grey 60 days after shearing

Fig. 5: Incredible coverage and corkscrew locks

Fig. 6: Lock reformation just 60 days after shearing

Fig. 7: Narrow twisted locks in a dense fleece

Fig. 8: Density can be felt before locks reform

can feel how very dense the neck is on this suri. The hairs stand upright perpendicular to the skin and resist any compression on the neck. This is the suri equivalent to a dense "spongy" fleece on a huacaya. The very fine LF female (Figs. 9 & 10) came back with much better lock on her second fleece than her virgin fleece. This is not uncommon with very fine fleeces. I did not show this female because she was locked on the surface of the fleece bur not underneath where she was cotted. Yet, her regrowth came back with excellent independence of lock. We have a saying on our farm that, "You don't really know a suri until you shear it."

We have a saying on our farm ... "You don't really know a suri until you shear it."

Fig. 11: Unsheared LF male with fine, dense fleece

Fig. 12: After shearing the barrel resumes locking

Fig. 9: Virgin fleece on a vety fine LF fema le

Fig. 10: Better lock formation on a second fleece

The handsome LF male is an example of a fine, yet dense fleece (Fig. 11). His barrel came back beautifully (Fig. 12), but his neck is too short to gather into a lock and shows a lack of uniformity (Fig. 13). In this case, you are probably getting a more accurate picture of his genetic capabilities being shorn than in full fleece. Compare the previous LF male to the MF pictured next (Figs. 14, 15, 16). His virgin fleece is well formed into a narrow, twisted lock. He has a part down the back of his neck which is indicative of good suri character. His regrowth is too short to show at just sixty days but is already forming into well defined locks with good luster, especially for a MF. By ten months, he is ready to show with a 3-4 inch regrowth over his entire body. Some animals maintain the integrity of their lock, staple length, and handle throughout their life. This dark gray male shown with his second and third fleece is indicative

Fig. 13: Shearing can reveal a lack of uniformity

Fig. 14: Virgin fleece with narrow, twisted locks

Fig. 75: Regrowth shows well defined locks & luster;oetwock.ocg


evaluating shorn suri alpacas rcontinuedJ

Fig. 16: Ten months after shearing with 4" regrowth

Fig. 17: Second fleece on a superior dark grey male

Fig. 18: Penciling on his 3rd fleece 60 days after shearing

of a superior animal (Fig. 17). The slick, cool handle is evident in his second fleece as is the uniformity of lock in his neck and barrel. The second photo shows penciling after just sixty days on a third fleece (Fig. 18). Staple length is a very important component to fleece weight. It may be as important, or more important, than either density or body size. You can see that the dark brown male lacks staple length in his virgin fleece (Fig. 19), particularly in the neck, and he also lacks it five months after shearing (Fig. 20). A buyer is at no disadvantage at all evaluating this shorn suri. With an exceptional suri, it is possible to show in full (virgin) fleece in the spring, shear after the Futurity, show in conformation classes during the summer, and show again in full fleece with a 3--4 inch staple length in the fall! It may even be a good way to stand out in a crowd of over mature fleeces.

Fig. 19: Lack of staple length in a virgin fleece

Fig. 20: Still no staple length even 5 months after shearing

Conclusion Have fun learning to evaluate shorn suris. It is relatively easy to evaluate an exceptional suri just sixty days after they have been shorn. Due to the shorter staple length on the neck, most animals will not show the same degree of lock regrowth on the neck as the barrel or hip. Any indication of locking on the neck should certainly be given credit as being a superior animal. Density can be accurately evaluated on the neck where the fibers will stand upright prior to gathering into a lock. Individual lock types can be identified within three or four months on most animals. Luster does not appear to be affected by shearing at all. A lack of luster will be seen as a "warm'' chalky fleece the same as it is on a virgin fleece. Judging relative staple length in a class does take experience but is quickly learned. Older animals have noticeably less staple length than younger ones. â&#x20AC;˘!â&#x20AC;˘

If there is a downside to shearing a show animal, it may be that the handle of the fleece does not feel as fine as a virgin fleece. There is probably some environmental damage to the tip of the fiber from shearing, particularly when using electric dippers rather than blades (hand shears). As an experiment, I sheared one side of a suri with blades and another side with electric dippers. It took 4-5 months for the two halves of this male to feel identical. We shear nine to twelve suris an hour standing, and I don't plan on switching to blades, but there is a noticeable difference in handle between the two methods.



Andy Tillman and his wife, Dr. Cheryl Tillman, have been breeding alpacas and llamas as their primary business for 28 years. Andy and Cheryl imported Bolivian suri and huacaya alpacas in 1996. The Tillmans initiated the tradition of donating a female alpaca to the annual AOBA auction in 1996, and contributed again in 1999. Andy is a former Suri Network vice president, co-editor of Purely Suri magazine, and member of the AOBA long Range Planning Committee. (541) 389-1065;












- ;


Since 1975



& Dr. Cheryl Tillman, Veterinarfu.n . 20510 S~alley Road I Bend, Oreg<?n 97701 (541) 389-1065 I Fax (541) 389-8026 E.. mail .

suris, shearing & sunburn an ounce of prevention ... By Gail S. Campbell, DVM


e are often asked about the differences between raising suris and huacayas. While we do not find major differences in care required by these two types of alpacas, there are some minor ones---especially in the summer. Alpacas can get sunburned; this is especially the case with suris. If shorn late in the season-June through August depending on your region of the countrythe area along the dorsal spinal processes of the vertebrae is very vulnerable. This is the area where the fiber naturally parts on a suri. The inguinal area can also get sunburned .if an alpaca is prone to lay out in the sun to sunbathe, as is the often the case. We have found four ways to prevent sunburn: 1. Shear early.

2. Use sunscreen on the freshly shorn alpaca. 3. Bring newly shorn alpacas into the barn during the hottest hours of the day. 4. Leave a little extra fiber along the suri's topline. Shearing early is the best and easiest prevention. The exact time that you shear depends on your location. In eastern Maryland, we believe that the month of May is the best. It can still be a bit cold at night here in April, and the sun's rays are too strong in June. By shearing in May, the alpacas have enough regrowth to protect them by the time that the hottest sun shines.

If you must shear late, applying a high SPF sunscreen (25 or higher) along the back of the neck and topline will help prevent sunburn. Just go to the discount store and buy their least expensive store brand in the largest container available. I am sure that our local K-Mart wondered about us when we bought out their supply a few years ago. Apply the sunscreen liberally, and don't be alarmed when they roll and sand sticks to them. This crusty layer protects them well until they are caught in a good rainstorm. Bringing alpacas into the barn during the time of strongest sunlight is a bit inconvenient, but it is easier than treating the pyoderma that can result from a severe sunburn. I have seen suris get so sunburned that they peeled heavily, resulting in thick layers of dead skin right down their parts. This compromised skin allows bacteria to enter. An infection (pyoderma) can ensue. In severe cases, systemic antibiotics and topical creams are needed to clear the pyoderma. Finally, a fourth way to avoid sunburn is to shear suris a little differently from huacayas. In suris, we recommend moving a little off the center line and leaving some fiber on the topline area to substantially lower the chances of sunburn. Hand shearing (because it leaves more staple length) or using a single cut with electric shears may also assist in reducing sunburn. â&#x20AC;˘!â&#x20AC;˘

Dr. Gail Campbell practiced small animal medicine for fifteen years, owning and managing a six-veterinarian animal hospital for ten years. In 1994, she purchased seven alpacas so her children could learn farm responsibilities. Alpacas quickly became a passion for Gail, and within a year, she and her late husband, Steve, had decided to raise alpacas as a full-time business. She is a past president of Suri Network, served on its Marketing Committee, and edited the first two editions of Purely Suri. Gail currently serves on the AOBA JTCC and Show committees. 410-867-4204;

sun screen

Applying a high SPF sunscreen (25+) along the back of the neck and topline is one way to help avoid suri sunburn.



the lost art: part 2 a hand over hand guide to shearing suris Article by Noelene Hayes with Photos by Donna Elser


n the first edition of Purely Suri, I discussed dffi'erent reasons for practicing the age-old tradition o ¡ and-shearing suris. In summary, the benefits "nclude: minimal restraint of your animal, protection from sunburn and flies (due to leaving more fiber), greater flexibility to shear early or later in the season, and quicker locking of the fiber after shearing. In this follow-up article, I would like to take you on a stepby-step journey and actually show you- from start to finish- how to hand shear a suri.

In this exercise, I will be shearing an adult male, "Huacho's Premier" of Thompson Hollow Alpacas, who is being restrained in an alpaca chute. A chute works well if one is available, but I have also shorn alpacas simply tied to a fence rail. To begin, position yourself on one side of the animal for shearing the opposite side. For example, I am right-handed, so I prefer to begin shearing by standing on the left side of the animal and shearing the right side from the base of the tail to the base of the neck (Fig. 2). Start your first cut in the fleece about one inch from the base of the tail where it joins the body. Shear an opening directly along the top-line until you reach the base of the neck (Fig. 3).

Take your time, cutting thin layers of fiber about one-half inch from the body. It is better to take less fiber in each cut, maintain control, and reduce the risk of injury or error. Once you have made your first "blow" down the back-line, return to the tail area and repeat this process, moving in small sections across the side and down the body. Very distinctive lines appear (Fig. 4) as you move down the side of the alpaca and the fleece opens up (Fig. 5). There are several sensitive areas to be aware of the armpits, legs, and belly. You will encounter the armpits first. Acquaint yourself with these sensitive areas, and avoid placing the points of your shears in these areas by feeling with your fingertips before moving in to shear. Often you can tell when you are approaching sensitive areas by the change in fiber quality or a slight change in color as shown in Huacho's legs (Fig. 6). Once you have located these areas, proceed to work on the rear leg. Pull the tail to one side to see where to begin (Fig. 7). Make the first cut from the rump forward, and continue down the leg in a similar fashion to that of the body. Most alpacas are sensitive to being touched on the legs, so it's helpful to keep some part of your body in contact with the animal (Fig. 8) to feel any change in muscle tension and anticipate an oncoming kick or movement. How far down the leg you shear is up to you, but the prime fleece ends above the knee. For this reason, you should remove the prime fiber before continuing down the leg. Once the back leg is complete you can continue along the belly, being very careful in the armpit areas (Fig. 9). At this point, the fleece may begin to fall down and pull on the skin, so I recommend lifting or supporting the fleece with your free hand or have a helper do it for you (Fig. 10). Lift or hold the fleece, but don't pull it away from the skin because you increase the risk of



a hand over hand guide to shearing suris

Fig. 7: Adult suri before shearing (Huacho's Premier of Thompson Hollow Alpacas)

Fig. 2: Restraint in an alpaca chute; position for shearing the opposite side

Fig. 3: Shear an opening directly along the top-line from the base of the tail to the base of the neck

Fig. 4: Shear across the side and down the body in small sections leaving 712" fleece

Fig. 5: Repeat this process moving along and down the body; distinct lines will begin to appear

Fig. 6: Sensitive areas are often indicated by the change in fiber quality or a slight change in color

Fig. 7: Pull the tail to one side to see where to begin shearing the leg

Fig. 8: Keep contact with the alpaca to feel muscle changes in anticipation of a kick or movement

Fig. 9: Continue along the belly being vety careful in the armpit areas

Fig. 70: Use your free hand or a helper to lift or hold the fleece to reduce the risk of cutting the skin

Fig. 11: Stop when the belly fiber becomes evident and the blanket or prime, fa lls away

Fig. 72: As you reach the belly fiber and the prime blanket is removed, the front armpit area will be exposed

Fig. 13: Following the contours, move up into the front shoulder region

Fig. 14: Shear down the front leg, but do not go too far forward into the neck or brisket area

Fig. 15: Some breeders prefer to leave the neck fiber in place for show unless it becomes matted

Fig. 16: The finished product after shearing the neck and trimming the head and ears


the lost art: part 2


cutting the skin. As you shear the body, you will see when to stop as the belly fiber will become evident and the blanket, or prime, will begin to fall away (Fig. 11).

As you reach the belly fiber and the prime blanket is removed, the front armpit area will be exposed (Fig. 12). The same rules apply as for the rear armpit: feel with your fingertips and support any fiber pulling down. Following the contours, move up into the front shoulder region (Fig. 13) and shear down the front leg, remembering to stop above the knee and not to go too far forward into the neck or brisket area. Once this is complete, you have successfully removed the blanket from one side (Fig. 14). Repeat the process on the left side, working from the neck to the tail. Once both sides of the blanket have been removed, trim up any "wild" hairs. The tail can be trimmed, however, before you start, place your thumb over the tip of the tail and leave it there while you shear the tail so you don't accidentally trim the wrong thing!

•• •• • •• ••


Minimal restraint of your animal, protection from sunburn and flies, greater flexibiliry to shear early or later in the season, and quicker locking of the fiber after shearing are just some of the benefits of hand-shearing suris.


Once the blanket is removed and the belly and leg fiber trimmed, the neck may be sheared. Some breeders prefer to leave the neck fiber in place for show unless it becomes matted (Fig. 15). Shearing the neck may be challenging and will depend upon the forgiving nature of your alpaca. Sometimes I shear around the neck, other times it is easier to move up the neck. It really depends on you and your animal. Choose the method that is most comfortable for you and safest for your alpaca, remembering to use caution around the head and ears. You can always come back and trim later if you or your alpaca have hit the "expiration date!" Your finished product (Fig. 16) will look quite different than an animal sheared electrically. Your first time might not be quite what you had envisioned, however, don't lose faith! In no time, the fiber will begin to grow again, and I'm sure, with time and practice, you will be ready to hand-shear all of your suris! •!•

Noelene Hayes has been a Farm Manager for over ten years, with sixteen years experience in Agriculture. Noelene attended Agricultural College in Australia and has a degree in Animal Science. She has been involved with alpacas since 1993 and is currently consulting on the East Coast, USA. (845) 586-1427;

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shaping the future of the North American suri alpaca by Dick Walker, MD

s suri breeders, our primary focus is . d suri phenotype, or physical charac. . uris are judged by their appearance, '-pl!Il(]rnJ:~greatest financial returns come from producing offspring that are superior in those traits that can be observed or measured. But there is far more to consider than meets the eye when it comes to making intelligent breeding decisions. Even more important in the long run is what we can't see in the breeding process: each suri's genotype, the individual genetic content that is created as the genetic makeup of each parent mixes and recombines in the progeny. Within the genotype are hidden variations that provide the raw material for new suri masterpieces. As such, they are our most precious assets, not only for individual successes, but also for the future of the North American suri industry. Choices we make in our breeding practices today will play a critical role in allowing this valuable genetic diversity to thrive in the years ahead. One needn't be a scientist to appreciate the importance of genetic considerations when breeding livestock. Over the past 50 years, the field of population genetics has contributed to huge advances in commercial livestock production. Wool yields in sheep have quadrupled; milk production in dairy cattle has more than doubled; and body fat in swine has been halved while meat production has increased significantly.



It will be years before the alpaca industry can even approach this level of sophistication. Even so, we can apply the basic concepts of population genetics to help us create successful breeding programs and still maintain the genetic diversity necessary for the long-term vigor of the suri industry. Population genetics applies genetic principals to groups of animals. Looking at suri breeding from the group perspective, rather than the individual perspective, is important because it is within groups of animals that systematic changes in genetic makeup occur, eventually resulting in the evolution of particular breeds. This is especially important at this stage of the North American suri industry, as most of us work to develop seed stock herds that will supply genetic material for multiple generations. In the wild, random mating within groups, also known as natural selection, ensures a diverse population with widespread genetic variations. As most of us learned in high school biology, genes come in pairs, which can be identical or different. The members of each pair are known as alleles, which are homozygous if identical and heterozygous if different. Natural selection maintains many heterozygous gene pairs, thereby preserving genetic diversity in the wild.

Breeders, on the other hand, artificially attempt to change the frequencies of certain genes or combinations of genes by selecting and mating suris with superior phenotypes. The result can be a decrease in heterozygous gene pairs and therefore genetic diversity, depending upon the selection and mating systems breeders use. In addition, a phenomenon known as genetic drift also affects gene frequency. Understanding how mating systems and genetic drift work within a population of animals is the first step in equipping ourselves to make smart breeding decisions.

Selection and Mating Systems of Breeders Three mating systems are most commonly employed by breeders. One is positive assortive mating, mating two phenotypically similar animals. Another is inbreeding, mating between relatives. The third is outcrossing, mating between unrelated animals within a breed. When breeding pairs are chosen based on phenotype without regard to genotype, this is referred to as assortive or selective mating. If selective breeding is effective, there will be an increase in the alleles selected "for" and a decrease in those selected "against." Selecting breeding pairs that are phenotypically alike is called positive assortive mating. This, the most common form of selective breeding, increases the frequency of homozygous genotypes and decreases that of the heterozygous type. The net effect is to decrease genetic diversity within the herd.

formance, and a larger proportion of prenatal and perinatal deaths. Recessive genes cause the majority of genetic defects. Less apparent than prenatal and perinatal deaths, but perhaps equally harmful, are decreases in fertility, birth weights, viability, disease resistance, stress tolerance and multiple other factors affecting the economic value of virtually all heavily inbred lines of livestock. Despite the problems associated with inbreeding, it has been used at various levels in the early development of many breeds of livestock. It is quite likely that inbreeding has played a significant role in the evolution of the suri as well.


