Purely Suri 2011

Page 1

of the Fox "Quietly Creating Quality" Eric and Nina Morti 5957 W Pleasant Hill 62903 Carbondale, 618-521-2270 www.wisdomofthefox.com info@wisdomofthefox.com

Message from the President


On behalf of the Suri Network (SN), I am pleased to present this issue of PurelySuri. I think you will be pleased with the content as it supports a deeper understanding of the Suri alpaca -- “rarest of breeds, ultimate natural fiber.” This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the arrival of the Suri breed into the U.S. from South America. Beginning in 1991, a total of 1,694 Suris were imported and all were screened and selected for their superior quality. At that time only a handful of Americans had ever seen a Suri. Interestingly, an article by Kathleen Cullen in this edition traces this history back to 1854, but that early introduction seems not to have flourished. Little was known of this rare and unusual alpaca breed, and their new North American caretakers had much to learn. Being so enthralled by their unique appearance, is it any wonder that breeders didn’t develop or promote systematic collection of objective measures of quality for some time? Twenty years ago, all Suris looked exceptional to our untrained eyes. But now with over 41,000 registered Suris, the industry needs measurable, repeatable, objective data to keep tabs on the quality and progress of our breeding programs. It wasn’t until 1997 that the SN was formed by a small group of Suri breeders for the purpose of protecting and promoting this unique livestock breed. Having approved and adopted a Suri Breed Standard in 2007, the SN was ready to develop a program that would assist members in evaluating their herds relative to this Standard for use as a tool to help improve their Suri herds. Much work has been done over the past several years to develop the SN’s Suri Classification program. This program enables breeders to have their entire herds evaluated by a trained and approved experts and to use this information to make the best breeding decisions. This program is explained in an article by Susan Tellez in this issue. Other methods of objectively measuring the physical characteristics of the Suri are also addressed in this issue. An article on skin biopsies by Liz Vahlkamp details the nature and benefits of this technology. A scientific validation method to measure Suri’s natural luster, utilizing reflected light, is discussed in an article by A. McColl and C.J. Lupton as they review the results of a recent research project undertaken by the SN in association with the Alpaca Research Foundation. For those interested in understanding the breadth and depth of programs being undertaken by the SN, my article on long range strategic planning will bring you up to date. I am looking forward to visiting with all of you at the Suri Network Symposium in Chicago, Illinois, from August 4-6. Dick Walker, M.D. President, Suri Network


Suri Network Board of Directors Dick Walker — My wife, Nancy, and I have been raising Suri alpacas for 10 years. As it turns out, my family had roots in the fiber industry. As a young man, my father worked in my grandfather’s mill in Connecticut, producing high fashion cashmere garments. We were introduced to our first Suri by my brother, Fred, who was raising alpacas in New Jersey. We started our herd with a small group of imported Bolivian females and a Peruvian herdsire. We were living in suburbia on a one-acre lot so, as is common with many new breeders, we agisted for a short time. Good fortune currently finds us with over 70 white and colored Suris on our 45-acre ranch in Spokane, Washington. I have a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a doctoral degree in medicine. I currently practice emergency medicine. Our infatuation with Suris is even stronger today than it was when we purchased our first Suri. Serving as President of the Suri Network for several years has been both challenging and rewarding. The biggest challenge is finding the time to devote to this task in an already busy professional lifestyle. The greatest reward has been the opportunity to move this industry forward by helping bring Suri breeders together. Suri Network now represents the majority of Suri breeders in the U.S. This network provides a forum for accomplishing tasks that are essential to the continued success of the Suri industry — tasks that can only be accomplished by a cohesive group of dedicated individuals. Michael Murphy, Vice President – Mike and his wife Janis own and operate Flying M Ranch in Sylvia, Kansas. They began raising Suri alpacas in late 2001 and have never regretted one minute of it — unless you count the regret of not starting sooner! Mike is a retired captain with United Airlines, Janis works for the county EMS full time. Both Mike and Janis have been very involved in the industry on a local and national level, and have been active in halter and fleece shows. Mike served a term as president for his local affiliate, MOPACA, and served as a board member for the Suri Network. He is currently serving his third term on the board. He is a past president of the organization and is now vice president. Mike also serves on AOBA’s Show Rules Committee. He also assumed the job of managing editor for PurelySuri, Suri Network’s magazine, in 2004 and continues in that capacity. Mike believes this is an exciting time to be raising alpacas and to be a part of this new livestock business saying, “This is not just a ‘huggable’ investment anymore, it is a viable industry.” Jack Hanna, Treasurer – I live in Lynchburg, Virginia, with my wife, Motsy. Together we own Tiger Ranch Alpacas and are partners in Accoyo Partners, LLC. I just happened to learn about alpacas from a seatmate on an airplane and now have been involved with Suri alpacas for more than five years. It’s been more exciting than I could have ever guessed. For most of my career I’ve been involved with marketing and sales within the financial industry, and have spent the last 11 years managing marketing at a private asset management company. As a member of the Suri Network Board my goal is to provide full transparency while setting direction and policy on important issues, and helping to shape the future of our incredible industry. Linda Kondris, Secretary – My involvement with camelids began with the purchase of two llamas in 1994. I discovered Suri alpacas a few years later and was immediately taken by their grace and elegance. The beauty of the Suri solidified my decision to raise Suris exclusively and Pines Edge Suri Alpacas was established in Black Forest, Colorado in 1998. My children enjoyed raising a full array of small livestock as they were growing up, I enjoyed animal husbandry and considered what animals I might raise in retirement following my career in educational administration. When I saw Suris, there was no waiting for retirement. I can’t imagine living without these wonderful animals. Over the past 12 years I have fulfilled numerous volunteer positions within the alpaca community and served on the Board of Directors for the Alpaca Breeders of the Rockies affiliate and am currently a member of the AOBA Show Rules Committee. As your elected member of the Suri Network Board of Trustees, I am fully vested in the future of the Suri alpaca and appreciate the opportunity to serve the Suri Network membership. We are a dynamic group and working together have a bright future ahead. Kathleen Cullen, Trustee – My interest in alpacas goes back 30 years, but only in the last nine have I been able to be involved as an owner of Suri alpacas. Together with my husband, Holger, we currently have 50 animals on our ranch in the foothills of the Selkirk Mountains in Washington (hence, Foothills Suri Alpacas). Prior to breeding alpacas, I showed and bred Irish Wolfhounds, and bred and judged German Angora rabbits. Both of these endeavors taught me a lot about conformation and fiber judging. I have served on the board of our local affiliate, Pacific Northwest Alpaca Association (PNAA), and participated in the Affiliate Congress. I also served on the Suri Network Research and Education Committee with Dr. Toni Cotton. I still have my “day job” in private practice psychotherapy. I go to my office to provide psychotherapy, and I go to the barn to receive psychotherapy. It’s a good balance! I am pleased to be of service to the Suri Network membership and I look forward to the continued success of the Suri industry. www.surinetwork.org