The genetic effects of outcrossing are exact- ~ ly the opposite of those of inbreeding. Like positive assortive mating, inbreeding increases There is an increase homozygous gene pairs and decreases heterozygous pairs, in heterozygosity reducing the genetic diversity within a population. Unlike among the offspring, called heterosis or hybrid vigor. This assortive mating, which affects only those genes on which happens because unrelated parents are less likely to possess mate selection is based, inbreeding affects all genes. When the same harmful, even lethal, recessive genes. inbreeding, one inadvertently increases the Therefore, the offspring are more likely to homozygosity of all genes, the undesirable carry at least one normal (dominant) as well as those purposely selected for. Due to genetic drift, the gene within many pairs, resulting in In species like alpacas that regularly of our imported offspring normal biological function. Hybrid avoid inbreeding, close inbreeding vigor is associated with greater viasuris have less genetic is generally harmful. Detrimental bility and faster growth rates. effects of inbreeding, called diverslty than was present Advances in the swine, dairy, poulinbreeding depression, are found in in the population from try and cattle industries are the virtually every species. The more result of hybrid vigor, and we can which they were chosen. intense the inbreeding, the more harmassume that similar benefits would occur ful the effects, which can include genetic in alpacas as well. defects, a general overall decline in vigor and per-



shaping the future


lation and finds a new sub population. The random genetic drift associated with such an event is called the founder effect. When a small group of animals becomes geographically isolated, any gene may either disappear or become fixed (homozygous) in a few generations. This occurs because the population is so small that even a slight change in the number of animals carrying a gene can cause a large change in the percentage of the total population having the gene or not having the gene. If this small, now isolated, population were closely related, then the change in gene frequency would be dramatic. Genetic drift, like inbreeding, causes decreased heterozygosity and increased homozygosity, with an overall result of diminished genetic variety in the new subpopulation.

If one were to choose to breed only Peruvian colored suris . .. the genetic diversity in this population would be severely limited.

Genetic Drift Genetic drift, random changes in gene frequency that occur within small populations, has had a major effect on the North American suri population. In large populations, gene frequencies reach a state of equilibrium and then change at a slow and predictable rate. In contrast, changes in gene frequencies in smaller populations like ours can happen more quickly and without warning, This happens when, by chance, most offspring receive a particular gene rather than its allele. One type of genetic drift occurs when there is a significant variation in population size from one generation to the next. This could result from an environmental event like an epidemic or severe climatic condition that leaves a small surviving population. Or, as in our case, a small group of animals could become geographically isolated from a larger population by migration or importation to a new location. Additionally, economic factors for domestic livestock might favor only certain phenotypes, such as white suris, for breeding. When a population undergoes a temporary reduction in breeding numbers this causes a bottleneck between the present and all subsequent generations. The bottleneck is often severe when a small group leaves an established popu-



Genetic drift is compounded when, for whatever reason, the number of males and females in a new subpopulation is unequal. This creates a peculiar sort of bottleneck because half of all alleles in any generation must come from each sex. If there are fewer males than females, these males then have a disproportionate effect on gene frequencies. Clearly, the situation was ripe for genetic drift when suris were imported to North America. According to statistics from The Alpaca Registry, between 1991 and 1999 a total of 1,694 suris were imported into the United States. Of those, 1,456 were females and 238 were males. (These included 912 from Peru, 781 female and 131 male; 506 from Bolivia, 443 female and 63 male; and 276 from Chile, 232 female and 44 male.) The imported group represented only 1.4 percent of the 120,000 suris in all of South America, creating a very tight bottleneck certain to cause a founder effect in subsequent generations. Through this information and some related scientific calculations, we know that the offspring of the imported suris have less genetic diversity than was present in the population from which they were chosen. The impact of genetic drift on the North American suri must not be underestimated.








% of Total



No. of Crias Sired



% of Total




What are the implications of this information for suri breeders? It allows us to objectively evaluate the selection and mating systems used in our own breeding programs and how they, combined with the effects of genetic drift, create potential benefits and risks with respect to genetic diversity. This can help both new and experienced suri breeders establish goals and objectives for breeding programs. Plotting the most appropriate course to reach those goals can help breeders choose the mating system that will maximize their chance of achieving specific breeding goals while minimizing any risks. Even breeders with pedigreed suris can benefit from understanding these concepts.

Country Pure Breeding "country pure" is the practice of selecting mating pairs from only one country of origin, i.e., Bolivian x Bolivian or Peruvian x Peruvian. The most important risk with this style of breeding is a lack of genetic diversity significant enough to cause undesirable consequences. This is largely the result of inbreeding during the development of each line before importation and the inbreeding-like effects associated with importation. Breeding country pure serves to dramatically tighten the bottlenecks associated with importation and will undoubtedly cause problems if it is strictly adhered to. There simply is not enough diversity present within such a small population. Breeding country pure appeals to breeders because its outcomes are predictable. Since sire and dam are more closely related than the population at large, the offspring are more likely to have phenotypes very much like their parents. They will therefore more likely breed true to type. Thus, breeding within country pure lines will cause an increase in phenotypic uniformity by causing a decrease in genetic diversity. This style of breeding can serve an

important purpose. Country pure breeding, when practiced to maintain a line of suris to be used for outcrossing to other lines, can serve a valuable role in the future development of the North American suri. However, this must be done with full knowledge of its effects and possible consequences. It also necessitates rigorous selection and removal of inferior offspring from the breeding population to limit genetic defects.

Color Pure Breeding color pure is the practice of selecting mating pairs using color as the major selection criteria. Using this style, breeders can potentially create yet another significant bottleneck in their breeding program. In South America, suris were uncommon and colored suris were very rare. Clearly, if a breeder chose a combination of country pure and color pure, the bottleneck could be extremely tight. For example, if one were to choose to breed only Peruvian colored suris, based on the extreme rarity of Peruvian colored suris in South America and in the imports, the genetic diversity in this population would be severely limited. Little is known about the inheritance of color. Fortunately there appears to be significant color potential in the genome of phenotypic white suris. Breeding for color without selection for suri characteristics and without regard to fleece and other production traits could be a cause for future problems. Insisting on colored pedigrees three to four generations back would severely restrict the gene pool available for breeding. Certain compromises may be necessary to restore color in our North American suris, but at this point there is no justifiable reason to outcross to huacayas for this purpose. Crossing suris with huacayas is not likely to produce longterm benefits and will decrease breed predictability in future generations. Capitalizing on the short-term financial opportunity of producing colored suris by crossing white suris with the more prevalent colored huacaya is therefore ill advised. Any breeder whose goal is to produce suri offspring from suri parents should seek a suri pedigree devoid of huacaya ancestors.

Outcrossing, Hybrid Vigor & Heterosis A third breeding style to consider is outcrossing, the practice of selecting breeding pairs solely on the basis of suri character and production traits while mating across country lines, i.e., Peruvian x Bolivian or Bolivian x Chilean.


shaping the future



Number of crias per male



Chi lean


#cria sired


#cria sired


#cria sired

> 50


881 (36%)


273 (27%)


66 (13%)

40 - 49


359 (15%)


137 (13%)





328 (13%)


136 (13%)


30 (6%)



318 (13%)


205 (20%)


133 (26%)



553 (23%)


272 (27%)


278 (55%)








Both country of origin and color are second considerations in this breeding system. This type of outcrossing maximizes the genetic diversity available to a breeding program and minimizes the possible effects of inbreeding depression on subsequent generations. Practiced as a predominant breeding style, it takes full advantage of heterosis and hybrid vigor and best utilizes the limited genetic diversity available to North American suri breeders. The payoff for accepting less predictability in phenotypic outcomes will be significant gains in physical fitness, fertility, viability, growth rate, mothering ability, and disease resistance, and an overall superior ability to cope with the environment. The gains in hybrid vigor, or suri vigor, if you will, can have a marked impact on the financial success of a breeding program. The number and variety of bottlenecks that have occurred before, during and after importation have certainly challenged genetic diversity within the North American suri

population. The question is, do we have enough genetic diversity to build a strong and healthy suri industry in North America? Despite the challenges brought on by bottlenecks the diversity is adequate if prudent breeding decisions are made with a full appreciation of existing limitations. One important limitation that must particularly be addressed is the genetic bottleneck created by importing fewer males than females, which will have long lasting effects on the genetic diversity of North American suris. Of paramount importance to the future of the North American suri is how suri breeders have chosen to utilize these males. Ideally this limited and precious resource should be used in ways that maintain a diverse genetic base for the future evolution of the suri in North America. However, a review of the ARI data regarding the actual production of these males reveals a much different story.

As of June 2002, ARI had 2,590 registered suri males. Of those males, 214 or 8 percent are direct imports. These 214 imported males have sired 82 percent of all registered suris born in North America. Peruvian males accounted for 54 percent of all imported males and have sired 2,439 or 61 percent of all North American born suris. Bolivian males accounted for 25 percent of all imported males and have sired 1,023 or 26 percent of the offspring. Chilean males were 21 percent of the imported males and sired 507 or 13 percent of the offspring. If we select out those males that have produced 50 or more offspring we find 12 Peruvian, 4 Bolivian and 1 Chilean.

Country pure breeding when practiced to maintain a line of suris to be used for outcrossing to other lines, can serve a valuable role in the future development of the North American suri.



Looking more closely at utilization by country of origin reveals a troublesome trend. Among the Peruvian males, the top 12 (10 percent of Peruvian male imports) produced 36 percent of all crias by Peruvian males. The top 20 males (17 percent), account for 51 percent of crias and

the top 30 males (26 percent), have sired 64 percent of all crias produced by Peruvian males. A similar situation exists with Bolivian and Chilean production. With Bolivian males, 11 (20 percent) account for 53 percent of all production. In Chilean males, 8 (17 percent) account for 45 percent of all offspring sired by Chilean males. When so few males account for such a large percentage of production, there should be significant concern among pure Peruvian breeders about the paucity of genetic diversity and the potential for inbreeding depression that could result. If a breeder's selection criteria are even more restrictive, for example, only Accoyo or only certain colors, then this issue becomes an even greater concern. This situation points out very dearly the importance of maintaining genetic diversity within our industry. In the first 10 years, we have not made maximum use of the limited diversity available to us. It would appear that the risk of inadvertently exposing one's herd to the effects of inbreeding depression is the greatest when breeding country pure. The intense use of so few males and the under utilization of so many of the imported males serve to intensify this risk. Breeders who pursue a country pure

breeding program should be very diligent in seeking out as much diversity as possible within their set parameters. Thanks to the rigorous selection and screening criteria used for the importation of our suri, we have seed stock representing the best phenotypes from Peru, Bolivia and Chile. We are, at most, four-generation intervals past the first importation. The genome of every suri in North America is heavily influenced by that of our original imports and will continue to be for years to come. Future imports, especially if selected in similar ways, would not appear necessary or beneficial at this time; we would simply be importing more of what we already have. The suri genome may require a certain degree of guarding, but with informed and conscientious breeding to ensure continued genetic diversity, the North American suri will not only survive but will flourish. â&#x20AC;˘!â&#x20AC;˘ Dr. Walker and his wife, Nancy, have been breeding suri alpacas for seven years. Their ranch, Supersuris Alpacas, is located in Spokane, Washington. Dr. Walker's interest in genetics started while obtaining his Bachelor's Degree in Zoology and Animal Science at Iowa State University. He earned a Masters Degree in Preventive Medicine and a Doctoral Degree in Medicine at the University of Iowa. The Walker family has been involved in the fiber industry for three generations, "My Grandfather Walker had a mill in Connecticut that produced high fashion mohair garments." Nancy manages the alpaca business while Dick practices Emergency Medicine. Together they are dedicated to the future of the North American Suri Alpaca. (509) 238-3191;

genetic terminology Allele - either of a pair of genes located at the same position on both members of a pair of chromosomes and conveying characteristics that are inherited Bottleneck- any point at which movement or progress is slowed up because so much must be funneled through it Founder effect - random genetic drift associated with a small group becoming separated from an established population Gene frequency- the relative abundance or relative rarity of a particular gene compared to other alleles in that population Genetic drift - a random change in gene frequency within a small popu-

lation, resulting in mutations, which, regardless of their adaptive value, become fixed within the group Genotype - the individual genetic content that is passed on for generations Heterosis or hybrid vigor - a phenomenon resulting from hybridization, in which offspring display greater vigor, size, resistance, etc. than the parents

Inbreeding depression - the detrimental effects of inbreeding, which can include genetic defects, a general overall decline in vigor and performance, and a larger proportion of prenatal and perinatal deaths Outcrossing- the breeding of stocks that are not closely related Phenotype - the physical expression of genotypic traits under the influence of environmental factors

Heterozygous - having two different alleles in regard to a given characteristic or characteristics

Population genetics - the study of genetic principles as they apply to groups of animals

Homozygous - having two identical alleles in regard to a given characteristic or characteristics

Positive assortive mating - selecting breeding pairs that are phenotypically


Inbreeding - the breeding of closely related stocks


Raising the standard for suri color genetics. Senor Peruvian

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what do we mean by phenotype? a detailed look at what makes 11suri 11 Article by Gail Campbell, DVM with Photos by Angel Forbes

e ofte hear judges refer to suri phenotype when giving their oral reasons for , acin . s m the show ring. Another term - "typey" - also refers to how well the animal exemplifies suri phenotype. For the newcomer to suri alpacas, these are elusive terms. What do we mean by the term "suri phenotype?" Phenotype can be defined as the outward appearance of an animal- the sum of all its anatomical, physiological, and behavioral characteristics. It is dictated by both genetic and environmental influences. Phenotype is in contradistinction to genotype in which only the inherited factors are considered. In short, phenotype is what you can observe about an animal, and genotype is the entire genetic code, which is invisible. The perfect suri probably does not exist; it certainly varies in the eyes of the beholder. In order to breed towards the perfect suri, we must have a definition of suri phenotype. Six identifying traits can be used to characterize suri phenotype. These traits are: luster, locks, absence ofcrimp, slippery handle, elegant profile, and head style. Much variation exists within each of these six criteria, as some characteristics are given more emphasis than others in various suri breeding programs. Good health and conformation are not listed as suri phenotypic traits because these criteria should be paramount in both suri and huacaya breeding programs.

1. Luster

2. Locks

Luster is the hallmark of a suri, one of the distinguishing traits of suri phenotype (Fig. 1). It is luster that attracts clothing designers to suri yarn and causes it to command a premium price. A high degree of luster should be present both inside and outside of the fleece. If the locks are lifted up on a dusty alpaca, luster should be evident next to the skin (Fig. 2). Luster in suri fiber correlates to longer cuticle scale length than that found in huacaya fiber. Luster gives the suri fleece a "wet" look and "cool" slippery feel.

Locks are synonymous with suris. The formation of locks is the second and probably most recognized characteristic of suri phenotype. Locks should be well defined to the skin, independent, and free flowing. The compact grouping of fibers into a lock gives the suri its sleek, drapey appearance. While suri breeders debate the "ideal" lock type, most agree there should be uniformity of the lock style on a single animal as well as an independence of locks. This independence of locks allows the elegant swinging of a suri's lustrous fleece. There are five main lock types described by suri breeders today. It is interesting to note that these are not the same lock types described in literature just a few short years ago. As suri breeding has progressed, some lock types previously recognized are now considered intermediate or "in between'' a suri and huacaya fleece. An example of a lock no longer considered a primary lock is the fan-shaped lock. The five lock types now recognized by suri breeders are: tight ringlet, flat twisted, curl, pearl, and straight.

Fig. 1: Luster is the hallmark of a suri



Fig. 2: Even on a dusty suri, luster should be evident next to the skin.

The "tight ringlet" twists from the tip of the fiber all the way to the skin.

The "flat-twisted" lock begins at the skin as a flat lock then twists.

The "curl" lock or "corkscrew" is a loosely twisted lock.

The "pearl" lock forms when several ringlets twist together and later separate.

The "straight" lock has clusters of straight fibers with little or no twist.

It is interesting to note that the five main lock types described today are not the same lock types described in literature just a few short years ago. The first lock type is the tight ringlet. It twists from the tip of the fiber all the way to the skin. This lock type can be seen in many different diameters because narrow locks often twist together to form wide locks, especially in longer fleeces. An advantage of the tight ringlet is its tendency to stay clean and free of debris.

The straight lock is the fifth and most controversial lock type. It has high luster and is characterized by clusters of straight fibers being held together with little or no twist. As in all suri locks, no crimp is present. The straight lock is usually found on a suri that has been shorn a few times rather than in a virgin fleece.

The flat twisted lock is a second lock type commonly seen. There are many variations within this lock type. It begins at the skin as a flat lock, which can be either straight or wavy, and then starts to twist. The level at which the lock becomes twisted is highly variable; some locks only twist near the end giving them the appearance of an almost straight lock. Those locks that form a wave at their origin are not considered crimped because the individual fibers are straight.

It is important to recognize that as suris age, the fleeces will change. A tight ringlet lock in a young suri may become a straight lock as she ages (Fig. 4). Some of these straight fleeces are still 22 microns at 14 years of age! Geriatric animals that maintain fineness and luster are extremely valuable regardless of the lock type, and should be identified in our herds and utilized in our breeding programs (Fig. 5).

The third lock type is called a curl. It is a loosely twisted lock, often seen on the neck. T his lock type is rarely exhibited uniformly over the entire body. One might postulate that neck wrestling or rolling loosens the twist of a ringlet to form a curl. Excessive grooming can temporarily make a curl out of a ringlet. Another name for this lock is a corkscrew. The fourth and probably most unusual lock type is the pearl lock, named because it looks like a strand of pearls. Several ringlets are twisted together, then untwist resulting in a wave at right angles to the twist. The result is a bumpy appearance to the lock (Fig. 3). A similar effect can be achieved by braiding wet human hair and unraveling it after it is dry. A "bump" occurs at each point one lock of hair wrapped over another lock. The pearl lock is often seen in dense fleeces and is m ost evident in highly lustrous fleece.

It might be argued that a study of lock types is a study of semantics. If one eliminates the straight lock as a primary lock because it is seen in older, shorn animals, then there really is only one lock type - the twisted lock. The four main lock types described in virgin fleeces are all variations of twisted ringlets; they simply differ in the tightness and origin of the twist. For example, if a curl is twisted a few more times, it becomes a tight ringlet. Furthermore, once locks have been shorn off a suri and laid on a table, they begin to unroll, and then the four lock types look very similar, indeed!