Table of Contents

Features 10 Measurement of Luster in Suri Alpaca Fiber

by A. McColl and C.J. Lupton


Skin Biopsies: A Breeder’s Perspective

by Liz Vahlkamp


26 Value Added Traits for Alpaca Owners by Susan Tellez


What’s New in Alpaca Medicine and Reproduction?

by Ahmed Tibary, D.M.V., Ph.D., Dip. ACT


46 United States Alpaca Association of 1846 by Kathleen Cullen

64 Classing Your Clip by Donna M. Rudd

70 Suri Network: Long-Range Strategic Plan 2011-2014 26 by Dick Walker, M.D.

Departments 4 Message from the President 5 Board of Directors 9 Statement of Purpose 76 Advertising Index





Suri Network Statement of Purpose


Summer 2011 • $10

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 interest. To promote the growth of the Suri Alpaca industry.

PurelySuriTM magazine is a publication of Suri Network. Statements, opinions, and points of view expressed by the writers and advertisers are their own and do not necessarTM ily represent those of PurelySuri , members of the Suri Network, the publisher, staff, employees, or agents. Suri Network does not assume liability for products or services advertised herein. Suri Network reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising matter. TM No part of PurelySuri 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 written permission of the submitting author to which the article, photography, illustration, or material is copyrighted. PurelySuriTM assumes all work published here is original and is the work and property of the submitting author. All product and company names are trademarked or copyrighted by their respective owners. ©2011 by Suri Network, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A.

To serve as an industry and marketing group to promote and protect the collective economic and legal interests of the network’s members.

©2011 Keiko Takimoto-Makarczyk

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.

Publisher: Suri Network Design & Production: Julianna Farresta Managing Editor: Michael Murphy Editor: Megan Fleming Marketing Consultants: Marsha and Ken Hobert Contributing Writers:. Kathleen Cullen A. McColl C.J. Lupton Donna M. Rudd Susan Tellez Ahmed Tibary, D.M.V., Ph.D., Dip. ACT Liz Vahlkamp Dick Walker, M.D. Printer: Able Publishing Cover Photo: Linda Kondris, Pines Edge Suri Alpacas

Suri Network, Inc. P.O. Box 1984 Estes Park, CO   80517-1984 Phone: (970) 586-5876 Fax: (970) 586-6685 Email: office@surinetwork.org Website: www.surinetwork.org www.surinetwork.org


Washed and aligned Suri alpaca tresses prepared for measurement using the SAMBA Hair System.

Measurement of Luster in Suri Alpaca Fiber

Subjective scoring. L to R: Jane-Marie Hicks assisting Jude Anderson, Angus McColl, and Amanda VandenBosch



A. McColl and C.J. Lupton

In the fall of 2008, Angus McColl and Chris Lupton became the grateful recipients of an Alpaca Research Foundation/Suri Network grant to evaluate the ability of two instruments for measuring luster in Suri alpaca fiber. The proposed study was intended to expand on the earlier research conducted by Suri Network in conjunction with Bossa Nova Technologies, Inc., Venice, California, manufacturers of the SAMBA Hair System. Specifically, the objectives of the study were to determine the precision of the SAMBA instrument

Bossa Nova Technologies SAMBA Hair System for measuring luster.

for measuring luster and luminance (color) of cleaned Suri alpaca fiber; to develop a method of estimating luster using SAMBA-generated data that was independent of color; to determine the correlations between luster and other value-determining, objectively measured physical properties of Suri alpaca fiber; and to calibrate a near-infrared reflectance spectrometer (NIRS) using SAMBA data and determine how accurately the NIRS instrument can estimate SAMBA data. Ultimately, 205 Suri alpaca fleece samples were submitted by 49 breeders representing a broad crosssection of Suri alpaca in terms of visual luster, color, and fiber characteristics. It should be noted here that the study was also supported by those 49 breeders who contributed a fee to offset some of the cost of fiber testing. In short, the procedures used were as follows. Raw staples and washed-and-aligned fiber tresses were independently and subjectively assessed for

luster by two certified alpaca judges, Jude Anderson and Amanda VandenBosch, using a 20-point system. The fiber samples were measured for luster and luminance using a leased SAMBA Hair System and were scanned using the NIRS instrument. Standard objective test methods were used to measure: • mean fiber diameter and variability at mid-staple and overall • prickle factor, the percentage of fibers coarser than 30 microns • comfort factor, the percentage of fibers 30 microns and finer • mean fiber curvature and variability, which is a measure of fiber crimp • medullation, or hollow fibers (measured in white, beige, and light fawn samples only) • laboratory scoured yield, a percentage of clean fiber in the raw sample continued on next page



Figure 1. BNT luster versus log10 luminance for 25 extreme high, low, and medium subjective scores

• mean staple length and variability • mean staple strength and variability The precision of the luster measurement was estimated by calculating the coefficient of variation (CV) among 3 measurements per sub-sample and averaged 3.9% across all colors. In contrast, precision of the luminance measurement was higher with an average CV of 2.3%. Agreement between the subjective luster scores of the two certified alpaca judges was low (r2 = 0.17 and 0.10 for raw and washed-andaligned samples, respectively). Despite this, evidence was obtained linking instrument-measured luster and luminance with subjectively assessed luster scores (see Figure 1). Two approaches for expressing instrumentmeasured luster that are independent of fiber color have been proposed: one basically a 3-point system and the other a 5-point system. Small negative correlations were present between mean fiber diameter 12 PURELYSURI

and subjectively assessed luster scores. Small positive correlations were present between mean fiber diameter and objectively measured luster values. A strong correlation (r = -0.94) existed between instrumentmeasured luster and log10 luminance (see Figure 2). Prediction equations derived using NIRS-produced, precise and accurate estimates of log10 luminance. The NIRS estimates of instrument-measured luster were less precise and less accurate, and NIRS estimates of subjectively assessed luster were neither accurate nor precise. A final detailed report on this project was submitted to the sponsors in January 2011, and the main conclusion was that the SAMBA Hair System is capable of producing estimates of luster that are sufficiently accurate and precise to be used by Suri alpaca breeders who intend to select for this trait. The authors and Bill Vonderhaar, who is a member of the Suri Network Education and Research



24 19 ..J


•• •

• •

14 9



20 .4940x + 40 .591 o R = 0 .9410 2


4 -1 -6 0.5





3 .5


Log1o Luminance Figure 2. BNT luster versus log10 luminance for 205 Suri alpaca samples

Committee and also conducted preliminary studies on luster with Bossa Nova Technologies, Inc., were privileged to be invited to present updates on the project at the last 2 Suri Network Summer Symposiums. These were received with enthusiasm by many of the breeders present. In addition, individual breeders who had submitted samples received full reports of all the fiber testing conducted on their samples, together with explanations on how to interpret the luster data. Further, a manuscript has been submitted to the technical journal Small Ruminant Research and is in revision after being reviewed by the journal reviewers and editors. The article was being reviewed for publication this spring. Probably the biggest questions remaining are: how and when will a routine measurement of luster be made available to interested breeders? Stay tuned. l

AUTHORS A. McColl Angus McColl owns and operates Yocom-McColl Testing Laboratories, an independent commercial wool lab in operation since 1964. Individual animal fiber testing for alpacas began in 1994, with the addition of Sirolan Laserscan technology. He served as technical advisor to the Alpaca Registry screening committee for fiber standards of animals imported to the U.S., and worked with the North American alpaca community in the development of its first commercial fiber co-op. Since 2007, Yocom-McColl has been working with researchers to provide fiber testing data for EPDs (expected progeny differences) for U.S. alpacas. C.J. Lupton Chris Lupton is a Professor of Animal Science with Texas AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M System, and has conducted research with animal fibers for the past 37 years. In 2009, he analyzed data from a research project conducted by the Education and Research Committee of the Suri Network and submitted a detailed report summarizing benchmark fiber and blood data for Suri alpacas in North America. With Angus McColl, he has recently completed the study described here in which the SAMBA instrument was used to measure luster in Suri alpaca staples.



& HUACAYA nch visits always Service, Consultation


Bob and Janet Rodgers

www.rodgersreserve.com janet@rodgersreserve.com


E. Adario W. Rd. Greenwich, 44837 419-895-9922

Skin Biopsies A Breeder’s Perspective

Liz Vahlkamp


I’ll admit it: I’m a data hound and I’m hooked on skin biopsies! So, as I speak with other Suri breeders, I’m always amazed when I hear the responses from people who don’t run this test: “It’s too expensive,” “I can tell which of my animals are dense just by feeling their fleece,” or “The judges loved my animals, and that’s all that really matters.” So, I’ve written this article to demonstrate the types of information you can garner from this test, the economics of biopsies, and why it has the potential to meaningfully improve the quality and the consistency of each new crop of crias.

Biopsy Data

First of all, a skin biopsy gives you much more information than the density of the fleece. It gives you information about the fineness, the handle, and the uniformity of the fiber, all things that are highly valued in the show ring, and that are also valued in the commercial fiber market. By having all of this great information on hand, you can begin to take control of your breeding program continued on next page



without a “hit and miss” approach. The following information is provided regardless of which service you use for your biopsies.

Secondary to Primary Ratio (S/P)

This is a ratio you will see mentioned by breeders who run biopsies, and it is an important piece of information. Primary fibers, or “primaries,” grow out of the skin as a protective coating against the elements. They are generally higher in micron, and they can influence the handle of the fiber. The secondary fibers in a cluster are those that grow around these primary fibers. They are generally softer and there are more of them. The higher the ratio of “secondaries” to primaries, the finer the overall fleece. Fineness is certainly important in the show ring, and it is also one of the key drivers in determining the value of a bale of fiber in the commercial market.

fiber feels relatively soft. The uniformity of her primaries and secondaries actually improves the handle on her fleece! From the standpoint of the commercial fiber market, a significant difference between these types of fibers will have a negative outcome. Lack of uniformity in micron generally downgrades the value of a bale. This occurs for two reasons: Fiber spins differently depending on the micron level. If you have a group of secondaries at 20 microns, and a group of primaries at 30 microns, the machinery will process at some average of the two but the results will be less than adequate for either micron level. There will be

Micron Spread Between the Primary and Secondary Fibers

This is one of my personal favorites and it goes hand-in-hand with the S/P ratio. The ideal would be to have the primaries the same micron width as the secondaries, but a spread of five microns or less is thought to be exceptional. A significant difference in the spread between primaries and secondaries will lessen the handle of the fleece, and also impact processing and the quality of the end product. The next time you run your hand down the neck of your Suri, it may feel soft and fine. But if your animal’s primary fibers have a significantly higher micron count than the secondaries, you will feel something that just isn’t quite right – almost like sand in the fiber that distracts from the fineness you are otherwise feeling. Judges will feel this in the show ring and it is possible that your animal will not place as well as one that has a more uniform set of fibers. It will make no difference that you have a fabulous mean fiber diameter (MFD) on your histogram because of all the great secondaries your animal produces; if the micron spread is wide, the handle will suffer. The reverse can be true as well. I have an older girl who runs 28 microns on her histogram, and she has a very low S/P ratio, but the spread between her secondaries and primaries is only five microns, which is considered highly desirable. The result is that her 16 PURELYSURI