Fig. 3 : Pearl lock: on the left are three individual ringlets which became twisted together. On the right is a pearl lock created when the ringlets later separated.

There is no correlation between a specific lock type and fineness. Some believe tight ringlets are associated with a low coefficient of variation (CV) and/or a low standard deviation (SD). This interesting concept warrants more research and could serve as a topic for a future article. (continued)


Fig. 4: A tight ringlet lock in a young suri may become a straight lock as she ages, yet still maintain fineness and luster. The examples at left show the same suri at 7 year and 10 years of age.

a suri fiber gives it luster, which correlates to a cool, almost damp, feel. The terms "fineness" and "handle" are important, but not interchangeable in the suri. For example, an 18 micron fleece without luster feels very soft, but warm. A 21 micron high luster fleece is very soft, cool, and slippery, and may actually feel finer than the 18 micron fleece without luster. In the suri, the baby fine classification has a higher micron than the baby fine classification in the huacaya. A 22-23 micron high luster suri fleece with tiny pencil locks will have an excellent hand.

The third characteristic of suri phenotype is the absence of crimp, the zig-zag characteristic seen in huacaya fibers. Suri fiber is straight and hair-like as opposed to huacaya fiber, which is crimped. The presence of crimp in a suri suggests a huacaya influence. Many suris in the North American herd are direct imports with unknown parents. It is therefore not surprising that some suris, especially colored, have crimp. Suris which exhibit lock formation, but also show subtle crimp, can be bred to suris with straight fibers and lustrous locks to produce an improved suri progeny. Because crimp is a negative trait in the suri, crossbreeding huacayas Crimp found in this suri's fleece and suris is considered suggests the presence of huacaya counterproductive. in its lineage.

An elegant profile is the fifth characteristic defining suri phenotype. Suris have a graceful style and carriage; they have a level topline with an upright tight-fitting neck that blends smoothly into the back. The profile of a suri appears narrow because the fleece drapes closely to the body.

The sixth and final characteristic of suri phenotype is the head style. The suri head has a topknot of independent locks that lay flat and forward, forming bangs. The locks of the head and cheeks should continue into the neck. The muzzle is slightly tapered, and the nostrils are more slitlike (as in a camel or vicufia) than in the huacaya (Fig. 6). There are many variations of suri head styles in the North American herd, largely due to the individual preferences of breeders. Certainly, more than one head shape is consistent with suri fleece characteristics (Fig. 7). In studying heads more closely, it becomes apparent that fiber plays

The handle or "feel" of the fiber is the fourth trait that defines suri phenotype. Suri locks should be cool, slick, and heavy to the touch. A long, low scale of the cuticle of

Figure 5: Below are histograms from three mature females whose lock types changed with age (shown in each inset). O lder animals that maintain fineness and luster are extremely va luable regardless of their current lock type. Yocom-Mccoll T•sting Laboratories, Inc. S40W-1111_•_,~l901111-11llUSA

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Fig. 6: Suri nostrils (left) are more slit-like than in the huacaya (right)

a huge role in the appearance of the suri head. If the topknot is pulled back, a suri has a dramatic change in appearance. In fact, eliminating the topknot from the picture makes one realize that the head shape of contemporary huacayas and suris are much more similar that one would initially think (Fig. 8).

"In studying heads more closely, it becomes apparent that fiber plays a huge role in the appearance of the suri head."

Figure 8: Eliminating the topknot from the picture makes one realize that the head shape of contemporary huacayas and suris are much more similar that one would initially think.

Conclusion The six identifying traits of suri phenotype discussed herein are guidelines and primarily refer to virgin fleeces. This article is not meant to devalue suris in the North American herd in any way. The reader must understand that there is no perfect suri. By defining suri phenotypic traits, we are setting goals for our breeding programs. It is also important to remember that many conformational issues have a low heritability, while most of the characteristics discussed pertaining to suri phenotype have a high heritability. Conformation must not be ignored; it is easier to change the fleece than the form and function of a suri. â&#x20AC;˘!â&#x20AC;˘

Figure 7: Many variations of suri head styles exist in the North American herd, largely due to the individual preferences of breeders. Certainly, more than one head shape is consistent with suri fleece characteristics.

Dr. Gail Campbell practiced small animal medicine for fifteen years, owning and managing a six-veterinarian animal hospital for ten years. In 1994, she purchased seven alpacas so her children could learn farm responsibilities. Alpacas quickly became a passion for Gail, and within a year, she and her late husband, Steve, had decided to raise alpacas as a full-time business. She is a past president of Suri Network, served on its Marketing Committee, and edited the first two editions of Purely Suri. Gail currently serves on the AOBA JTCC and Show committees. 410-867-4204;


breeding for conformation a key to alpaca profitability by Bill Hedberg, D.V.M.

ri alpacas are a unique and highly prized fiberp,roducing livestock species. The suri alpaca differs om the huacaya in fiber characteristics, but the asic principles of conformation apply equally to both. Conformation, or general body structure, is the end result of genetics, nutrition and environment. Good conformation is an essential ingredient in development of the North American alpaca industry, because we expect our alpacas to be productive for many years.

General Appearance The general appearance of the suri alpaca should be evaluated from a distance as the animal moves about freely. "Balance" is the term used to describe the overall appearance and proportion of the animal. The neck and legs of a well-proportioned alpaca will be approximately two-thirds the length of the top line. The top line, which includes the withers, back, and loin, should be relatively straight and level. The length and depth of the alpaca's body should provide adequate space for the heart, lungs and stomach compartments as well as a pregnant uterus in the female. The size of the bone,



viewed from below the hock and knee, should be in proportion to the alpaca.

Head An alpaca head should be thick, triangular, and symmetrical, with a relatively short muzzle and proper jaw alignment or "bite." Proper jaw alignment occurs when the upper and lower jaws are of equal length. It can be evaluated by examining the alignment of the incisors with the upper dental pad. Malocclusion results if the lower jaw is shorter (brachygnathism) or longer (prognathism) than the upper jaw. Prognathism, the most common misalignment seen in alpacas, can interfere with proper grasping of food. Jaw misalignment and malocclusion of either type can lead to uneven wear of teeth, difficulties in chewing and fully utilizing food, and possibly poor body condition. The alpaca head should also have short, erect spearshaped ears. Ears that are abnormally long or banana shaped are undesirable because they are considered llama characteristics. Gopher ears and fused ears are serious faults that may be heritable. Alpaca eyes should be bright and dear.

Neck and Back The length of the neck can be viewed as a lever, with the head being a counterweight to the rest of the alpaca's body. A neck that is too long or too short will affect the overall balance and gait of the alpaca. Any deviation of the neck to one side or the other is abnormal. The top line should be straight and relatively level. Humped back or sway back (kyphosis) is a top line fault that should be avoided. Humped back alpacas will have an excessive slope to the rump and a low tail set. Sway back alpacas will have a flat rump and high tail set. Sway backs can also weaken with age, resulting in loss of proper support for the back. Arthritis can also be associated with abnormalities of the back and loin. Any weakening of the back can lead to problems for pregnant females carrying the extra weight of the fetus and fetal fluids. This could shorten the female's reproductive life span. In males, proper conformation of the lumbar (loin) region is important for successful breeding. Males that have pain associated with this region due to osteoarthritis tend to be very uncomfortable and, in some cases, will refuse to breed. Lateral deviation of the back (scoliosis) and kinked or

Skeleton of an alpaca


6 17

short tails can be associated with defects in other vertebrae. A high tail set and very level top line with no slope to the rump are also undesirable because they are considered llama characteristics.

Body Capacity Body capacity includes width ("spring of rib"), depth, and length of the alpaca's body. Alpacas that are too narrow or short-bodied lack adequate space for internal organs. This can lead to reduction in respiratory and digestive capacity. This is especially important for a breeding male that needs to chase down females. He may have to do this in a large pasture more than once a day. An alpaca with limited capacity for moving air or not enough capacity to pump blood will not be successful for long. The abdomen of both males and females must have room for the three stomach compartments. The first compartment (Cl) occupies the majority of the left abdomen and contains about 80 percent of the stomach ingesta. It is a fermentation chamber that allows the alpaca to efficiently digest forage. The second compartment (C2) contains about six percent of the stomach contents, while the third

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Eye socket Upper jaw (maxilla) Lower jaw (mandible) Neck vertebrae (cervical vertebrae) Withers Shoulder blade Shoulder Joint Ribs Breast bone (sternum) Arm 11. Elbow joint 12. Forearm (radius) 13. Knee joint 14. Cannon bone (metacarpus) 15. Ankle (fetlock) joint 16. Pastern 17. Foot 18. Back (thoracic vertebrae) 19. Loin (lumbar vertebrae) 20. Tail (coccygeal vertebrae) 21. Pelvis 22. Hip joint 23. Thigh bone (femur) 24. Knee cap (pate! la) 25. Stifle joint 26. Leg bone (tibia) 27. Point of the hock 28. Hock joint


breeding for conformation


Alpacas are well suited to a pacing gait, because they have a relatively narrow chest and abdomen compared to other animals. It is also believed that their wide, padded foot and splayed toes provide lateral stability. Observing foot placement while the animal moves can detect problems or conformational abnormalities of the legs. Base narrow animals tend to "rope walk," while knock-kneed and cow hocked animals tend to "dish in."

Legs and Feet

The front legs should be square with the alpaca's body with the toes generally pointed forward and not be base narrow or wide.

compartment (C3) holds the rest. Food and water must be stored for a period of time in these compartments for proper digestion and absorption to take place. A narrow alpaca has more limited capacity for food. A pregnant female must also have adequate body capacity to accommodate both a pregnant uterus and a full stomach while eating for two.

The front legs should be straight from mid-shoulder down to the space between the toes when viewed from the front. They should be square with the alpaca's body with the toes generally pointed forward and not be base narrow or wide. Knock-knees are a more common problem in alpacas than bowed legs. Many alpacas have a slight deviation at the knee (less than five degrees). Both legs may not be affected to the same degree. Anything more than a slight deviation, no matter what the cause, can lead to degenerative changes in the knee and decrease the alpaca's useful life. "When viewed from the side, the shoulder, elbow and pastern are all angled. These angles create the shock absorbers for the leg. The knee should be flat and straight. "Over at the knee" and "back at the knee" are both faults that can lead to degenerative changes of the joint. Post-legged animals have too little bend in the joints of the leg; this condition could also indicate

Pelvic width is important in both sexes. In females a narrow pelvis can cause difficult births, even with small or normal-sized crias. A narrow male may have problems straddling and breeding large females. The width of the male's pelvis may determine how wide a female he is able to breed. Males with a narrow pelvis can be uncomfortable and unsettled while breeding larger females.

Movement "When evaluating the limbs of the alpaca, one should consider the role of nutrition and environment in development. Alpacas less than two weeks old can be difficult to evaluate since the ligaments and tendons need time to strengthen. High ambient temperatures late in gestation, prematurity, and lack of vitamin D might be more significant than genetics in some cases.



Observing foot placement while the animal moves can detect conformational abnormalities of the legs.

gonadal hypoplasia. Animals that have weak fetlocks have excessive slope to the pastern. This condition will likely worsen with age and increased weight, resulting in an unsound alpaca. Any severe deviations from normal in the legs can lead to problems for animals that are meant to graze on the move. The same principles apply to the rear legs. When viewed from the side, animals with excessive bend at the hock (sickle hock) or too little bend at the hock (post leg) will be predisposed to degenerative changes in the joints. Cow hocks and feet that splay out generally occur together. Rear limb conformation is very important for breeding males because it is necessary for successful mounting of females. Bone density in these limbs could be indicative of a male's useful life span. The feet should point forward with both toes pointing nearly straight ahead and splayed out only slightly. The direction the toes and feet point can indicate if abnormalities exist in the limb above them.

External Genitalia External genitalia should also be considered when evaluating conformation. The male should have two firm (not hard or spongy) equally-sized testicles. Testicular size is directly correlated to fertility in most other species studied, and large testicles are desired. The male should have a normal sheath and four normally placed teats. The female alpaca should have four teats. Her external genitalia should include a normal vulva with an opening at least one centimeter in length. The labia of the vulva should lie at a slight angle from the vertical. In other species, "shelving" of the vulva (labia that lie more horizontal) is known to predispose females to chronic vaginitis and subsequent infertility. Also on the female, a clitoris that is too large or protruding could indicate hermaphroditism. Although few heritability studies have been conducted with alpacas, it is clear that genetics, nutrition and environment all contribute to the way an alpaca appears and functions. Suri alpacas should be bred for economically viable traits. Fiber and more alpacas are the end products, but it takes a sound animal to produce these. A sound alpaca is a more efficient alpaca, and a more efficient alpaca is more profitable over time. â&#x20AC;˘!â&#x20AC;˘

A sound alpaca is a more efficient alpaca, and a more efficient alpaca is more profitable over time.

William A. Hedberg, D.V.M. has been involved with camelids since 1989. He and Julie Ann C. Jarvinen, Ph.D. D.V.M. have owned and operated Pine Forty Farms located in north central Iowa since 1992. (641) 456-2779


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cold climate herd management raising suris in severe winter environments By Brad Sprouse


n the early 1990s, I was told that I would not be able to successfully raise suri alpacas on my northern Michigan ranch because of our extremely harsh winters. As I was set on expanding our facilities to include suris, this was information I did not want to hear. However, we had raised llamas since 1981, added a huacaya in 1984, and overseen many winter births over the years. Our facilities had been adequate enough to raise newborn llamas in January; so, I reasoned, they should suffice for a herd of suri alpacas as well. We are now in our tenth year of raising suris and feel confident advising others that suri alpacas can, indeed, be raised successfully in northern climates.

As cold weather progresses, suris realize the warmth and security that the barn offers, and their systems adapt to the changes winter imposes upon them.



Our ranch is located in northwestern Michigan, about 20 miles west of Traverse City and two miles inland from Lake Michigan. This proximity to Lake Michigan gives our county a real maritime climate, which in winter produces what is called "lake effect" snowfall, averaging 160 inches annually. Our daytime temperatures are in the 20s with nighttime lows usually in single digits. We are also prone to extended periods of high winds and many consecutive, cloud-covered days. Many people would be skeptical about raising suris in these conditions because suri fleece offers less protection from the elements than that of huacayas. Suri fiber forms a part and lies flat down the back of the animal, exposing the skin along the topline to weather conditions. Suris are therefore not only more exposed to the sun, rain, wind and snow but also more susceptible to heat loss. Although it is a challenge, we have learned to deal successfully with our weather conditions by using common sense. The combination of wet, cold and windy conditions is a signal for us to bring our suri herd into the barn. Whenever we experience all three of these conditions simultaneously, we can nearly guarantee that our suris will voluntarily head towards the barn or some type of shelter. Over the past 10 years, we have observed that the suris actually react more to cold in late fall and early winter than in the later coldest months. The apparent reasons for this are that, first, in fall they are still accustomed to remaining in the pasture overnight, and second, their bodies haven't yet had time to adapt to cooler weather. As the cold weather progresses, the suris realize the warmth and security that the barn offers, and their systems adapt to the changes winter imposes upon them. Alpacas are such strong herd animals that ours very seldom split up for the night on their own. Unfortunately, there are always those few that seem to become chilled before the others do. Wouldn't it be great if the less hardy would come into the barn at night and the hardy would sleep in the pasture?

We open or close our barn doors depending on the current weather conditions, with the wind as the most important factor determining our decision.

I have never observed this; our suri herd always stays together when it comes time to bed down for the night. The conditions we experience in late fall and early winter often find us physically running the suri herd into the barn and closing them in for the night. Within a week or two after the onset of winter, all the suris will voluntarily end up in the barn by dusk, remaining inside until dawn. On the average winter night, we will keep the doors open on all the barns. When we experience high winds and blizzard conditions, we close all the barn doors. Again, our approach is one of common sense. Our barns are not expensive or high tech, but they offer adequate protection from the elements. They have automatic heated waterers and dirt floors covered with a layer of sand. Bedding the suris in good quality straw is essential for good winter herd management. Although we do not clean the barns daily, we do layer fresh straw on the manure piles each day to help keep the barns fresh, dry and warm. The manure actually helps retain heat in the barns. We clean our barns every three weeks, aiming for a window of good weather so the alpacas will not be forced outside on a cold, windy, snowy day. All livestock require the most attention and care during the winter. The two most common mistakes in winter herd management that I observe when visiting other farms are managers who do not use bedding and farms that fail to eliminate wind and drafts in the barns by not closing the appropriate doors. The straw bedding is at least a foot deep where our suris sleep. We open or close our barn doors depending on the current weather conditions, with the wind as the most important factor determining our decision. We very often leave one door open in windy conditions if there are no other openings creating a draft. It is only during extremely high winds and snowy conditions that we close them all.

We have completely eliminated all suri births during the winter months. I birthed suris during the winter for five years and did well, using birthing stalls, supplemental heat and video cameras to help ensure success. However, our decision to have suri births between April and November is one choice I have never regretted. The warmer months are much easier on the crias because they do not have to put so much energy into keeping warm. By eliminating winter births, we have almost no runny noses and weepy eyes, and the crias gain weight much more rapidly. Not having to wait and worry about winter crias has made our herd-managing job much more relaxed. Winter nutritional requirements for the suris on our ranch are not too different than those in summer. We feed specially formulated alpaca pellets in the morning year-round. In the summer, the herd grazes free choice from our grass pastures. In the fall, we begin supplementing failing pastures with additional hay. In winter, the herd eats free choice grass hay from feeders we keep filled around the clock. We continue to offer free choice hay in the spring until our pastures are once again thriving.

Eliminating winter births means crias expend less energy keeping warm.