In this biopsy photo, this alpaca displays a high level of secondary to primary fibers, at 14.1:1, and also, a low micron range between her primary fibers (27.9 microns) and her secondary fibers (22.1 microns). In the lower photo, the primaries and secondaries appear to be of similar size. The result is an overall MFD of 23.1 and most importantly, a wonderfully soft hand, which was noted by fleece and halter judges alike. Photos by Dr. Norm Evans

too much twist for the primaries and too little twist for the secondaries. Additionally, these higher micron fibers, will most likely poke out of the yarn and create a scratching sensation on your skin even if the secondaries are of a low micron. In either case, the result of large micron variances is poor handle and poor durability of the end garment. As a result, these bales will most likely be used for lower quality (i.e., lower margin) products.


This measurement also affects handle and processing. A “medullated fiber” is one that has air pockets in some

Here we contrast the resultes with the photos on the previous page. This alpaca has a respectable ratio of secondaries to primaries at 10.4:1, and her secondary fibers average 19.1 microns at five years of age - not bad. But look at the primary micron average - at 29.3 microns, that is a very different fiber to spin than the 19.1 micron fibers! And while her histogram consistently comes in at around 21 microns MFD, her handle does not feel as good as one would expect for a 21-micron fleece. The lower photo shows a marked range in size of each follicle. Photos by Dr. Norm Evans

or all of the fiber. While these air pockets can help with warmth, they make the fiber stiff, and thus, they lessen the handle of the fleece. Guard hairs, which have a full hollow core, are the stiffest and are considered a subset of overall medullated fibers. When medullated fibers are processed, they tend to poke out from the yarn and lessen the handle of the garment similarly to the high micron fibers mentioned in the previous section. Note that most alpacas have some level of medullation, so breeding it out is not expected. But limiting the percentage is a worthy goal.


This is, of course, the measurement that everyone associates with skin biopsies and it is the measurement that most often surprises breeders receiving their results. Why? Well, because there are so many variables that can throw off the hand when trying to determine density by simply feeling the fiber: • Micron levels between animals – If you have one animal with fiber at 20 microns, and another at 25 microns, the 25-micron animal may feel more dense because the fibers are wider. So, unless you are comparing two animals with the same mean fiber diameter (MFD) and standard deviation (SD), you are not going to be able to do a fair comparison. • Medullation – As mentioned above, medullated fibers are stiffer. If you are comparing one animal with a great degree of medullation with one that has little, the higher medullated animal might “win” the density contest, though again, the reality may be much different. • Weight – A fleece with higher micron and/or longer staple length is going to weigh more than a similarly dense fleece with lower micron and/or staple length. If you try to use weight alone to determine density, you are likely to get it wrong. • Wide spread between secondaries and primaries – Again, the higher micron fibers in the fleece are going to give the hand the illusion of greater density. Additionally, when feeling by hand, the best you could hope to do would be to determine which of your own animals is the densest. However, with a continued on next page



skin biopsy, you will know where your animal stacks up relative to a much larger pool. The importance of density cannot be overstated because it impacts so many other factors in the fleece. Of course, the greater the density, the greater the dollars back per animal fleece. However, research also suggests that with increased density comes greater fineness and greater organization of lock, which mean little to no cotting. The significance of density as it relates to lock organization is again relevant in the show ring and the fiber market. For the show ring, good organization of the locks in a uniform manner across the animal means good phenotype. We all know that this is

one of the key fiber components that judges look for. Note: It does not mean twisted locks all the way to the skin – it means good lock definition all the way to the skin. On a more practical level, poor organization of locks creates cotting, which creates a significant devaluation of the fiber in the commercial market. Cotting occurs when fibers grow at odd angles from the skin, thereby crossing over one another and becoming entangled. Once the fibers do cross over and tangle, they will break, creating “shorts” in the fiber; this leads to shedding in the yarn, significant fiber loss while processing, and overall poor durability of the yarn. Contrary to popular belief, cotting does not occur because an animal is dense, nor does it occur because an animal is fine.

Possible Road Blocks

Let’s look at a few roadblocks that people throw up when deciding not to do biopsies:

know which service to go to. I’ve heard 1. “Ithedon’t density results are different, and only one can

This alpaca demonstrates a high degree of density at 70 follicles per sq. mm, and the reader can see from the photo that the clusters are organized and clearly defined. This organization is typical of a densely fibered animal.

be right. Since I’m not qualified to figure out which one is accurate, I’m just going to skip doing biopsies.” I’m going to give you a breeder’s response: I don’t know either and I don’t even know if it is true that the results are different. But I do know that each service has a large pool of data and each has a consistent method for measuring density from one biopsy to the next. So if I select a service and stick with it, I can compare animals within my own herd accurately, and I can compare my results with the larger pool to see how my breeding program stacks up. Select who you are comfortable with, and don’t let this roadblock stand in your way.

are too expensive.” I look at this road2. “Biopsies block in three ways: one-time cost – This is a one-time exa. Apense, and as demonstrated above, I actually This alpaca’s density results are more typical of the average Suri - at 23 follicles per sq mm, she is light on density. The clusters are not as organized and the follicles are understandably more spread out. Photos by Dr. Norm Evans


get at least four pieces of data when doing a biopsy. The typical cost of a biopsy is $200$250, so that is only $50-$62.50 per data point. continued on page 22



Kuma 30818163 Stud Fee: Show Wins


Hotazel ARI: 1 0 ~ 5 1 1 7 Stud Fee: $3,000

Show Wins Include:

Show Wins Include: Buckeye


Buckeye Show

1st 1st 2nd 2nd

Surl Network Fleece Alpacafest No. Invitational

Density sq mm S/ P Ratio-9.1:1 with Low S/ P Micron Variation

Champion • 2010 AOBA Res. Champion • 2009 AOBA Res. Champion • 2009 AWE

3x Champion 8c Multiple Ribbon Winner

Over 95 Offspring Wins Include: 12 Championships 7 Reserve Championships 33 Firsts 22Seconds

Density - 51 follicles; sq mm S/ P Ratlo-10.4:1

. *



iZ!' V AD A _LJ_LL!J


MPI·C I• r A s t M ~

& Kristina Louis, (314) 355-2030 alpacas@dosdonas.com www.dosdonas.com

Bronze Mahogany ARI: 31430234 Stud Fee: $2,500

Ron & Sandy Hendricks Portland, IN (260) 335-2615 info@ravadahills.com www

1st Place • 2010 AOBA 1st Place • 2009 AOBA 1st Place • 2010 Futurity 1st Place • 2009 Futurity 1st Place· 2009 AWE 1st Place • 2009 Alpacapalooza

Density - 75 follicles/ sq mm S/ P Ratlo-11:1 with Low S/ P Micron Variation

vs. biopsies – I love showing, and b. Showing one of my third-party data points is often from the show ring. However, think about the cost. Approximately $130 per stall, a $35 entry fee, gas to and from the show of approximately $120, the hotel for two nights at $200, and food of around $30. I’ve just dropped $515 for a judge to tell me where I rank among a small group of farms standing in the ring with me…and judging is highly subjective! For the same amount of money, I could have gotten two biopsies done and received concrete, objective information on my animals and compared those results with hundreds of other animals in the data pool.

breedings – I try to purchase one c. Outside or two outside breedings each year to keep These fibers are all smooth, as shown by the single fiber photo, and are all growing from the skin in an organized manner which discourages the fibers from crossing over each other and cotting. Photos provided by Ian Watt, Alpaca Consulting USA

some genetic diversity running through my herd. But gone are the days when I will purchase a breeding without knowing the biopsy results of the herdsire. Why? Well, breeding fees are $1500 or more. So, I want to make sure that I am getting the most for that money. At $1500, I could test two of my herdsires and four of my girls and make a more knowledgeable breeding decision than breeding a girl to a male about whose fiber I know little or nothing!

run histograms, and that tells me all I need 3. “Ito know.” Histograms are great. I run them on

In contrast, these fibers are rough, prone to catching on each other, and as seen in the second photo, are growing at different angles, creating a cotted, poor quality fleece. Photos provided by Ian Watt, Alpaca Consulting USA


my whole herd — show quality and fiber quality animals alike — remember, I’m a data hound! They are a great first step to confirm what I’m feeling in the fleece. They even give some similar information to what you see above. But they don’t tell a detailed story. I may know that my coefficient of variation (CV) is high, but I don’t necessarily know how to correct it. Do I need to increase my S/P ratio? Do I need to narrow the micron spread between my primaries and secondaries? Do I need to improve the density of this animal to try to secure an overall better fleece? Additionally, histograms will reflect not only genetic information, but also environmental conditions such as stress and nutrition. Running the skin biopsy fills in the genetic question marks and gives me better information as I make the next round of breeding decisions.

What Biopsies Are Not

Now that I’ve talked you into doing that first biopsy, I’ll toss out three cautionary points. First, biopsy results are not a promise that the offspring from the sire and dam will inherit all the positive traits of each. By themselves, biopsy results simply give each breeder a better, more objective roadmap to matching males and females. Heritability is determined by Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs) and while some day information from a skin biopsy may be part of the EPD measurements, for now, it is not. Therefore, it is incumbent upon each farm to secure biopsies from each of their offspring to determine their own results for heritability. Second, alpacas are known for their lack of uniformity across the blanket and a skin biopsy is only taken from one small spot on one side of the animal. As such, each breeder must use common sense when interpreting the results. Biopsies do not necessarily represent every inch of your animal’s fleece. I had an animal that had wonderful density results and great lock definition where the biopsy was taken. However, I also knew that he cotted each year all around his shoulder area, so I knew to factor in my own knowledge of the animal with the results from the density test. Third, biopsies are most useful if they are taken at or after 18-24 months of age. Before that time, the derived secondaries are still maturing and increasing in size. Also an alpaca will have greater density when it is young and still growing than it will have at maturity. Thus, biopsies at less than 18-24 months are not a fair representation of the alpaca’s true fiber make-up.


While skin biopsies are not the “end all, be all” of better breeding practices, they do provide a wealth of information that can be used to improve one’s breeding program. As our industry moves forward and fiber becomes an even more important part of the picture, making smart breeding decisions to improve our national fiber clip will become increasingly important. Biopsies are a great tool to help make those smart decisions. l AUTHOR Liz Vahlkamp, Salt River Alpacas Liz has raised alpacas for seven years and is the past chairperson for the Suri Network Product Development Committee (SNPDC). Liz has published numerous articles in PurelySuri on behalf of the SNPDC, and is now starting up the North American Suri Company, a company dedicated to purchasing, processing and marketing North American Suri fiber to the fiber arts and textile communities.



ARI #: 81 7777 DOB: 7/ 10/ 2000 Sire: Pperuvian Torbio G4583 # 123078 Dam: Ppperuvian Rene 5166 # 139254 Color: White CS1 PI





Rockstar is the offspring of the weD-known Torbio. Rockstar's offspring have produced at least 22 Color Championships and 5 Reserve Color Championships, including 2006 & 2007 Futurity, 2004 Great Midwest Alpaca Festival, 2004 & 2001 Michigan International, 2005 & 2001 TxOLAN Spectacular, 2005 Kentucky Classic, 2005 MOPACA Invitational, 2004 AOBA National Show, 2005 & 2006 Buckeye, 2006 & 2008 MAPACA Eastern Jubilee, 2006 & 2007 OABA AlpacaFest, 2007 Great Western Alpaca Show, 2008 AOBA National Show.