Contrary to the warning I received a decade ago, I have found that the suri alpaca can be as successfully managed in cold northern climates as in warm ones. As is true with all livestock, suris must be managed. They are remarkably wonderful animals and very forgiving of the first time livestock owner. With a little common sense and daily observation from their keepers, suris do a wonderful job taking care of themselves. â&#x20AC;˘:â&#x20AC;˘

Brad Sprouse has been raising llamas and alpacas as his sole occupation for 23 years. Brad has traveled to South America on three occasions, with Iowa State University in 1983 studying guanacos in Patagonia, in 1991 to help select the Temuco Project llama herd in the Chilean Altiplano, and in 1996 to Peru to select suri alpacas for his herd. He served two terms as vice president of the International Llama Association from 1984-1989, served on the AOBA Show Committee, and is a founder of the Great Lakes Alpaca Association. Brad and his wife, Jandy, own and operate all phases of Great Lakes Ranch, located on the Leelanau Peninsula in northwest Michigan. (231) 228-3859;





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Breeders of Quality Suri Alpacas & Llamas 8378 Bevelheimer Road Westerville, OH 43081 ph 614.855.1329 fx 614.855.0045 e.mail

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to bathe or not to bathe? food for thought by Ernesto Matos,Jr.

ecoming a member of the alpaca industry has prove to be one of the best decisions I've ever , ade, I've learned a lot about this industry since --.-..a'" cquiring my first animals, but there's one thing I haven't figured out: When showing our finest alpacas in competition, why don't we show them at their best by bathing them prior to the event? The concept of bathing and grooming show animals isn't new - it's the norm at dog shows, horse shows and cattle shows. Even 4-H swine are scrubbed clean before entering the ring. Show animals are routinely bathed and groomed to enhance their overall appearance, which may increase their chances of being chosen first in their class. Another benefit of showing clean, groomed alpacas in the ring is that it doesn't impress only the judges; it goes a long way towards enhancing the "curbside appeal" of our animals. Family and friends who've attended alpaca shows have often asked, "Why are many of the animals so filthy?" This question is usually followed by, "How much did you say they're worth?" If we're trying to promote alpaca fiber as the most luxurious in the world, why not start when the fleece is still on the animal rather than when the finished product reaches the store shelf?

Those who oppose bathing insist that the lock structure will be compromised, or that the use of styling products will affect the alpaca's true luster. In my opinion, neither of these explanations really holds much water. Simply bathe the animal a few weeks prior to the event - without using oil-based conditioners and enhancers - and you'll allow enough time for the lock structure to return to normal. With the dirt and debris removed, the animal's true luster will become apparent. (Besides, most trained judges are savvy enough to know when an animal's sheen comes from a bottle.) Interestingly, alpacas are routinely groomed to look their best before being offered for sale at auctions. Why is the show ring any different? I'm not questioning the criteria by which judges determine the winners. However, does showing a clean animal really change the judging criteria? If we as breeders choose to bathe our suri alpacas prior to showing them, then we are assuming responsibility for the appearance of their fiber. I'm not suggesting that all breeders be required to bathe their animals before entering the show ring. However, those of us who want to show clean, bathed animals shouldn't be prohibited from doing so. â&#x20AC;˘!â&#x20AC;˘

Ernie became interested in camelids in 1997. After a visit to a llama farm and several alpaca ranches, he was enthralled by the sight of multi-colored suris. His farm welcomed its first generation of crias in 2000. Ernie is a founding partner of McMatley Alpacas, which is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. (540) 338-2045;


eye on elegance a study of 100% suri garments Article and Photos By Patricia Bronson and Cheryl Crosswait

our suri farm in Virginia, we not only suris and harvest their fine fiber, but also 'I. 00 percent suri garments from their fleece. iWe and comb and spin some of the fleece ourselves. The rest we send to specialty mills in the United States.

All the garments discussed below are handmade with help from a knitting machine. Pure suri creates wonderfully soft, lightweight garments. The luster of the yarn lends itself to a gorgeous display in stockinet stitch, knit-purl combinations, tuck stitch, and lace patterns.

This article features garments made from the fleece of six suris: Mildred, First Class, Maggie, Luke, Elliot, and Cassidy. None of the fleece was mixed with fleece from other animals or with other fibers. The fleece used to make the handspun yarn was unblended to preserve the natural color variations of each animal and produce unique yarn. For example, Luke's apparently white fleece spins into yarn ranging in color from champagne to beige. Should some of Luke's fiber be dyed, the result would likely be lovely heather hues.

Suri fiber does not stretch like wool and lies more like silk or rayon. Hence, suri garments drape the body and allow for a simple but elegant look. However, because of the fiber's inelastic nature, ribbing made from lace-weight suri yarn will not look or function on cuffs and other edges like usual ribbing. Better finishes for suri garments include hemmed, crocheted, and tuck stitched edges.

Suri yarn behaves unlike any other and requires unique knitting techniques, far different from those developed for acrylic and wool. This may be why so many experienced knitters believe suri is too difficult to knit, especially on a machine. Learning to knit with acrylic or wool yarn as a first step is inefficient and frustrating, since the learning curve restarts with suri fiber. Perseverance and practice exclusively with suri is the key to producing 100 percent suri garments.

Case Study #1: Mildred Mildred's white fleece is soft and has well defined locks with no twist or curl. While locks without Mildred's fleece grows in straight, easy-to-clean locks twist lose points in competition, they should earn 10 out of 10 for ease of cleaning. Straight locks remain remarkably free of vegetable debris. Once combed or carded, these locks are indistinguishable from their curly competitors.

''Pure suri creates wonderfully soft, lightweight, lustrous garments."

Stockinet stitch with crochet border



Knit-purl combination in a geometric stair step pattern

Tuck stitch pattern. Are those alpacas running?

Shafts-of-wheat lace pattern

Picot hem with geometric tuck stitch border

From Mildred's fleece: baby sweater with hood, raglan sleeves & matching booties; a receiving blanket with looped cord edging; and a shawl with three stockinet panels, joined and edged with crochet stitches

From Maggie's fleece: close up of bay black scarf finished with a crochet scallop-seashell edge and mauve beads; spool of Maggie's yarn; lightweight yet warm, suri products are known for their elegant drape

Taos Valley Wool Mill spun Mildred's fleece into two-ply, lace-weight yarn from a staple length ranging from 5 to 7 inches. Spun in lace-weight, Mildred's fleece makes lovely lightweight garments suitable for moderate climates. The fiber also makes beautiful baby items, shawls and lace scarves.

Case Study #3: Maggie

Case Study #2: First Class First Class is a white suri male with uniform, tightly twisted locks. His locks were combed into rovings and hand spun with barely enough twist to keep the yarn together. The low twist in this yarn creates a relaxed, buttery texture. Although plying added some strength to this medium-weight yarn, a twist that held other suri yarns together frequently left this yarn with flyaway ends. Measuring slipperiness on a scale from one to ten, with sheep's wool ranging from one to four, huacaya from four to seven, and suri from seven to ten, First Class earns anme. First Class's yarn, with its light twist, presented a knitting challenge because it regularly broke with no Hand spun, V-neck tunic with warning. This left numertapered shoulders from First Class's yarn; a knit edge finishes ous stray yarn ends that the neckline had to be worked into the sides of the garment. The work was well worth the effort, since the resulting garment is soft and buttery, light but warm - perfect for autumn, winter, and spring in Virginia. Despite being made from fragile yarn, the garment itself is not frail. The tunic is frequently worn and washed, and has yet to show signs of wear.

Maggie has superfine, twisted locks that vary in color from a deep dark rich brown to almost black. Her locks were combed into rovings and hand spun into a two-ply medium-weight yarn. Maggie's outstanding luster plays against her rich, dark colors to produce a unique fabric. When knit with extra large stockinet stitches, the fabric has a soft, open weave.

Case Study #4: Luke Luke is a white suri male with large, well-defined, tightly twisted locks. His fleece is outstanding for its softness. Lightfoot Farms spun Luke's fleece into a medium-weight, two-ply yarn from a staple length of about nine inches. Interestingly, a baby sweater made from Luke's medium weight yarn using the same design as one made from Mildred's lace-weight yarn have very different appear-

From Luke's fleece: a baby sweater featuring a simple lace diamond pattern on front and back panels, a tuck-stitch finish on sleeves and bottom, and a bunny button at neckline for a bit of whimsy; a clutch handbag with open tuck-stitch braid edging


eye on elegance (continued) ances. Luke's yarn apparently has enough memory to show hand-made lace and tuck-stitch designs, while these are visible only under close inspection of Mildred's piece.

Case Study #5: Elliot Elliot is a four-year-old white male with uniform locks that run all the way to his toes. Lightfoot Farms spun Elliot's fleece into a medium-weight, two-ply yarn.

"Pure suri .fiber has little 'memory' and tends to drape the body for a simple, elegant look." Case Study #6: Cassidy Cassidy's white fleece inspired our first "soup to nuts" project. Her thin, well-defined locks with twist are highly reflective, transforming into lustrous, white angel hair when opened. In May 2001, we took our brand new hand shears, marched into Cassidy's pasture, and sheared our first animal ever. During the rest of the year and well into the next, we picked, combed, then spun her fleece into a two-ply, lace-weight yarn suitable for light, airy garments. Finally, we knitted Cassidy's fleece into a soft, lace T-shirt, our favorite creation to date.

From Elliot's fleece: a full-length V-neck tunic with tuck-stitch border, picot hem, and long sleeves which drape over the hand; and a T-shirt inspired, simple V-neck shorty-shirt with crochet seashell edge on the neck and sleeves. The front and back feature four rows of alpacas running in alternating directions

Our 'Spin' on Suri The last step of our stud service interview involves creating a garment from the prospective sire's fleece. This garment shows his fiber's unique qualities. After all, without the texture and luster of the suri fleece, suris would simply be adorable farm animals. It is the texture and luster that justifies their market value. â&#x20AC;˘:â&#x20AC;˘ From Cassidy's fleece: the combination of lace pattern and Cassidy's lustrous fiber in this author-created feminine T-shirt creates a faintly shimmering design; Cassidy's locks; Cassidy's lace-weight yarn

Mildred's white fleece is soft and has well defined locks with no twist or curl. While locks without twist lose points in competition, they are indistinguishable from their curly competitors once combed or carded.



Patricia Bronson, Ph.D. and her husband, Robert, started Capital Alpacas in 1998 with the purchase of Mildred, a stately, white suri alpaca. Patricia learned to spin with Mildred's fleece. She now "interviews" suri studs by spinning lace weight yam from their fleece. (703) 319-2239; Cheryl Crosswait, MED crafts garments from Patricia's suri yarns. She especially loves knitting lace patterns, creating heirloom garments and accessories.

Wildlife Ranch Suri Alpacas presents


HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS • Select from any of the Herdsires that are part of the WRSA Breedi11g Bucks program, and receive Breeding Bucks based on the cost of that breeding. • On your second breeding with WRSA, use your Breedi11g Bucks to reduce the cost, or save them. Plus, receive additional Breedi11g Bucks for your second breeding. • On your third breeding with WRSA, use your accumulated Breedi11g Bucks to reduce the cost, or save them. Plus, receive additional Breedi11g Bucks for your third breeding.

•After your third breeding with WRSA, if you have not yet used any of your Breedi11g Bucks, you will be awarded an additional 1000 Bonus Bucks that may be added to your accumulated Breeding Bucks and applied toward the cost of a fourth breeding. • Your Breedi11g Bucks are based on the value of the breeding. Bonus Bucks are not earned if Breeding Bucks are cashed upon each breeding. • All Herdsires remain at WRSA for breeding. • Junior Herdsires will be continuously evaluated and added to the Breeding Bucks Program.



(Wildlife Ranch Suri Alpaca$)

Wildlife Ranch Suri Alpacas 10500 Wildlife Way Littleton, Colorado 80125 Office (303) 470-5887 • Fax (303) 470-5878

The chart below outlines examples of how this program can lower the cost of growing your Alpaca business.

Herdsire Name

Breeding Fee



$ 750



$ 500





$ 750



$ 500








Breeding Bucks Earned


FROM JIM WEIR, BREEDER Wildlife Ranch Suri Alpacas (WRSA) began in 1994. During the initial years of the business, our goal was to gradually increase the size and quality of our herd, while developing the quality concepts that a world class alpaca should possess. In April of 2000, we made a decision to become totally immersed in this business . Our focus is to offer the best full Peruvian Suri Herdsires available for breeding purposes. In an effort to achieve this goal, we traveled throughout the country, visiting farms and ranches coast to coast, selecting the ideal alpacas for our solid breeding stock. To confirm our breeding strategy, we spent 2002 attending numerous shows and earned multiple blue ribbons, Grand Champion, and Reserve Grand Champion awards, which ultimately led to receiving the 2002 Small Suri Breeder of the Year and the 2003 Reserve Small Suri Breeder of the Year designations. We now want to share with you an exciting new Breeding Bucks program in which you can benefit from the incredible selection of Herdsires that we have collected. This program is designed to simplify your breeding decisions as well as save you money. We look forward to strengthening the quality and bloodlines of your herd by breeding to the finest Peruvian Herdsires in Notth America. Sincerely, Jim Weir

Call 303-470-5887

Ridgeview Farm Southern

Suris Suri Alpacas

Suri Lee, brown Champion, producing conformationally correct crias with beautiful lustrous fiber, including Licoricia, black highestselling suri, 2003 AOBA auction. Breeding fee: $2,500.

Peach Boy, award-winning full Peruvian son of Elar, producing outstanding orias with beautiful lustrous fleeces and perfect conformation, including RFSS I'm A Peach, fawn second highest-selling suri, 2003 AOBA auction. Breeding fee: $2,500.

4Peruvian Great Balls of Fire, proven sire of many awardwinning crias, including Eternal Flame, black and white high selling suri female, 2001 Celebrity Sale. Co-owned with Shadowland Ranch Suri Alpacas, Defiance, Missouri. Breeding fee: $2,500.

Blackout, award-winning nonfading true black. His first crias are due fall, 2003. Breeding fee: $2,500.

Godiva's Peruvian Royal Chocolatier ("Choco''), full Peruvian part Accoyo true black multiple award-winner. Coowned with Shadowland Ranch Suri Alpacas, Defiance, Missouri.

Kudzu, full Pemvian white son of Accoyo Amador, producing awardwinning crias with excellent conformation and fiber. Breeding Fee: $1,500.

Purchase a bred female from Ridgeview Farm Southern Suris and get her rebred free to one of our exceptional suri herdsires, featuring Peruvian bloodlines such as Fuego, Aureo, Meteor, Elar, Accoyo Amador, and Royal Damasco.

Ridgeview Farm Southern Suris Bill and Juanita Crake 273 Keith Evans Road • Dawsonville, Georgia 30534 (706) 265-7328 • •

advice for new breeders insight from established suri farms by Jennifer Powers

fiey were backlit by the setting sun and Humming softly. This was my introduction to Jils acas, and it was love at first sight. Our ( decision to purchase alpacas had nothing to do with business and everything to do with wanting to be surrounded by suri alpacas. We broke the basic tenet of acquiring alpacas by buying the first ones we saw, but we haven't regretted the choice for one moment. Throughout our odyssey, one fact stands out: the overall helpfulness of suri breeders. While there are many philosophies, breeding plans, and personalities, the constant is a willingness to help. What follows below is a question and answer session with an array of breeders. Their ranches are small and large, and spread far and wide across the United States. What they share, however, is their love for suri alpacas and their willingness to share their knowledge.

Wl.ry did you choose suri alpacas? Miriam Donaldson, Alpaca Jack's Suri Farm: Initially, we invested in alpacas because, of all the livestock investments, alpacas have the greatest potential for a profitable return. Little did we know how the alpacas would capture our hearts! We then saw the extraordinary beauty of the suri alpaca. Considering that beauty combined with worldwide rarity, we felt they would be the wisest investment. Jan and Dale Davis, Derwydd Alpacas: We had only huacayas at the time. There were and are relatively few suris compared to the huacaya population here in California, so it was a great marketing move, allowing us to be a full-service ranch. Craig Aurness, Aurness Alpaca: I grew up with horses and cattle and always dreamed of returning to the land and ranch life. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of land to be successful in the horse or cattle business. Alpacas have allowed me to become involved in ranching without having a lot of land. Alpacas in



general and suris in particular were a love affair at first sight for both my wife and me. There is something noble and striking about a suri with full fleece on a hill in the wind. The motion of the draping locks is extraordinary when they walk or play. Up close, face-to-face, eye-to-eye, the suri is often a mystery ... What is behind the bangs? They stare at you in interest and curiosity. As they get to know you, it becomes trust, a type of friendship. Their wonderful sound only enhances the visual experience. I am not sure we chose suris; it is more like suris chose us. Maria Bravo, Quintessence Alpacas: We have huacayas, and I love them too. But our pride and joy are the strong, temperamental suris. We discovered them two years after I had started to work with alpacas, and one year after I had begun working with alpaca fiber. I was working in the Altiplano, selecting my first alpacas, when suddenly I saw several with long fiber. I was fascinated by the elegance of the neck and the way they carried themselves. They seemed so proud, with grace in their movement, and then I realized that they actually shimmered with every movement in the sunlight! Andy Tillman, Tillman Llamas and Suri Alpacas: Love at first sight. The first time I saw suris was at La Raya, Peru, in 1979 or 1980. It was like seeing a pasture full of light bulbs.

What are the changes you have seen in the suri market, and where do you see the suri market heading in the fature? Miriam Donaldson: From the very beginning, the suri market has been strong. With industry controls in place for new importations and continued marketing efforts by the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA), The Suri Network and The American Breeders Co-op (I Love Alpacas), I anticipate that the market for suris will remain strong for a long time. Craig Aurness: In the past, it seemed as if suris were an acquired taste, and new breeders preferred to start with huacayas. Now, many first time alpaca buyers are starting out investing in suris. There is also an increased interest in dark colors, even if the prices are steadily going up. I believe these trends will grow along with the expansion of the whole alpaca market. To assure the best locks, luster and colors, suri breeders are making a serious effort to locate the finest sires they can find to improve their suri herds and depend less and less on males that do not meet the highest standards. The net result is a steady and constant increase in the national herd quality and more color variety. Suri breeders, for the most part, seem to recognize that carefully managing their breeding programs to steadily improve quality is important, and that stud fees are a minor cost compared to the end results of good breeding.

What are the key things you look for when purchasing a suri? Miriam Donaldson: As a passionate suri breeder, I feel I have a responsibility to produce a sound animal, as correct as possible, to help establish our national herd. I weigh conformation 80 percent in my evaluation. Therefore, when I purchase a suri I look for an animal with a beautiful head, straight legs with good leg coverage, straight top line, large bones and good bite. I appreciate equally the different lock structures that suris are capable of producing. Jan and Dale Davis: Fiber: in order of importance, luster, excellent lock structure, consistency throughout the fleece, density and fineness. Conformation: in order of importance, teeth, testicles, head, ear set, legs, body and tail. Also proven, awardwinning bloodlines. Leslie Loveless: The first thing I look for is luster. A suri without luster is like a day without sunshine. Next, I look at conformation. Fiber can significantly improve in one generation, but a bad bite, for instance, is passed from generation to generation. I then look at the lock structure. I prefer, along with most judges, a tight pencil lock that starts at the skin. The next thing is uniformity. I want the fiber to be the same type of lock from the head to the tail. The head is very important. I want a pretty head with a short nose, nice

Leslie Loveless, Sierra Bonita: I think most breeders are better educated now and are willing to pay the high prices for suris with great phenotype, the kind of animal that competes well and is outstanding enough to bring home the blue ribbon. We are more particular with the herdsires we use and are willing to remove an animal from our breeding program unless it meets the standards we have set. There will always be a demand for top quality animals, be it suri or huacaya. For those animals, the prices will stay high.


advice for new breeders


locks on the top, nice shape to the ears, no banana ears or ears that curve on one side and not the other. Then I look at fiber density and coverage. Is there fiber from the knees down? Fineness is important, but for me, more with huacayas. With suris the micron can be a little higher, but still in the baby-fine range. One of the last things I look at is size and presence. I want a well-boned animal. How it presents itself is important, especially with a herdsire. Presence can make the difference between first and second place, all other things comparable. Andy Tillman: In a herdsire, I want the male to be out of a dam that has produced great crias with several studs. I see the body type of the distaff (female line) coming through in her crias, whereas you get a lot of fiber refinement from the sire. So, I want a dam to have the body type of a suri: taller with more neck extension than a huacaya and a more level top line and tail set. We know our future herdsires the day they are born.

Is there a question you wish you'd asked before getting your first suri? What is your answer to that question? Leslie Loveless: The first two suris I bought were a male and female. They were very nice quality with good pedigrees, but both were white. It was okay to have a white female, but I wish I had asked how difficult would be to market a white suri male. I have learned that unless your white male is just fantastic, such as three-time national champion with multiple champion cria, it is difficult to market. Color plays such a large role. I love white, but if I ever buy another white male it will be one with luster that glows in the dark, locks that start at the skin, and coverage to the toes.

Ray Rodriguez, Leraso Farm Alpacas: I would encourage any new buyer to make sure they talk with previous customers of the breeder from whom they purchase their first animals, or know that breeder very well. That breeder becomes one of your primary educators and resources. Our first buying experience was not a pleasant one. We should have done a better job checking references.

What is the one piece ofadvice you would offer someone just getting into suri alpacas or considering it? Miriam Donaldson: When investing in suris, I would recommend finding the highest quality suri you can locate. Instead of purchasing seven average animals, buy four top-of-the-line. You will be much further ahead in the long run marketing your offspring if you strive to recognize and find quality rather than quantity. Be certain to read the registration to verify that you are not purchasing a suri/huacaya cross. The Suri Network, which represents a majority of the suri breeders in the United States, believes in keeping the suri pure. Leslie Loveless: I would get the best I could afford, one that has it all. Pedigree, phenotype, first place winner, if possible. Maybe have someone you can trust who truly knows the animals help you. For a female, color is last on my list of priorities. One thing I did that really helped was that I went to the big shows and looked at the animals that won the championships. That way I could see first hand what was considered the best. Also, ask a lot of questions. Craig Aurness: Part of the formula is buying from breeders that are already very respected. It gives their alpacas a perceived value. Recognizing the importance of buying from reputable breeders encourages me to keep investing in not just the best alpacas, but also in the most respected breeders. The combination is a win-win.

What is a good wean weight? Andy Tillman: Eighty to 100 pounds is possible with selective breeding. Our average daily gain is up to 2/3 pound a day in the first 30 days. An early maturing cria can be bred sooner and makes a safe investment for the first time buyer. This is especially important in a male who might be fertile at 24 months rather than three years of age.



Ray Rodriguez: Our herd is only about 40 head, so much of our management style is intuitive and knowing the animals. Beginning as early as four months, we see the cria that are serious about foraging the pastures. We will wait to wean until at least six months of age, around 75-plus pounds. There are occasions where the health of the dam is more important than the cria. Some dams will give it all to the cria and shrink to skin and bone. We pull those cria off as soon as possible to help the dam. Some of the males grow so fast and so large, we'll pull them off early too. Gail S. Campbell, DVM, Ameripaca Alpaca Breeding Company: It is difficult to put a number on a good weaning weight, as this weight varies widely. In the North American herd, the weight of a mature female ranges from 100 pounds to 200 pounds. I have found that, on the average, a 6 month old weanling weighs about 50% of its dam's weight.

How do you tell ifa herd is well managed? Andy Tillman: If the breeder can tell you the cria's birth weight, wean weight, daily gain, and when it was last vaccinated and dewormed, it is probably a well-managed herd. If you can catch the dam and cria, they lead or stand quietly, then the same is also true. Ray Rodriguez: I want a breeder that is focused on alpacas. There should be adequate pasture for the number of animals with no over-crowding. The breeder should maintain concise, detailed medical and breeding records. He or she should quarantine all visitors, worm regularly, check fecal samples for parasites and rotate pastures. Pregnant dams should have a low-stress environment. You can look over a herd of alpacas and tell the stress level. In the early morning, I like to see the herd cushed and chewing cud. As the day progresses, they will graze and sun bathe. Late in the day, as the sun sets, weanlings will often wrestle and pronk.

When should a new breeder consider purchasing a stud? Andy Tillman: We encourage new buyers to invest in a male immediately. We frequently sell in unrelated male/female pairs, and we try to have these males be one year older than the female so they will reach sexual maturity at about the same time. If you can pick out a female, you can pick out

: : •• ••

The vast majorfty of suri breeders are so passionate about suris, they are only too willing to help.

a stud. Just remember that studs need to still be contemporary three years from now (when they are fertile or when their first crias will be born) . So they've got to be hot! Ray Rodriguez: We recommend new breeders put off the decision to purchase a stud until it makes sense financially. Purchasing a stud is partially a function of available capital. If money is not an issue, the sooner the better. It is much more convenient to re-breed right at your own farm. However, you want to always be breeding for genetic gain, and that is difficult to achieve only utilizing one male. We co-own all of our studs and continue to utilize outside breedings.

Conclusion Whatever your questions and herd goals are, the best possible advice is to ask A good indicator of what level of after sale support you will receive is a breeder's willingness to answer questions and give advice before the sale. The vast majority of suri breeders are so passionate about suris, they are only too willing to help. •!•


Heat Wave Future suri herdsire. Taupy gray.

Eminance Gris Future suri herdsire. Charcoal gray.

Meadowgate Farm is proud to present some of the results of our attempts to produce Pure Peruvian gray suris.

Uma Bred suri f emale. Steel gray.

ALPACAS Diane & Leon Rosenberg

3071 Lawrenceville Road• Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 •Ph: (609) 219-0529 •Fax: (609) 219-0531 Email: •Web:

Stevens Llama 1ique and Suri Alpacas











Co-owned with Mike & Janet Wilkins

Co-owned with Mystic Springs Ranch



True Black

True Black

Co-owned with Peggy Chaillet, OH


1-800-4MY-IAMA (469-5262)

PHONE (507) 376-4230 • FAX (507) 376-4242


29581 US IDGHWAY 59/60 WORTHINGTON, MN 56187

blue ribbon suris what suri judges look for in the ring

llinit it. Everyone thinks they're a judge. We all play that e--you know- the one where you watch a group of suris comting n the s~ow ring, you try to pick the order the judge is going to1Jlace them m, and then you scratch your head wondering why the one you picked placed third! Of course, anyone who's ever been around an alpaca knows you have to observe and touch each alpaca to know the whole story. But what exactly are the pros looking for when they judge our suris in the ring? How do they make that final decision between one alpaca over another? We asked seven senior AOBA judges just that- "What do you look for in a suri in the show ring?" Below are the four written responses we received.

Amanda VandenBosch: In a full fleece halter class, the suri is judged on 50% conformation and 50% fiber. On entering the show ring, the suri is walked to assess overall conformation, soundness, and balance. Proportions of neck to back and leg ratio, as well as correct angulations of limbs and lack of deviations or abnormalities are also observed. The suri alpaca should be "true to type" for a suri and not showing characteristics of a huacaya or a llama. As the suri is walking, the movement should be free and fluid. The suri should be alert and upright, with a straight top line and slightly sloping rump. Any abnormalities are noted, and further examination is taken in the hands-on portion of the assessment. At this time, initial observations are made on fleece, overall fiber coverage is observed, and definition of lock and uniformity is inspected starting at the head and top knot, continuing down the neck, throughout the body, and down the legs. During the hands-on portion, the alpaca's bite is examined, body condition felt, and the tail checked for any deformities. Reproductive organs are also checked (in a male, testicles for size and consistency; and in a female, the visual appearance of normal genitalia).



As the fleece is examined, the feel of the fleece should have a "cool" touch, especially noticeable as you run your hand down the neck fiber. Upon opening the fleece in three primary sites of inspection (mid side, shoulder, and rump), the handle and softness is assessed as well as the evenness of micron throughout the fleece. The lock formation and structure is assessed starting at the top knot throuo-h the entire body and down the legs. I look for consiste~cy throughout, taking into account all of the different lock types and depth of locks, not just on the surface. The evidence of luster is very important; this is often visual prior to opening the fleece, but careful observation is taken to ensure the fleece has not been prepared with artificial luster enhancers which are prohibited. Uniformity and consistency are assessed throughout the fleece along with density of the fiber, solidity of lock and independence. Negative traits such as crimp, lofty fiber, or excessive medullation characteristics are noted. The fleece has been checked to make sure it is sound, free from excessive debris or matting, and meets the length requirements for the class entered. Further locations on the body and down the legs and neck should be assessed to complete the evaluation. The evaluations are taken from the conformation and fiber assessment and combined to place the most complete package at the top of the class on a comparative basis to those in the class on that day.

Mike Safley: An ideal alpacas look begins with the head, a dense top knot, and well-covered cheeks ""' converging with the wool cap to form a dose V at the eyes, which are brown. The ears are shaped like an arrowhead and erect. The muzzle is soft and wedge shaped. The jaw should fit together correctly, with the lower incisors meeting the upper dental pad. The head and neck make up about one-third of an alpacas height, the body makes up onethird, as do the legs. The neck connects to the shoulder at approximately a 45 degree angle to the back, which is straight, dropping off a bit at the tail. When the alpaca is alert, the neck and back form almost a 90 degree angle with the head slightly forward. The perfect alpaca has a squared off appearance, with four strong legs setting squarely under it, giving it a graceful stance which translates into a fluid gait. The ideal alpaca has a soft, dense fleece, which is completed with abundant coverage down the legs. A suri's head is a window into its quality. The head of the ideal suri should exhibit well-covered cheeks and a bearded chin. The suri's fleece should begin independently locking at the forehead and continue uniformly down the neck, across the body and down the legs, finishing at the toes. The stars of any herd will catch your eye with an alert, erect appearance. Their fleece opens into well-organized locks or staples of soft, bright, and lustrous fleece, which handles like silk or cashmere. Above all, an ideal alpaca will never be mistaken for a llama.

The Ideal Suri Fleece: The primary characteristic which distinguishes a suri from a huacaya is the phenotype of its fleece. The suri's fleece falls dose to the body, moves freely, and gives the animal a lustrous, flat-sided appearance. The luster found in the suri's fleece is the primary indication of the animal's quality. In addition, the fiber should be fine, and have good handle (a more slippery hand than huacaya) with a wellnourished, almost greasy feel. The locks or ringlets that make up the fleece should be round, form dose to the skin, and have uniform twist to the end. Ideally, the style of lock should be uniform from the top knot to the hock; particular attention should be paid to uniformity and independence of lock across the mid side. The legs and underbelly should be well covered. A more rounded or fluffy appearance can indicate volume rather than density in a suri's fleece which is undesirable. There should be no crimp in the staple, but a low wave is desirable along the length of an individual fiber. Due to the compactness of the fleece, suris often give the appearance of being smaller than the huacaya, but this is an optical illusion. The suri should be every bit as big and robust as a huacaya. Think of the ideal suri as producing a curtain of silk to grace its sturdy frame. Suri fiber is woven into doth and made into coats or jackets that exhibit a warm, luxurious luster. The suri's locks should have a well-defined architecture. Locks should be compact, independent (swinging out freely from the skin when the animal is in motion or the fleece disturbed), uniform, and start dose to the skin. Locks may be twisted, or softly curled, and should start from the forelock and continue through to the hocks. Spirals in the locks may twist from either left or right. The suri's locks should never contain crimp, which is a fault. A suri, when compared to a huacaya of similar age and fiber micron size, will have a longer lock (staple in huacaya) in the fleece. The locks should hang straight and hug the body, giving it a draped appearance. When the fleece is opened, the inside locks should be as well-formed as the outside layer and exhibit luster beginning at their base.



blue ribbon suris (continued) Susan Tellez: As I view Suri Alpacas in the show ring, I focus on three things: my experience evaluating Suri alpacas in South America, U.S. breeder's preferences for preserving Suri phenotype, and production and longevity of sound conformation traits. My evaluation in the show ring normally follows a systematic approach to review the animals in this order:

I. OUTSIDE VISUAL A. Overall Phenotypic Appearance 1. Suri style and elegance

2. Balap.ce, proportions and stretchy body profile 3. Head''shape with top lock coverage and lock style indication 4. Freedom and movement of fleece - length per age 5. Freedom from fluffy, compact huacaya appearance B. Uniformity of Lock Style I. Uniform lock style from head to neck, body, legs 2. Independence of well-defined draping dense locks 3. Freedom from FLUFFY style

C. Evidence of Luster I. Throughout the neck & body on the outside fleece 2. Natural occurring luster without enhancement

II. OUTSIDE HANDLING A. Neck 1. Smooth COOL SLICK Feel to the touch 2. Independence oflocks 3. Density oflocks

B. Body 1. Smooth COOL SLICK feeling to the touch 2. Independence of locks hanging freely from the body 3. Absence of warm fuzzy feeling 4. Absence of matting

III. INSIDE APPEARANCE and HANDLING A. Lock Structure I. Independent, well-defined locks hanging freely 2. Same LOCK style outside and inside 3. Freedom from Matting

B. Handle 1. Cool, SMOOTH handle 2. Freedom from WARM handle

Iv. CONFORMATION A. Body I . Balanced, stretchy profile with tight upright neck set 2. Production capacity and size for age 3. Correct bite and reproduction genitalia B. Movement I. Square foot placement with fluid easy strides 2. Adequate bone and substance 3. Strong pasterns and correct angulation of hocks 4. Relative level top line on the move

Suri Judging - Quick Check List Anthony Stachowski, DVM: When judging suris, I am looking for a well balanced, free-moving, conformationally correct suri with proud show presence. Ideal suri type has "stretch and style" which includes an upright neck, expressive eye and ears, level topline, straight underpinning with solid bone proportional to the length of the neck. Suri fiber should:

!if !if !if !if !if !if

Exhibit high luster especially at the skin level Exhibit a silky, cool, heavy hand Exhibit uniformity of locks throughout the neck and blanket area Exhibit independent locks Exhibit a greater number of locks per square inch of body surface Exhibit defined lock extension on legs, topknot and throat latch

Those suris that naturally shimmer and shine as they freely move elegantly around the show ring will spotlight the winners' circle!


V. PRIORITIES A. Correct Conformation B. Suri Phenotype I. High luster 2. Cool, slick handle 3. Independent locks Well, there you have it. Four descriptions right from their sources. â&#x20AC;˘!â&#x20AC;˘ Amanda Vandenbosch (831) 679-7222; Mike Safley (503) 628-3110; Susan Tellez (409) 866-0247; Anthony Stachowski, DVM (440) 338-3507;

16259 St. Rt. 224 E •Findlay, Ohio 45840 PH: 419.423.3890 • FX: 419.423.3819





Visit us on tbe internet at ...






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High tnterest Homozygous True Blac;;k Inspiration son .




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Dark gray Highlander son Secpnd f~~ece! .


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· lock and ·luster Intense . Numerous blue ribbons



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Since 1975

Andy Tillman • Dr. .Cheryl ,Tillman, _Veterinari 20510 Sw;illey Road I Bend, .Oregon 977

(541) 389- f065 I Fax (54 l) 389-8026

E-mail andy@foloredsurial.p, .• www.col~re

suri network forum las vegas1 nevada1 february 21 1 2003 By Andy Tillman with input from Connie Bodeker, Gini Barker, and Donna Elser

ixty suri alpaca breeders attended the Suri Forum in Las Vegas, Nevada which was held in conjunction with the Alpaca Registry Inc.'s membership planning forum. The purpose of the Suri Forum was to determine which issues suri alpaca breeders share broad consensus on and identify those which breeder's are either unsure about, need further study, or do not agree on at this time. The Suri Network board of directors believes in establishing show and breed standards "from the ground up," rather than from the top down. This year's Suri Forum was divided into three broad topics including: phenotype, handle and fineness, and judging issues. A discussion leader introduced each topic followed by comments which were discussed by the group. Suri Network board member Andy Tillman acted as moderator.