Diane & Leon nosenbcrg .\IEADOWGATE FARM ALPACAS 3071 l..awn·nce,·illc Road

Leanne & Richard Nakashima


R~.\ 1501 @msn.(·om www.altmratmrion.com/fl<loramountain.asp

Lawrenn•villc, NJ 08648 Ph: HOH-~ 19-0032


ELDORA Sl' RI ALPACAS PO Box HfiH Erk. co 80!'il6 Ph: ~W]-828-4923

Gary & sue Lc.\laifre LAZY G ALPACA RAI"'CII 1022 Siler Sr. Fremont, OH 43420 Ph: 419-334-3085

glemairrc@nwonlinc.nct www.Lazygalpacas.('om


Value Added Traits for Suri Alpaca Owners Susan Tellez

Š2011 Odelia Farms



Maybe the value added tax (VAT), a tax based on services or products consumed, could be recast as Value Added Traits (VAT) by Suri breeders and owners. Then VAT could be considered as a benefit and an advantage, and not a punishing tax as is normally associated with the terminology. Redefining VAT as a benefit and advantage would indicate a prospective forward direction for the owners and breeders of Suri alpacas who

Š2011 Andy Tillman

could extend the message outside the industry about the Suri’s breed rarity and its unrivaled unique fiber character and value. The significance of value attached to the recognized traits specific to the Suri alpaca breed style can provide owners with information for making decisions about herd improvement, management and breeding, and provide educational material for marketing to potential new owners of the valuable, rare Suri alpaca. This VAT comes from the experience, knowledge, and research results obtained over the past 20 years in the U.S, as well as prior camelid research from South America and other current international Suri fiber investigations which are now providing scientific data to uphold native ancestral beliefs relative to the Suri alpaca attributes. Through the efforts of the Suri Network (SN) and the approval by Suri owners, the breed standard for the Suri alpaca was established and adopted for use by owners in 2007. The traits and characteristics defined by the breed standard were prioritized by owners as guidance for the preservation of the Suri phenotype, which is the stated goal of the SN, and as a tool to assist owners in making decisions for producing future offspring with optimal Suri style phenotype and quality fiber. These

traits were then assigned points within the Suri classification system. That point value provides the basis for evaluating and ranking these traits in individual Suri alpacas. The identification of the traits and their ranking scores provide owners with a means to sort the individuals into groupings valued for the strengths, and to identify the weaknesses that need to be improved. The Suri Herd Improvement Program (SHIP) is a tool for Suri owners and breeders. It incorporates the Suri breed

Suri owners can achieve Value Added Traits by utilizing the Suri Herd Improvement Program. standard and the classification system to create data that can be used to predict the better breeding individuals for each specific characteristic. These estimates of production are called Estimated Progeny Differences (EPDs) and are utilized to evaluate the predictability of a sire and a dam producing the most future continued on next page



©2011 Susan Tellez

offspring with optimal specific traits. The combination of these EPDs then are accumulated for the prediction of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) for each individual. These final EBVs can then be used for selecting the alpacas best suited to reproduce the highest valued characteristics for future fiber and phenotypic production. The Best Linear Unbiased Prediction Program (BLUP) facilitates the calculations to provide the estimate for a positive or negative value difference from the average trait values for the national herd within the Suri network main database of collected figures. Herd classification provides evaluation of all alpacas in your herd to assist in distinguishing those top producers with potential for advanced fiber production, superior maternal traits, or for superior ability to transmit the Suri phenotype. The scientific measurements for fiber traits adds unbiased value for these test results reported directly from the fiber test vendors. Herd classification includes evaluation by certified Suri Network classifiers. They score a total of 14 traits from the breed standards categories including phenotype, conformation, and fiber. All owners will receive their herd reports, scores, and recommenda-


tions. Traits to be scored include: Suri fiber style, natural luster, fineness, handle, uniform lock structure, density, uniformity of micron, balance and profile, leg structure, feet and substance, movement, body phenotype, head, ear, bite, genitalia, and body condition. SHIP can define categories within your herd to facilitate selections for different breeding program goals and can identify strengths and weaknesses for making specific steps in herd development. SHIP includes herd classification (evaluation of the individual alpacas) and entry of collected data into the SN’s main database and the EPD project. That information will assist owners in identifying and selecting those Suri alpacas that can meet their needs for making improvements in Suri fiber and future offspring production. Suri owners can achieve value added traits utilizing SHIP. Suri herd classification requirements for owners: • Agreement to participate in SHIP • Available time (approximately 10 minutes per alpaca) for the herd review • Clean, dry flat area for review of conformation, movement, and fiber

• Scales for weights, heights, and measurements if desired • Handlers to manage the alpacas • Copy of ARI Certificate for each individual (Note: There is a method for downloading ARI Pedigree data directly to Alpaca Ease and Alpaca Herd Works.) For more information on these programs, contact the Suri Network Office at office@surinetwork.org or 970-586-5876. l

Susan W. Tellez Resource Consulting Camelid Alliance


As a founding member of the Suri Network, Susan has been actively involved with Suri-related judging, evaluations, education and research activities since 1991 in the U.S., South America, and Europe. She has participated in global conferences, written for various publications, and is currently coordinating the classification system for collection of EPD and EBV data within the Suri Herd Improvement Program (SHIP).

©2011 Odelia Farms



WLK OBSIDIAN KING Setting a ne-w standard for quality!