Phenotype Dr. Gail Campbell introduced the discussion on suri phenotype with a detailed slide show.

Heads and Profile The group believed that judges and breeders should not "rush to judgement" on correlating head shape to suri phenotype. A wide variation in head shapes was documented by Dr. Campbell and further validated by the group of sixty suri breeders. The assembled breeders believed that "there was a significant difference" between suri and huacaya body type. A longer neck to back ratio and flatter top line was believed to be more indicative of suri character than the silhouette of a huacaya alpaca. A longer ear length was also agreed upon.

luster Fifty-nine out of sixty breeders believed that luster was the single most important characteristic of suri alpacas. It is the primary reason suri fiber is purchased by the textile industry and should take precedence in judging over the natural variation in lock types.



lock Types Several important observations were made about lock type: • A well-defined lock, regardless of type, was preferred by the group. •Uniformity oflock was considered to be as important as which type of lock a suri possessed. • A narrow, twisted lock was still preferred. • A lock with crimp or an "under over wave" may not be consistent with suri type despite having possible benefit in processing. • A fan-shaped lock is now considered to be similar to an intermediate (huacaya x suri) fleece type, or seen on re-growth of older animals. A straight fleece without lock formation was not discussed in depth. Some breeders believed a straight fleece was highly correlated with fineness and luster and this fleece type produced the lowest incidence of huacaya offspring. A straight fleece may be too severely penalized on the fleece score card. This is an issue which probably needs more discussion.

Handle and Fineness Brad Sprouse introduced the topic of handle and fineness. The following points were discussed: • A "cool" handle was highly correlated to luster. Luster was identified as the single most important characteristic of suri fleece. •A slick handle may not correlate to a low average fiber diameter (AFD). • A fine AFD may not correlate to a high degree of luster. • Fine fleeces are more often found in huacaya than suri fleeces. • Selecting for fineness alone may be contrary to suri type.

Judging Issues

Cross Breeding

• There may be too much emphasis on AFD rather than handle on the score card.

Though it was not on the agenda, participants wanted to discuss cross breeding suri and huacaya alpacas. The group was unanimously opposed to intentionally cross breeding suris and huacayas, and believed that ARI should not register such hybrids and that AOBA should not allow them to be shown. This opinion was consistent with the consensus at the 2001 Suri Summit.

• Unifying fleece and halter class judging criteria still needs to be addressed.

For Future Discussion

Gini Barker discussed the evolution of the AOBA fleece score card for suri alpacas. The recent changes were appreciated by the assembled suri breeders. Several issues still need to be addressed:

• Facial hair coverage should not be discriminated against in suri alpacas. •There is a tendency among some "international" judges to select against shorn animals or trimmed bangs. In the United States under AOBA rules, trimming of bangs (fore lock) should be allowed and even encouraged. Ray Rodriguez introduced the discussion on grooming and fleece length. Grooming rules were considered by most participants to be appropriate as currently written. This allows washing with water and/or shampoo only. Shampoo with conditioners and luster enhancers are not allowed. Yet in the ethics section of the AOBA show rules, detanglers are allowed. It is not clear whether or not these should be removed from the fleece prior to showing. The intent was probably to allow them on farm only, and they should be washed and removed from the fleece prior to showing. Several participants observed that exhibitors who must travel several days to attend a national show, or come from dry or dusty climates, are at a significant disadvantage, and washing and grooming stalls should be available to exhibitors. Grooming and fleece (staple) length were the most controversial issues identified at the original Suri Summit in Bend, Oregon in 2001 . The consensus of the group at this year's Suri Forum appeared to be moving slowly toward allowing less or even no grooming.

Due to a lack of time, several important issues were not discussed in depth. These issues should probably be discussed within the year at a similar suri forum: • The value of a straight fleece • Staple length ... how long is too long? • What causes a cotted fleece? How important is independence of lock? • Crimp and the "under over wave." Desirable for processing but against type? • Micron emphasis on the fleece score card • Unifying fleece and halter class judging criteria •Judging "thriftiness" (health, wean weight, early maturity, relative size, maternal ability, and a tender or damaged fleece) in a class should be emphasized.

Consensus Combined with the consensus of the Suri Summit in Bend, OR in 2001, and the Suri Network's Suri Forum in Las Vegas, NV this year, there appears to be broad consensus on most issues pertaining to the breeding and judging of suri alpacas in the United States. Grooming, staple length, and the relative importance of fineness and/or handle remain issues on which there is a large divergence of opinion. •!•

Staple length was not discussed in depth.


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MARIAH ... Where every Alpaca is Special" From The Peruvian Andes, To The Green Mountains of Vermont... 324 Swift Road South Ryegate, VT 05069 Telephone 802-584-3700 Fax 802-584-4880


suri network members Alpert, M ichael & Sherry Awesome Acres Pacas & Pyrs 11 800 S. Hiwassee Rd. Oklahoma City, OK 73 165 405-912-0062

Bader, Linda Sm ith, Cindy Shady Ho llow Suri A lpacas 4810 McMi llan Road Bad Axe, Ml, 48413 989-658-8629 www.shsuria

Anton, Bill and Gina Blueberry Hill A lpacas N4843 Blueberry Lane Plymouth, WI 53073 920-892-4053

Bahr, Darrel l & Barbara Falcon Quest Alpacas 9002 N Lane Drive Wausau, WI 54401 715-675-3447 www.fa

App legate, Andrea Applegate Lama Stud 7980 New Hope Road Grants Pass, OR 97527 541-862-2170 www.a

Ballard, Rick and Jo Fern Va ll ey Alpaca Farm 3575 Fern Road Willard, OH 44890 419-465-4273 fernvalleya lpaca@aol. com

A rmstrong, Jack and Kelly Latah Creek Alpacas S. 1061 2 Forney Rd. Mica, WA 99023 503-927-0432 www.alpaca-i

Barker, Jim and Gin i Sweetbriar Su ri Alpaca Farm 12375 Pond Road Burton (Newbury), OH 44021 440-834-8848 www.sweetsu ri .com

Arnold, Matthew & Sam ira Bou ldermont Farm 29 Austin Road Amherst, NH 03031 603-673-7701 www.bou ldermont. com

_J Barnett, DVM, W illiam E. " ' Snow, Randy A lpacas of America, LLC 25525 Dahl Road A rlington, WA 98223 3 60-62 9-63 9 5 www.a

Black, Rebecca Glenstone Farm 12002 Glen Road Potomac, MD 20854 301-983-8390 www.glenstonefarm .com

Bastiaens, Rebecca & Willem A lpacas Del Norte 1585 Co. Rd. 24 Long Lake, MN 55356 763-473-1264

Block, Larry and Mari an San Miguel Alpacas P.O. Box 773659 Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 970-871-1 603 www.suria

Beaver, M ike & D iane A lpaca Ventures P.O. Box44 Summerh ill, PA 15958 866-722 -2 482

Bodeker, Connie and Rick B.B. F. A lpacas, Inc. 6842 - 338th St. Way Cannon Fal ls, MN 55009-4225 507-263-5 441

Beck, Randy & Jennifer Once Upon A Farm Alpacas 23887 Roosevelt Road South Bend, IN 46614 574-288-7699

__J Bob, Alpaca " ' A lpacas of Pa lm Spring P.O. Box 8905 Palm Springs, CA 92263 760-327-7980

Bergeman, Steve & Kathy Breakstone Ridge 14752 Tenth Avenue Chippewa Fa lls, WI 54729 715-723-8733

_J Bohrt, Billy

Arns, Vicki Llama Shire A lpacas 2 1740 Burndale Road Sonoma, CA 95476 707-938-541 2 A ron, Phi l & Shelly Brooklyn A lpacas 514 7th Street Brooklyn, NY 11215 71 8-369-1066 sundancez@ao Aurness, Craig & Daphne Aurness Alpacas 1435 Co lchester Place Oak Park, CA 91377 818-706-7744 Avd ich, Rick and Laura High Country Ll amas & Alpacas RR #3, S43A C-43 Summerland, B.C. VOH lZO 250-494-8329 Backer, Suzanne and Joel Cou ntry Haven Farm 708 Inverness Road Ft. Collins, CO 80524 970-407-0887 Badcock, Therese & David Serena Lodge 136 Menaire Road Stowport, Tasman ia, Austra lia 7321 03 -64-323613 .au


= Lifeti me Members

Bernardy, Jeff Rogers, Lauri e North Ridge Alpacas Rt. 2, Box 11 9 D LaCrescent, MN 55947 507-643-6966 bernardy@

Berns, Glenn and Nancy Sugar Creek Farm and Inn 1050 Cox Rd. Blue Ridge, GA 30513 706-258-4494 Berry, Julia White Stone Farm 32 Jack Rabbit Lane Santa Fe, NM 87505 505 -989-1373 Bessmer, Linda Franklin, Carl Merlyn's Alpacas 9901 Ash ley Road Ashley, OH 43003 740-747-2674 Billingsley, Tammy Weber, Gene Singing Hills Farm 41766 Thunder Hill Road Parker, CO 80138 303-805-2044 singinghill

Britton, Deanna & Daniel Snowflake Farms, LLC 5676 Stage Road Benson, VT 05743 802-5 37-2971 Broome, El izabeth Ceda r Creek A lpacas 1528 CR 59 Sterling, CO 80751 970-522-7076 Bronson, Patricia Capital Alpacas 10201 E. Hunter Va lley Road Vienna, VA 22181 703-319-2239 www.capitala Brown, Steve & Loretta Moon River Alpacas 8060 S. Stewart Rd. Meridian, ID 83642 208-571-7025 Broz, Margaret Peg's Palm Beach Alpacas P.O. Box 4631 West Palm Beach, FL 33402 561-3 12-3263

_J ft

Burgess, Bon and Cindy Feathers an d Friends Farm D ivide, CO 719-687-2169 www. hub. of

_J Campbell, DVM, Gail


" ' Bolivian Su ri Alpacas P.O. Box 3441 LaPaz, Bolivia

Ameripaca A lpaca Breeding Co. P.O. Box 256 Galesville, MD 20765 -0256 410-867-4204

Brealey, Randy & Beth Chelsea Farms 19450 208th Ave. SE Renton, WA 98058 425-413-3900!chelsea

Canning, Peter & Nancy Summit Suri A lpacas, LCC 4326 Ironwood Lane Terre Haute, IN 47802 812-299-8392 summitsuris@ea

Briere, Sharai Montaldi, Doug Om ineca Lama Ranch Inc. Box 614, Colleymount Road Burns Lake, B.C. VOJ 1 EO 250-695-6584

Capps, Stanley & Jerri Capps' Country A lpacas 8202 Hwy. N Bourbon, MO 65441 573-732-3911


suri network members (continued) .....J Carlill,

Dianne and Roland Double-0 -Seven A lpaca Ranch 11 S10 227th Avenu e SE Monroe, WA 98272 360-863-7222 htm

Combs, Geoff & Gina Azriel's Mountain Swans 38255 Ridge Road Agate, CO 80101 303-62 1-2844 camelidsrcool@ao

Castellanos, Amy Lutz Amy J's Homestead A lpacas 5851 North County Road #11 Tiffin, O H 44883 419-443-1502

Cook, G len and Susan Blue Ribbon A lpaca Breeding Co. 4320 Damascus Road Gaithersburg, MD 20882 301-51 9-2991 www.b

Chesna, Debbie and Ed Ledgeview A lpaca Farm W 4173 County Road H Fond Du Lac, WI 54935 92 0-92 3-6925

Cotton, Ton i & Gary Cam. Vet. Svs. & Rare Suri Alpacas 14136 T.R. 108 Findl ay, OH 45840 419-299-3716 ipet. com

Dishaw, Patri ck & Helen East River Alpacas 6550 East River Road Rush, NY 14543 585-5 33-2285 www.a

Chlarson, Nancy Q uality Lama Products 332 17 Bell inger Scale Rd. Lebanon, OR 97355 800-638-4689 www.

Crake, Bill and Juan ita Ridgeview Farm Southern Suri s 273 Keith Evans Road Dawsonville, GA 30534 706-265-7328

_J ft

Christley, Donna Boncha, Debbi Moon light Meadow Farm 9455 Rob inson Road Chardon, OH 44024 440-285-4251 www.moonl

Cresap, Gai l Grand Lake Alpacas 450358 S. Hwy. 85 Afton, OK 74331 918-256-1993 www.grandlakea



9440 Bucher Road Whitehouse, OH 43571

Crowe, II, R.T. Bar C Ranch 1255 Freds Mtn. Road Reno, NV 89506 775 -970-5088

Clauson, R. Six Pack Ranch 3074 Datoff Road Quesnel, B.C. V2J 6N3 250-747-1229 clauson@tel us. net

Dabbs, James and Debra Dabbs' Heritage Alpacas 14305 Braun Road Sturtevant, W I 53177 262-878-0251 www.heritagea

Clingan, Mary Lou Waywood Farm A lpacas 16259 St. Route 224 E Findlay, OH 45840 419-423-1546 brightestnbest@aol .com

Davies, Jack and Joan Davies A lpacas of Humboldt 12 89 Hookton Road Loleta, CA 95551 707-733-5501 www.daviesa

Coburn, Bill Camel ids of Delaware Inc. 267 Lightner Road Port Cl inton, OH 43452 419-732-3606

Davis, Jan Derwydd Alpacas 2449 7 County Road 23 Esparto, CA 95627 530-787-0007 www.derwydda

Co leman, Barbara and Randy W ings & A Prayer A lpacas 705 1 Barnards Road Canby, OR 97013 503 -2 63 -6944

Day, Robin Roberta Luna Rosa Ranch P.O. Box 3134 Fri day Harbor, WA 98250 360-378-3443 lunarosasu ri

Coleman, Thomas Rolling Acres A lpacas 53373 Co leman Lane Viroqua, WI 54665 608-483-22 74

Day, Susa n Daisy Lane Alpacas 933 Hume Bedford Road Paris, KY 40361 859-987-4556 daisylanefarm@aol .com

_J Clai r, Jim and Barbara ft Westwa rd A lpacas



Dayrell, Mark and Janet Eagle Ledge Farm 13600 W. Eaton Hwy Grand Ledge, M l 48837 517-627-4769

_j DeGroot, Dave and Sylvia


Double Dutch Farms 3057 Lingren Road Hood River, OR 9703 1 54 1-354-62 62

Dodge, Mark and Vicki Quacky Studios 370 N . East Camino Dr., Ste.5 PBM 63 Camano Island, WA 98292 __ / Donaldson, Jack and Miri am A lpaca Jack's Suri Farm 16259 SR 224 East Findlay, OH 45840 419-423-3890

Doran, Judy & Pau l Doran's Suri A lpaca & Llam a Co. 8378 Bevelheimer Road Westerville, OH 43081 614-855-1329 www.doransa lpaca

_J Dorsey, Tilly and Jim ft DAFI Alpacas P.O. Box 55 Butler, MD 21023 4 10-239-3850 www.dafi .com Duvall, Barbara and Jerry Briar Rose A lpacas 92 Garden Station Rd. Avondale, PA 193 11 610-869-8543 www.briarrosea Elser, A l and Donna Thompson Hollow A lpacas, LLC P.O. Box 145 New Kingston, NY 12459 845-586-2121 www.thompson hollowa Ensley, Kevin & Ka ren Kushland A lpaca Ranch-N-Fiber Arts 7205 West CR12 Loveland, CO 80537 970-532-0639 kush land@att. net Ensm inger, Kris Hite, Dennis Hum-Dinger Alpacas 239 Route 627 Phillipsburg, NJ 08865 908-995 -73 13 humdingerOl

Evans, Amanda & Jim Sagebrush Alpacas 101 Malaga Road Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-4 70-4629 Evans, Mary and Kirk Candlewood Farm 2249 Candlewood Drive Charl otte, Ml 48813 51 7-543 -8301 www.cand lewoodfarm .com

.....J ft

Fisco, Ben and Lynda Humming Hill Suri Farm Ltd. 12 100 Pekin Road Newbury, OH 44065-9622 440-564-5114 www. humminghill .com

.....J Fiske, Larry ft Setzke, David Grand Compani on Suri Alpacas N2690 County Hwy. Y Saukvill e, WI 53080 414-675-6145 Fl egel, JoAnn and Kristina Dos Donas Alpaca Farm 4515 Dieckmann Lane St. Louis, MO 63034 314-355-2030 Forstner, Jerry & Li bby Magical Farms, Inc. 5280 Aron Lake Road Litchfi eld, OH 44253 330-667-3233 www.alpacafarm .com Foti, Janice 123 Park Avenue Greensboro, MD 21639 410-482-8781 janfoti

_J Frank, John & Lona Nelsen


ALPACAS of Tualatin Va lley 22750 SW Roseda le Rd. Beaverton, OR 97007 503-649-2128 www.a Friend-Wh ite, Kath leen Friend ly Farm A lpacas 3953 Kiefer Road Chi co, CA 95973 530-342-4745 www.friend Friesen, James Northridge Springs Alpacas 16163 Nordhoff Street, #275 Northhill s, CA 91343 818-800-3601 bori sphd@hotmail .com