StJeciafizii10 i11 the rare a11D beautiful Suri AlrJaca

Michael & Janis Murphy info@flyingmranch.net • 620-727-6137


.Awesu111e .Acres 'Pncns .E P!frs

Michael & Sherry Alpert awesomealpacas@aol.com • 405-990-8205

What’s New in Alpaca Medicine and Reproduction? Ahmed Tibary, D.M.V., Ph.D., Dip. ACT


©2011 Hobble Hill Farm, LLC

As we all know, the field of veterinary medicine in general and that of camelids in particular is rapidly growing. I was asked to write an article for PurelySuri magazine and it occurred to me that the last time I contributed an article about recent advances in camelid medicine for the magazine was about 3 years ago. The objective of the present article is to inform the reader about what is going on in the field of applied or clinical research that is directly relevant to the breeder or alpaca owner. My article is primarily based on references found in the two main veterinary related scientific research databases named “Web of Science” and “CAB” which I search regularly. Although I included some case reports in this article, my main goal it to discuss original research data. continued on next page www.surinetwork.org



The number of research groups in the area of genetics of fiber production and fiber color is growing. Most notably are the efforts by Peruvian and Italian researchers in this area. A project funded by the International Atomic Energy Agency and conducted in Peru shows some promise using a semi-automated PCR technique for parentage testing. Although this technique has an error rate of 15%, it will be very helpful for large-scale selection, particularly with the introduction of reproductive biotechnologies such as embryo transfer. More research has been done to determine the mode of inheritance of the type of fiber (Huacaya vs. Suri). A hypothesis that it is controlled by a single dominant gene and that the Huacaya is the recessive allele has been verified by Italian researchers. The model seems to fit but there are still questions about some unexpected occurrence of Suri from Huacaya x Huacaya breedings. Several papers described single or multiple cases of congenital malformations. However, there is still very little information on the genetic nature of some of these abnormalities. Researchers at the University of Minnesota recently reported a possible link between a gene (CHD7) and choanal atresia (CA). The homologous to this gene in humans is most frequently associated with the CHARGE syndrome, which has several similarities as CA.

Reproductive Medicine, Physiology and Biotechnologies

The field of reproduction is most certainly one where most of the research activity is taking place as it has been for decades. In the area of embryo transfer, the research efforts have been focusing on ways to improve the response to superovulation. Previous research has shown the best response is obtained when Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) treatment is initiated when the ovary is devoid of any follicular activity. Researchers in Argentina and at Washington State University published data on control of follicular dynamics using a combination of progesterone and estrogen injections. These treatments will lead to a better ovulatory response and an increase of the number of embryos collected. The type of estrogen used is very important. A report from 32 PURELYSURI

Research in the field of

reproduction continues to be active.

Argentina showed that estradiol cypionate (a longacting estrogen) may cause a significant depression of follicular activity for several days. Factors affecting pregnancy rate following transfer of embryos have been studied by several groups. In Argentina, research in llamas has shown that embryos need to be transferred to the uterine horn on the side of the corpus luteum (ovulation) in order to achieve high pregnancy rate. Collaborative studies between Peruvian and Washington State University researchers showed a similar trend in alpacas. In addition, it was shown that body condition and lactation status of the recipient are very important factors. Researchers in Argentina made significant discoveries in the interaction between oviductal cells and spermatozoa in llamas and in particular the role of some sugars (carbohydrates) in sperm-oviduct cell adhesion. These observations increase our understanding of sperm reservoir formation after mating and its implication on sperm survival until fertilization. Researchers at Tandil in Argentina and Oregon State University have elucidated some of the mechanisms involved in early embryo signaling and response to the uterus in terms of estrogen receptors at different stages of the cycle. This confirmed that, as in camels, the alpaca and llama embryos have a high estrogen producing capacity that is involved in the initial maternal recognition of pregnancy. Researchers at the University of Buenos Aires reported several studies dealing with optimization of semen collection and processing for artificial insemination in llamas. These authors found no significant difference in quality of ejaculate between collection with an artificial vagina or electroejaculation. The same group reported the production of llama embryos by in vitro fertilization (“test tube embryos�) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). ICSI is a technique by which a single spermatozoa is introduced

Š2011 Steelhead Ranch

into the egg to produce an embryo and is extremely valuable for the study of male infertility. Production of embryos by ICSI was last reported by researchers from Louisiana State University. Studies in Australia showed that sperm harvested from the tail of the epididymis after castration can be frozen in a lactose-based extender. The motility is generally lower compared to other species but the integrity of the acrosome (important for fertilization) is maintained. Modification of the extender allows semen to be preserved for up to 24 hours at refrigerator temperature before freezing. The same group demonstrated that there is a 3.8% difference in DNA content between X-bearing and Y-bearing spermatozoa. This difference in DNA content allows sperm sex-sorting technology using a flow cytometer. This technology will allow use of sex-sorted semen for gender pre-

selection of offspring in artificial insemination. A small trial (20 animals) in Peru compared conception rate in alpacas inseminated with frozenthawed semen at 24, 30, and 36 hours after induction of ovulation with a vasectomized male at the dose of 5 million live spermatozoa per insemination. Fertility was highest when semen was deposited 30 hours after induction of ovulation on the same side as the ovary containing the follicle. Italian researchers have made tremendous contributions to understanding of the biology of epididymal maturation of spermatozoa regional function. Researchers from the National University San Marcos in Peru and the University of Saskatchewan in Canada conducted several trials to determine the nature of the Ovulation-Inducing Factor and to study the mechanism of ovulation in South American camelids. It was demonstrated that ovulation requires deposition of a seminal plasma in the uterus combined with a certain degree of inflammation. The component in seminal plasma that is important for induction of ovulation is a small protein. Studies in Germany showed that male llamas maintained under an environment of 30°C (86°F) show increased testicular damage and increased rate of abnormal spermatozoa which can explain the reduced fertility seen in alpacas and llamas under some heat stress condition. Studies at Washington State University showed the importance of testicular cysts on the fertility of male alpacas. Researchers at Washington State University reported preliminary findings on several aspects of alpaca infertility including association of chromosomal abnormalities and ovarian aplasia. A retrospective study of uterine torsion showed the outcome depends greatly on the timing of diagnosis.