Geib, Mike and Kathie StarGazer Farm Suri Alpacas 3292 U.S. Route #6 Helena, OH 43435 419-638-3005 www.stargazerfarm .com Gendusa, Dean & Robin M isty Valley Farm 1947 Twist Road Franklin Grove, IL 61031 815-456-3318 Gherman, Heather & Rich Serenity Haven Ranch 480 S. State Street Marion, OH 43302 740-383-5595 Gieser, Stephen and Ruth Kurtz, Randy & Linda Golden Prairie Alpacas 1 N611 Indian Knoll Road West Chicago, IL 60185 630-876-0063 Graham, Nola Castle Hill Farm 2405 N. Houston Road Spokane, WA 99224 509-624-7233 www.castlehillfarm .com Griffith, Bud and Hope Alpaca Farms 154 Lloyd Road West Grove, PA 19390 610-345-0814 Grimes, Gary & Linda Evergreen Elegant Alpacas 16401 Mt. Calvert Rd . Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 301-627-3610 www.a Gromek, Daniel, Felice, Sarah Gromek Farms Alpacas 11148 Jeddo Road Yale, Ml 48097 810-387-4450 Gosline, Andrew Mountain House Farm, Inc. 1192 Rabbit Skin Road Waynesville, NC 28785 828-926-4065 Guidroz, Evans and Olga Kinjockity Ranch Alpacas 10047 E. Hwy. 92 Hereford, AZ 85615 520-366-3100 Hahn, Michael Alpacas of the Fire lands 3364 Townsend Angling Road Collins, OH 44826 419-663-1043


Lifetime Members

Haines, Ron and Denise Daybreak Criations Suri Alpacas 6625 McMurray Ranch Road Bellvue, CO 80512 970-484-9420 Halley, Trudy & Ken A lpacas at CloudyPass LLC 8451 N. County Road 17 Fort Co ll ins, CO 80524 970-214-22 98 970-282-1196 Harris, Cindy Alpacas at Windy Hill 8575 Waters Road Moorpark, CA 93021 805-553-1903 Harrison, Peter Brumwell, Evelyn Y B Normal Farms 323 Hobbs Hwy N Traverse City, Ml 49686 231-946-2270 ybnormal@charterm i. net Haus, Don & Nancy Humm-V Farm 12 748 Bass Lake Road Chardon, OH 44024 440-286-8820 Hedberg, DVM Wi ll iam Pine Forty Farms 979 Nettle Avenue Hampton, IA 50441 641-456-2779 Heinrich, Karl & Janice Long Hollow Alpacas 1758 Long Hollow Pike Gallatin, TN 37066 615-452-7852 kheinri Heise, John Fronk, Cynthia Stargazer Ranch Alpacas 405 SE 8th Street #9 Loveland, CO 80537 970-635-2322 Hensle, Janet Alpacas of Henseforth Farm 460 East Road Tiverton, RI 02878 401-624-4184 Herbold, Harold & Sharon Pikes Peak Woolies 15350 Hwy 83 Colorado Springs, CO 80921 719-495-3092 www.home.earthlink/ppwoolies Heydt, Louise Laugh ing Dragon Alpacas 11990 West Road Redwood Valley, CA 95470 707-485 -1906

Hibbits, Victoria and Ken Alpacas By The Sea P.O. Box 371268 Montara, CA 94037 650-728-5825 Hill, Alan & Tammy Aspen Hills A lpacas 401 Aspen Ridge A lpacas Fort Collins, CO 80524 970-493-6749 aspenhi Hirt, Amy Erie Bleu Alpaca Farm 920 Glenview D rive Huron, OH 44839 419-433-0034 www.lakeeriea Hirt, Tim Collins, Sue Erie Bleu Alpaca Farm 329 S. Main Street, Apt. 3A Findlay, OH 45840 419-425-1156 Hirt, Todd and Debbie West Penn Alpacas 1843 E. Finley Dr. Claysville, PA 15323 724-663-5310 Hoschler, Diane Double Diamond Alpacas P.O. Box 277 Clarksburg, CA 95612 916-802-1171 Houts, Tom & Robyn Southern Cross Farm 8485 Burchell Road Gilroy, CA 95020 408-848-2893 Huber, Paul and Lindy Seldom Scene Farm 3605 Watts Ferry Road Frankfort, KY 40601-9237 606-873-8352 www.seldomscenefarm.corn Huckell, Gai l & Wayne Huckland Alpaca Ranch P.O. Box 495 Mora, NM 87732 505-387-5930 Hulbert, Jim and Cathie J. C. Alpaca Farm 5726 CR 140 Findlay, OH 45840 419-422-4026 www.jca Hull, Steven Cameron, Thomas Timber Lake Farms 5804 Wilson Drive Edmond, OK 73034-7717 405-341-8444

lnglefield, Ruth ALPACARIA 18823 Graystone Road White Hall, MD 21161 410-343-1661 Jamar, Cynth ia & Paul The 'Paca Place at Stardust Farm 2214 Beltz Road W illow Springs, MO 65793 417-932-5688 Jarvinen, Julie Ann, Ph.D., DVM Pine Forty Farms 3717 Ross Road Ames, IA 50014 515-292-3829 Johnson, Alan and Joyce Shadowland Ranch Suri Alpacas, LLC 325 Highway DD Defiance, MO 63341 636-798-2595 Jones, Christine and Larry Funny Farm A lpacas 3576 E. 3100 N Kimberly, ID 83344 208-423 -6849 christy@velocitus .com Judd, Suvia Berman, Deborah Lazy M Suris P.O. Box 8665 Moscow, ID 83843 208-882-4785 Justus, George J. Southern Sun A lpacas 10630 Bluff Point Road Nanjemoy, MD 20662 301-246-9115 Kamin, Dennis and Mary Den-Mar Alpacas W641 Riverview Dr. Montello, WI 53949 920-295-6519 Karsten, Carol Hidden Hill Farm 27 Mattheson Road Antrim, NH 03440 603-588-3370 Keck, Thomas & Diane Mystic Acres Alpacas 10841 Sperry Road Kirtl and, OH 44094 440-256-3468


suri network members (continued) Kel l, Darwin & Doris Bent Pine Alpaca Farm 65 Old Stonehouse Rd . South Carlisle, PA 1701 3-9798 800-863 -3211 www.bentp

Lehner, Chris & Susan Champ ion A lpacas 5220 Va l Verde Road Loomis, CA 95650-9491 916-660-0981

McCroskie, Amy & Arlin A and A A lpacas 2252 C.R. 3124 Greenville, TX 75402 903-450-1 999

Kiernan, j ohn & Julie Dayspring Criations Suri Alpaca Farm 3134 La Porte Ave. Ft. Collins, CO 8052 1 970-484-5 157

Lentz, Virginia R. A. I.A. A lpaca 7912 State Rte. 305 Garrettsvill e, OH 44231 330-5 27-4545 www.a

McKee, Suzanne and John TIA Sho re A lpacas 7922 Boylston Bend Sal isbury, MD 21801 410-546-4596 www.shorea

Kinnare, Mark & Lauren Prairie Creek A lpacas ON115 Pierce Ave. Wheaton, IL 60187 630-690-1 188

Lumsden, Tom & LuAnn Chesapeake Alpacas, Inc. 6304 Kent Point Road Stevensvil le, MD 21666 410-643-1993

McKeon, Mac & Judy Redwood Ridge A lpacas 16030 Robi nwood Lane Los Gatos, CA 95033 408-353-4167 alpaca.parrot@verizon .net

Kirkendal l, A llan & Sheryl Jubi lee A lpacas 688 Evelyn St. Rosebu rg, OR 97470 541-672-9915 kirks@mcsi .net

Lutz, Ian and Jenn ifer Cas-Cad-Nac Farm 551 Wheeler Camp Road Perkinsvill e, VT 05151 802-263-5740

Mecklem, Greg Pacific Crest A lpacas 12995 NW Bishop Road Hillsboro, OR 97124 503-647-7770

Klement, Cory Summer Hummers W8144 Oak Avenue Shawano, WI 54166 715-526-2814

Marquez, Sara A lpacas of Marquez Farms 1085 Almond Avenue Biggs, CA 95917 530-868-5420 rmarquez@cwnet

Medland, Fred and Nancy Paradise Su ri A lpaca Farm 11399 Taylor Road Plain City, OH 43064 614-873-4285

_J Knoblock, Steve & Rose Ann Knoblock's Prairie Ranch RR 2, Box 15 Sabetha, KS 66534 913-284-2589

Marygold, Soni a and Glen Tanglewood Suri A lpacas 28271 Oak Spring Ca nyon Rd. Canyon Cou ntry, CA 91351 661-251-3875 www.tanglewooda

Meyer, Greg & A li son Thistle Hill Farm A lpacas 13254 Trialdelphia Road Ellicott City, MD 21042 410-531-9272 thistlehil lfarm@ero

Kondris, Linda Pines Edge Suri Alpacas 12245 Melba Rd. Black Forest, CO 80106 719-495-9633 www.pi

Matos, Jr., Ernesto McMatley A lpacas LCC P.O. Box 2488 Purcellville, VA 20134-2488 540-338-2045

Mil ler, Walter Mt. Si A lpacas P.O. Box 1913 Snoqualmi e, WA 98065 425-888-0220 mi I lerwd60@d

Korff, Judith A. LadySong Farm 2723 Bunker Hill Road Randolph, NY 14772 716-354-6355

Matthews, Paulette & Tom A lpacas of W hispering Creek Suri Ranch 12370 Va lley Vista Drive Chesterland, OH 44026 440-729-1486

M ill s, Edith and Wesley Cri a Country Alpacas & Llamas 26498 Laneview Road Hempstead, TX 77445 979-826-8993

Kuczynski, Otto Thompson Hollow A lpacas 55 Passaic Avenue Fairfiel d, NJ 07004 973 -227-1656 www.thompson ho

Maybee, Ph ill ip and Judy Pebble Brook Farm Alpacas 100 Sumac Ortonvi ll e, Ml 48462-9281 248-627-7066 www.pebb lebrookfarm .com

Kul ik, Tom & Mary Bel le Mere Farm 1079 Cana l Road Princeton, NJ 08540 908-359-9387 mkulik@iti

Mayersky-Desando, Cami lle Pleasant View Farm 5827 O ld Stage Road Central Point, OR 97502 541-664-7245 www.jacksonviI


Larson, Jovi Su rl es, Richard FiberGenix Su ri s 121 Rocktown Road Ringoes, NJ 08551 908-806-62 5 5 www.fibergen



McArthur, Liza A Su ri 4 U & Cottages 2 837 Hanna Mountain Road Otto, NC 28763 828-349-1236

Mixon, Caroline & J. Del Carodel A lpacas 5166 Union Church Road Flowery Branch, GA 30542 770-967-4041 www.carode Mizrahie, Philip Pet Center Inc. 4105 West Jefferson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016 323 -734-1445 Monasterski, Janet & David Stanpete's Alpaca Ranch 606 Smithvi lle Road Vi ncentown, NJ 08088 609-518-6574

Montaldi, Doug and Sharai Om ineca Lama Ranch Box 614 Burnslake, BC, Canada VOJ 1 EO 250-695 -6584

_J Moran, David A. " " Wall, Lori L. Crimson Shamrock Ranch RR 1, Box 336C, PO Box 7 Eglon, WV 26716 304-735-6413 www.A Morgan, Jim and Jean J4 Alpacas 7711 N. Valley H ill Road Woodstock, IL 60098 815-759-0247 www.j4a Morti, Eric and Nina Wisdom of the Fox A lpacas 5957 W. Pleasant Hill Carbonda le, IL 62903 618-521-2270 morti Mulherin, Lynn & John Kettle H ill s Farm 5587 E. Waterford Road Hartford, WI 53027 262 -670-4933 Murphy, M ichael & Janis Flying M Ranch 35810 W. Greenfield Road Sylvia, KS 67581 620-486-3531 www.fl Nanko, Raymond S. Alpaca O ne 1031 S. CR 725 W Yorktown, IN 47396-9213 765-759-0952 www.a Neuman, Bradley Big Meadow Creek Alpacas 102 1 McKeehan Road Troy, ID 83871-9630 208-835 -2 710 N icho lson, D iane and Julian N ichol son A lpacas and Ll amas 4061 Canyon Ridge North Twin Fall s, ID 83301 208-734-5917 Nitterhouse, Craig & Page Shasta Springs 1785 Falling Spring Road Chambersburg, PA 17201 717-264-8820

Ohl, Duane and Janice Peacefu l Acres 4775 Old Friendship Road Finger, TN 38334 731-989-2447 oh

f'li O lson, Jane

Prokop, Jan Works, April A lpaca Vista 3508 Lakeness Rd. NW Poulsbo, WA 98370-9798 360-7 79-1846 www.a

Holzer, Jim Unisource Suri Alpacas & Llamas, LCC 303 Rentzel Road Gettysburg, PA 17325-7540 717-337-9097

Reed, Jane & Ron Suri Haven 1729 Foothill Drive G lenda le, CA 91201 818-247-1184 janeereed@earthl

Pace, Denn is & Christy Pacesetter A lpacas 5546 W. Plymouth Church Road Belo it, WI 53511 608-879-2770

Reed, Mary Z. Stachowski, DVM, Anthony Chagrin Valley A lpacas 9601 Kinsman Road Novelty, OH 44072 440-338-3509 www.a

Parnell, Phi ll ip & El izabeth Locust Lane Fibre Farm 12 48 Locust Lane Bedford, VA 24523 866-543-2500 par508 Parks, Cheri and Don W ind Walker Ranch 6500 Moe Road Middlevi lle, M l 49333 616-795-1016 Pearce, Bill, Mary & Charlene Five Star A lpacas 5720 N. Range Road LaPorte, IN 46350 219-326-5249 www.fivestara Pelti er, Michael & Marlene Mystical Acres Alpacas 9678 N . Co Road, 25-A Sidney, OH 45365 937-492-0776 www.mystica Peters, Richa rd and Pat Star Sapphire Ranch 774 Mason Lane Corvallis, MT 59828 406-961-4774 Phipps, Teri Schieferstein, David The Fireweed Ranch, Ltd. 1702 D utch Creek Road Banner Elk, NC 28604 828-963-2766 Pouppirt, Sue A long the Lake Alpacas 1120 Club View Terrace Ft. Co llins, CO 80524 970-416-9980 alongthelake@fri i .com Powers, Jennifer Krasny, Tom Aero Ranch Suri A lpacas 19190 Road 87B Esparto, CA 95627 530-666-4824


Lifetime Members

Radu lescu, Don & Marl ene Smoky Mountain A lpacas 549 Cagle Cove Road Sylva, NC 28779 828-586-8113 www.smokymtna

f'li Raess ler, Ken & Claud ia Royal River Alpaca Farm 20 W indward Passage N. Yarmouth, ME 04097 207-846-3159 Richardson, Ruth Anne Haskin, Jay Rios Avanyus Ranch, LCC P.O. Box 31969 Sante Fe, NM 87594 505-995-9950 Rider, Bruce, Laura and Kirby A lpaca Place 830 Upper Applegate Rd . Jacksonville, OR 97530 541-899-5324 alpacap lace@aol .com Riffle, Diane Blue Chip Stock Alpacas P.O. Box 959 New Haven, WV 25265 304-882-2017 Riley, Jean and Larry Precious Few Acres 3864 FM 84 Denison, TX 75020 903-465-93 72 Rod riguez, Ray and Maria Leraso Fanm Alpacas 18376 W. Checker Road Long Grove, IL 60047-9782 847-279-8850 www. Rosenberg, Diane and Leon Meadowgate Farm 3071 Lawrencevi ll e Road Lawrencevi ll e, NJ 08648 609-219-052 9

Ross, Gail & Pau l Ross Alpaca Ranch 1504 Collar Price Road Hubbard, OH 44425 330-534-8436 www.rossa Roy, Beth Kuss, Diane Suri Peak A lpacas 33305 County Road 361 Buena Vista, CO 81211 719-395-3645 www.suripeaka Roy, Lynn Klamath River Alpacas 28933 Hwy 96 Klamath River, CA 96050 530-496-3100 Rozeboom, Sandra Roze Hi ll Farm 3600 S. OJ.den St. Englewoo , CO 80110 303-783-9233 Ruppert, Michael Ruppert's Ridge 132 Pisgah Road Easley, SC 29642 864-442 -9004 Safley, M ike Northwest Alpacas 11785 SW River Road Hillsboro, OR 97123 503-628-3110 www.a Samuelson, Brian and Carol Atlas Ranch A lpacas, LCC 6460 State Road Goodrich, Ml 48438 248-394-1357 syberdust@earth Sano, David & Kathy Mt. Baker Suri A lpacas 2344 Mt. Baker Highway Belli ngton, WA 98226-7915 360-738-7085

~I I

"" Shehan, Jim and Janice Buttercup Lane Farm, LCC 1800 Travanion Road Taneytown, MD 21787 410-756-1360 " " Shenk, Sheryl and Sheldon Hay Creek Station 624 Greenscape Lane Colorado Springs, CO 80916-5525 719-567-8871 Shouvlin, Laurel and lim Bluebird Hills Farm 3617 Derr Road Springfield, OH 45503 937-390-6127 www.b luebirdh ill Skinner, Don & Julie Snowmass Alpacas 270 Rapid Lightning Road Sand Po int, ID 83864 208-263-3300 www.snowmassa Smith, Tim & Gwen Smith-Haven Farm Alpacas 71 Ra inbow Hill Road Flemington, NJ 08822 908-371-1632 Smith, Joy Riverstone Farm 24067 W. River Road Perrysburg, OH 43551 419-878-05 29 www.riverstonefarm .net Snow, Randy & Carol American Alpaca Company P.O. Box 1034 Newberg, OR 97132

Schubel, Frederick P. S&F Ranch 21245 SE 272 nd St. Maple Valley, WA 98038 425 -433-1 135 firesidefred

Sowles, Denise Higher Ground Farm 17675 T. D ri ve North O livet, Ml 49076 269-789-3008 www.h

Schuetz, Ron and Linda High A lpine Suri Alpacas 15958 Shadow Mtn. Ranch Road Larkspu r, CO 80118 719-48 1-5891 w ildturkyl @aol. com

Spau lding, Ray & Sandy R&S Hillside A lpacas 61606 185th Avenue Dodge Center, MN 55927 507-374-1234

Seaman, Marbury & Katharine The Fuchsia Fleece 35 Ott's Mi ll Road Raphine, VA 24472 -3003 540-377-6113

" ' Sprouse, Brad & Jandy Great Lakes Ranch 5718 S. Bohemian Rd. Maple City, Ml 49664 23 1-228-3859


suri network members (continued) _j Tel lez, Susan Resources 6648 Marshall Place Beaumont, TX 77706 409-866-0247 sztel

Vandenbosch, Vince & Amanda Flying Dutchman A lpacas 820 Park ROW 11691 Sa linas, CA 93901 831-679-7222 www.fda

_j TenH ulzen, David, Nancy, N ick Park View A lpacas 3001 SW Schaeffer Rd. West Lin n, OR 97068-9611 503 -638-3692 rkviewa

Vickers, Nel Maplewood Farm Alpacas & Llamas 06399 Boyne City Rd . Charlevoix, M l 49720 231-582-6740

Sterman, Randy A. Sterman's Paradise 4835 County Road U Hartford, W I 53027-9402 262 -673-3699

J ft

Walker, Dick & Nancy Supersu ris A lpaca Ranch 162 19 N. Day Mt. Spokane Rd. Mead, WA 9902 1 509-238-3191

_j Stevens, Loren and Judy ft Stevens Ll ama Tique & Su ri Alpacas Route 4, Box 39 Worth ington, MN 56187 800-469-5262

Trimberger, Vicki Mystic Springs Ranch 3690 County Road PP De Pere, W I 54115 920-366-4369 920-366-4369

Stoerman, Dan US A lpacas 4333 W. McM ill an Road Muskegon, M l 49445 231 -766-023 1 www.usalpacam

Truitt, Gary & Cindy Weather' d T Ranch 11021 County Road, 102 Elbert, CO 80106 303 -648-9228 www.wtra

Stumpf, Rick & Kathy Pra irie Lake A lpacas 13711 John Cl ine Rd. Smithsburg, MD 21783 301-416-0833 www.p rairielakea

Turner, Roy & Mary (Betty) Oak H ill Farm Alpacas P.O. Box 1302 Dahlonega, GA 30533 706-265-1875

Sunn, Penny Vermont Alpaca Company 18 Justin Morrill Hwy. South Strafford, VT 05070 802-765 -9639 www.vermonta

Tyler, Greg and Melinda Missouri Suris 19817 Hwy. W Clarksvill e, MO 63336 573-242-3688 www.a risuris.asp

Sprouse, Juliet Berkshi re Great Lakes Llamas & Suri A lpacas 1011 4 S. Bow Road Maple City, M l 49664 23 1-334-6473 Steele, Ray & Judy Polo Field Farm 20800 S.E. 358th St. Auburn, WA 98092 253 -833-0629

Swift, Earlah Mari ah Alpacas 324 Swift Road South Ryegate, VT 05069 802 -584-3700 www.mariaha Szostak, W illi am Christhi lf, Mary Smokey Mist Farm 11 Brook Va lley Court Freeland, MD 21053 -9642 410-329-611 7



Ti llman, Andy and Cheryl Ti llman Llamas and Su ri Alpacas 20510 Swall ey Road Bend, OR 97701 541 -389-1065

_j Wa lker, Linda Berry WoodsEdge Wools Farm P.O. Box 275 Stockton, NJ 08559 609-397-2212 www.alpacas


Wargowski, Bob & Cathy Wind ri der Suri Ranch 217 Hwy 472 Stanley, NM 87056 505 -286-0567 indridersuris.asp Weber, John and Lin da Wi ld Wind Ranch 14005 CR 318 Navasota, TX 77868 936-825-1978 alpacas@wi Weideman, Deborah R. Eagle Wing Acres 1212 Rd. H York, NE 68467 402-366-4333

Uber, Ra lph L. Happy's A lpaca U Ranch 52 1 N. Cottonwood Canyon Road Yakima, WA 98908 509-966-5393 www.happya

Weir, Jim W il dlife Ranch Suri Alpacas 10500 W ild life Way Littleton, CO 80125 303-470-5887 www.a ldliferanch.asp

Vake, An ita Golden State A lpacas 6805 Cam ino del Rey Bonsall/San Diego, CA 92003 760-806-9184 www.go

Wh itman, Marcus & Cathryn Good Fortune Farms 6385 Dee H ighway Parkda le, OR 97041-9605 541-352-7925

W icks, Brian and Christine Bear Creek A lpacas 1253 Bear Creek Road O rinda, CA 94563 925-370-1 914 bawicks l www.bca

_j W ilkins, Mike, Janet, Craig W ilkins Livestock LLC 1405 Rd 12 Geneva, NE 68361 800-82 6-9441 402-759-4901


Wi lson, Tim & Kelly Sterling Forrest alpacas 9405 Stafford Road Chagrin Fal ls, OH 44023 440-708-0022 kscwi lson@adelph Wo lf, Caryn Wo lfpaca Ranch 2841 O range Brace Road Riverwoods, IL 60015 847-940-9653 Woodky, Richard & Elizabeth Rocque, Rene' Hidden Pond Farm N l 104 D ura Road Marinette, W I 54143 715-735-3470 W urzberger, Clark O hl, Karen Wandering Star Ranch 21155 No. Manzanita H ills Road Weimar, CA 95713 650-579-5778 cwu Wykh uis, Greg & Kathryn Peaceful Pastures Alpacas 1918 County H wy. K Custer, W I 54423 715-592-3590 Young, Steve & Sherri Pipe Creek Farm 8768 East Pipe Creek Sunman, IN 47041 812-623-703 1

suri network board of trustees Connie Bodeker, President Gin i Barker, Vice President



Raymond Rodriguez, Treasurer A ndy Tillman, Member at Large Donna Elser, Secretary


Lifetime Members

Dr. Pepper

Committed to Criating Exceptional Co

tovi Larson & RiGhard Surles ngoes, New Jersey 08551



Where Dreams Become Realio/ We are dedicated to breed for: • Qualio/ fiber • Conformation • Presence •Color

We are committed to offer: • Personalized care •Boarding • Sales • Ongoing support

Tom and Diane Keck Sire: Baron - 2000 AOBA Get of Sire, Full Accoyo Dam: Mowata - 1998 AOBA I st place Grandfather: Tasar's Keba - 1999 AOBA, Get of Sire White Peruvian Suri Male

Great Bloodlines for a Great Price



I 0841 Sperry Rd. Kirtland, Ohio 44094 440-256-3468 • 440-256-PACA

Visitors welcome! We're 20 miles east of Cleveland.

Sire: Maverick




Introducing: The Colonel

LadySong Suri and Huacaya SALES • BREEDING BOARDING • FIBER Call to arrange a farm visit or to schedule a breeding.

With exquisite suri fiber and perfect conformation, this golden son of 4Peruvian Sheriff has what it takes to give you glowing results in your suri breeding program! Introductory breeding fee: $1,500.

Now Accepting Consignments of Pet/Fiber Alpacas for 2003 Judith Korff• Julia Kurth 2723 Bunker Hill Road, Randolph, NY 14772 Phone: (716) 354-6355 • E-mail:


Rick & Kathy Stumpf • '5mithsburg, Marylan<t www.pra1rielakealpaca .com •


lfT)q Ac~ Bree~ers of

Qua{it:g cofore~ Su.ris




athy@pr:ftif ielal<

Tom Coleman's

'\_ t?S

Al p_AiC ~~ 1\.

· Breeding Fine Suris in the Southwest Lustre, Locks an-d Correct Conjormation JUNIOR HERDSIRE . . Peruvian Bruxo & Goldie Lox. From a Winning Line of Champions. - ~


Now Standing at Stud ... "Quality and Color at its Peak"


Suris Diane Kuss Beth Roy Toll free

888-338-9594 Office 719-395-3645 • Fax 719-395-3591 33305 County Rd. 361 • Buena Vista, CO 81211

Would you like to find breeders who are ... • Experienced at raising quality breeding and fiber alpacas • Committed to exceptional customer service • Dedicated to the improvement of the American alpaca

Daughters ofPPeruvian Americo-Cantano ofPeru-GU Kwanzaa. Breeding Generations ofChampions!

Visit Weather'd T Ranch for the selection you desire and the attention you deserve. 11021 County Road 102 • Elbe1i, CO 80106 • • 303-648-9228 •fax: 303-648-9075 •



WlND WAL~ER RANCH BREEDING SURI ALPACAS OF DISTINCTION Cheri & Don Parks • 6500 Moe Road • Middleville, Ml 49333 Phone: 269.795.1016 • Fax: 269.795.1018 • email: • web: www.alpacanation .com/windwalkerranch.asp


We invite you to visit the many faces of . ..

Wind Walker

Small farm attention, Large farm selection. Specializing in suri alpacas, with a variety of herdsires. Q[fering package pricing. Farms within close proximity.

~g~~~e~!'ACA~ ZflJtf/

7912 State Rte. 305 Garrettsville, OH 44231 330-527-4545 Email: www.alpaca aiaalpacas.asp

Pine Valley Suri Farm Ga1y & Beth Slater 5247 New Milford Rd. Ravenna, OH 44266 330-296-1078 Erna il: pinevaileysurifarm.asp

Sterling Forrest Alpacas Kelly & Tim Wilson 9405 Stafford Rd. Chagrin Fails, OH 44023 440-708-0022 Email: www.alpacanation .com/ sterlingforrestalpacas.asp



Jean and Jim Morgan 7711 North Valley Hill Road Woodstock, IL 60098

:f4 7fipacas SURI ALPACAS

The world's finest livestock investment



715 723873.3

Phone 815. 759.0247 Fax 815.363.3163 Email:

Over 90 Alpacas in a Variety of Colors Suris & Huacayas Farm Guarantees • Free Transportation Financingfor Qualified Buyers Friendly & On-Going Support Award Winning Herdsires Diana Beaver• P.O. Box 44 • Swnmerhill, PA 15958 Ph: 1-866-PACA4U2 (722-2482) • Email: Toll Free Number - Call for a farm visit!

You demand the best from your alpacas. So why settle for less from your ~ You are being judged. And not necessarily by the quality of your animals. Before visiting your farm, before even picking up the phone, potential customers are getting to know all about you .. .by visiting your website. Does your site reflect the pride and care you have for your farm? Does it stay current with your ever-changing inventory of animals? Wou ld you love to have an on line farm store? is the only full-time website development company that not only specializes in creating alpaca-related websites but also has hands-on experience in the alpaca industry. Our sites are powerbuilt and customtailored. We've created powerful database modules t hat let you easily keep your on line herd

and store up-to-date. And we give your site a unique look and feel to match your farm. We even offer other marketing services to complement your website investmentservices like logo design, advertising and collateral materials, and interactive promotional CD-RO Ms that can help round out your farm's overall image. Isn't it about time you had a website you could call best of breed ™? Call us to get a custom quote for your farm and to learn about our special package pricing.

330-762-3332 i 520 South Main Street , Suite 2448 Akron OH 44311

2003 EIS, Inc.


Laughing Dragon Creates winners as well as legends LD Haiku, Highest Selling Female - AAA Futurity 2003 Congratulations to Leslie & Jomes Loveless for her purchase and subsequent outstanding sole!

laughing Dragon Alpacas A small elegant herd with exceptional possibilities.

DPF Olivia (Torbio). LD Haiku's dam, with LD Zen (Macgyver)

Louise Heydt LDragonAlpacas@aol .com

SulfA~Cds - whe11011Jj die(!11est willtlo fife/ theirsilki11ess, tlisctMr theirltlst:er... * Rare Dali( Colored SHri A~aca 8reedi11g Stock '7mtl females, Wi!k11t/111gs, ljl!tl!fl11gs, ,PITM!lf ltm/Blms, jl11e (kt11m ltenlSims, tme '7/ad;, '1tt'f P!ttd;, coffee, maltoga1t'f, mamo11, jilwlf.

* Black a11d Maltoga111j Sttri Herdsires Sta11di11g Stttd ttll heedl11g stoci: sold wttlt 1e17mt111ct!W a11t1 l!WP!rtlt g11ttm11tees ttlftl llfrt!Hte c11stomer Sll,P,POl"F

Ltt1111 R/JStJ R/111d1 Sr:l11JH1111 /slt111d, WA .f/lst 85 IHI/~ lfOrtlt of&tittle Olf tlte 8ktte Tetnf



R.p'1i11DtJ' Mtilf 360-3?'8-3443 â&#x20AC;˘ t1/;lt1C11S@f'()PUX.COHf W";f/1(1/. /111111!(}SdS/lt!S. COHf

Vermont Alpaca Company

For ALL your publishing needs ... large or small! Full-color or black & white

Let Able Publishing Assist You With Your Alpaca Marketing Program The staff of Able Publishing is always available to help you design, produce and distribute a wide variety of educational and promotional materials.

Farm/Ranch Brochures • Sale Catalogs • Show Booklets Mailing Lists • Association Brochures •Newsletters Able Publishing, P.O. Box 1968, Manhattan, KS 66505 Phone: (785) 537-0320 Fax: (785) 537-6109 website: email:



"I have never ever seen an animal of this quality outside of Peru. " Dr Julio Sumar-Judge

David & Nancy TenHulzen PARK VIEW ALPACAS 3301 SW Schaeffer Road West Linn, Oregon 97068 CALL TOLL FREE


advertisers index Chesapeake Alpacas, Inc. ........ .. . . .... 59 Crimson Shamrock Alpacas .. ..... ....... 84 DAFI Alpacas ..... . .. . . . . ... .. .... .. .. 63 Derwydd Alpacas ... . .. . . . .... .. ....... 32 Doran's Suri Alpaca & Llama Company .. .. . 58 Evergreen Elegant Alpacas .... .. ... ....... 67 Fiber Genix Suris .............. . ....... 93 Golden Prairie Alpacas .. .. ..... . ........ 53 Great Lakes Ranch ...... . ... .. ...... 33, 62 Hay Creek Station ...................... 95 Humming Hill Suri Farm ............ ...... 2 J4 Alpacas ..... .. ....... ....... . . . .. . 100 Lady Song Farm, Inc. . .... ...... . ....... 95 Latah Creek Alpacas .... . ..... ... .... ... 40 Laughing Dragon Alpacas ..... . .. . ... . . . 102 Lazy M Suris ................ .. .... .... 85 Leraso Farm Alpacas ............ . ....... 31 Luna Rosa Ranch Suri Alpacas ........ ... 102 Mariah Alpacas ... . ... . . . . ........ ... . . 85 Meadowgate Farm Alpacas . .......... .... 74 Mystic Acres Alpacas . .. . . ... . . .. ....... 94 Park View Alpacas ........ .... ..... 54, 104 Pet Center Alpacas .... . ........ . ....... 94 Pine Valley Suri Farm ...... . ... .. .... . .. 99 Pines Edge Suri A lpacas ... . . ....... . ... . 41 Prairie Lake Alpacas ... . ....... .. .. ..... 96 Ridgeview Farm Southern Suris ....... . .... 69 Rolling Acres Alpacas ... . .. ......... .... 96 Sagebrush Alpacas ... . ........... ...... 97 Shadowland Ranch Suri Alpacas, LLC .. . .... 46

Advertising inquiries should be directed to: Able Publishing do Steph Pride P.O. Box 1968 714 Poyntz, Su ite B Manhattan, KS 66502 info@ll (785) 537-0320 FAX (785) 537-6109 See our ad on page 103

A.I.A. Alpacas ....... ....... ........... 99

Shady Hollow Suri Alpacas ........... .... 84

Alpaca Jack's Suri Farm ........ ....... 11, 79

Shasta Springs Alpacas ........ .. ........ 10

Alpacaria .............. .. ... .. .... ... 59

Snowmass Alpacas ......... .. . . ... . .. . 106

Alpacas at Cloudy Pass .. . ... ............ 97

Stargazer Ranch Alpacas ....... . .. ... .... 80

Alpacas By The Sea .. .... ............. . 52

Sterling Forrest Alpacas .................. 99

Alpacas of America .. . ... ...... ...... . ... 3

Stevens Llama Tique & Suri Alpacas . ... .. .. 75

Alpacas Ventures .... . ....... ... . .... . 101

Supersuris Alpaca Ranch . .......... ...... 40 ...... . ...... . . .... 101

Suri Peak Alpacas ............ .. . . . ... . . 98

Ameripaca Alpaca Breeding Company ..... 4-5

Sweetbriar Suri Alpaca Farm ... . . . . ... .... 21

Aurness Alpacas .... ...... .... ...... 1 6--1 7

Thompson Hollow Alpacas, LLC .. .. ........ 7

BBF Alpacas, Inc. . ... .... ...... ........ 15

Tillman Llamas & Suri Alpacas . ........ 25, 81

Blue Ribbon Alpaca Breeding Company . ... . 93

Vermont Alpaca Company .............. 103

Breakstone Ridge Alpacas ............... 100

Weather'd T Ranch .. ... .. ...... .. ...... 98

Camelid Veterinary Services .. ...... ...... 55

Wild Rose Suri Ranch ........... ... . . ... 55

Cas-Cad-Nac Farm .. . ...... . . . ........ 107

Wildlife Ranch Suri Alpacas ..... .. ...... . 68

Castle Hill Farm ..... . .. .. ..... .. .... .. 60

Wilkins Livestock Insurers, Inc. ...... 26, 62, 86

Chelsea Farms ....... .... . . .... ....... 47

Windwalker Ranch ...... . .... ....... ... 99


White Alpaca

Refreshin~ the wirit

PurelySuri 2003  
PurelySuri 2003  

PurelySuri is a publication of the Suri Network whose mission is to preserve and promote the Suri alpaca