An interesting report from the U.K. showed that abortion outbreaks can result from infection of Campylobacter fetus subspecies fetus, a common abortion causing organism in sheep. The abortion rate in the herd studies was 6.25%. The infection leads to an inflammation of the placenta (Placentitis). This finding stresses the fact that alpacas are at risk for this disease particularly in areas where they commingle with sheep and goats that may be infected. It is important continued on page 35



P~:<J O'YJI@ @ilF ~W~ Third Generation AOBA Champion and 2008 lAO Supreme Champion Suri Male

Dr. Barbaro Boineou 1706 River Bend Rd. Wonship, UT 84017 Located 9 miles east of Pork City on 1-80 at exit 155. Visitors Welcome Telephone: 435.901.1274 Website: riverrunolpocos.com E-mail: bboineau@hotmail.com Call or visit the website for introductory breeding incentives and additional information


to realize that wildlife and wild birds may be involved in the transmission of these organisms. Reports from Peru suggest that a protozoa parasite of the dog (Neospora caninum) may be responsible for abortion in alpacas and llamas. It is important to note that neosporosis is also a commonly diagnosed cause of abortion in cattle in North America. Another report from Peru showed that alpacas that seroconvert to Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy are 3 times more likely to abort than seronegative alpaca


Research efforts are still continuing with regards to treatment and prevention of meningeal worm (Parelanphostrongylus tenuis). Meningeal worm infestation was also reported in llamas in the U.K. An interesting treatment approach based on administration of ivermectin intravenously was investigated to determine if it would help increase drug concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid. However, this treatment is not recommended because of the neurological damage it caused. A comprehensive study of the changes in the cerebrospinal fluid, blood analysis, and serum biochemistry following experimental infection with the meningeal worm was published by researchers from Jordan in the first month of 2011. This study showed that 90% of experimental infected llamas developed clinical neurologic signs between 45-82 days after infection and progressed to paralysis. The only change in the blood is increased eosinophile count. Cerebrospinal fluid showed a significant increase in protein. A report from Argentina shed some light on the epidemiology of an interesting parasite Lamanema chavezi (a nematode) that is commonly found in alpacas, llamas, vicunas, and guanacos in South America but never reported in other countries. The distribution of the parasite seems to be limited to the Andean Patagonic Domain. The parasites constitute a huge health risk for the population of camelids in South America because their larvae (third to fourth stage) have an enterohepatic migration and can cause severe hemorrhagic enteritis and liver damage. The same group of researchers discovered that Eimeria macusaniensis is more prevalent in llamas, vicunas, and guanacos than previously thought.

Š2011 Steelhead Ranch

Researchers from Oregon State University compared 3 different methods for detection of gastrointestinal parasites in llamas and alpacas and found that the centrifugation-flotation technique is the best in terms of diagnosis of E. macusaniensis, Trichuris spp, Nematodorius spp, and calipplarids. The saline McMaster technique is more advantageous for the detection of small coccidian. The same group had previously reported the health risk associated with E. macusaniensis. There is increasing concern about anthelmintic resistance in alpacas and llamas. Researchers from the University of Georgia evaluated the efficacy of ivermectin, fenbedazole, moxidectin, and levamizole using guidelines set by the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology. They demonstrated that a serious problem of resistance to the major anthelmintics of gastrointestinal nematodes is lurking in alpaca and llama operations in the U.S. Various skin parasites causing mange (Sarcoptes, Choriopte and Psoroptes) have been documented and are considered to be a widespread problem in Europe and the U.S. Research on treatment modalities was published. Research at Oregon State Univercontinued on next page



Tuberculosis remains a

major concern, particularly in European countries.

Š2011 Silken Suri Alpaca Ranch

sity showed that application of eprinomectin topically at the dose of 0.5 mg/kg weekly for 10 weeks is ineffective for the treatment of chorioptes mite infestation. An outbreak of sarcoptic mange was reported in 2008 in alpacas in England; the treatment consisted of 0.2 mg/kg ivermectin at 14-day intervals. It took 8-12 treatments to rid the herd of the infestation.

Infectious Diseases

Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus

Most of the research published on infectious diseases in the last 3 years concerned bovine viral diarrhea (BVD.) Serological surveys have been published recently showing a rate of seropostive animals of 25.4% in 323 cria from 63 herds, compared to a rate of 1-2% reported previously in llamas and alpacas. During 2009 in Switzerland, the prevalence of seropositive alpacas and llamas to pestivirus from 53 herds was 4.6%. However, this study did not specify the part that bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) plays in these 36 PURELYSURI

cases. In another study, the prevalence of BVDV in alpacas and llamas in that country was 0.4%. The authors concluded that camelids represent a negligible risk of re-infection for the BVDV eradication program in cattle. BVDV type 1b has been reported in other countries including Great Britain. In 2008, an outbreak of BVDV was reported in 2 alpaca herds. An interesting finding in these cases is the presence of neurological disease. Several reports, primarily from Washington State University and Auburn University, have dealt with studies on virus shedding and experimental infection. BVDV type 1b and type 2 cause induced viremia and nasal shedding. Strains of BVDV isolated from alpacas (genotype 1b) cause slow onset of viremia compared to other BVDV strains of bovine origin. Research at Washington State University demonstrated horizontal transmission of BVDV. The same group showed that administration of modified, live BVDV vaccine is able to protect alpacas from experimental challenge.


Tuberculosis continues to be a disease of great concern, particularly in the U.K., Ireland, and Spain. One case has also been reported in Switzerland. Several reports have been published in the last 3 years. The diagnosis of the disease in live animals has been very challenging. The disease, which is considered zoonotic (a disease shared with humans), has serious effects on other livestock as well. Horizontal transmission is highly possible and at least one case of zoonotic transmission to a veterinarian causing cutaneous lesions was reported. Most countries use the comparative tuberculin skin test, but the predictive value of this test is decontinued on page 38




bated and remains to be properly validated. Serological tests are being studied in the U.K. and include multi-antigen print immunoassay (MAPIA) and a rapid test (RT), which use a portable lateral flow chromatographic assay for 3 specific antigens to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. These tests have shown some diagnostic potential.

Equine Encephalitis

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have reported several cases (8 alpacas and 1 llama) of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) caused by a mosquito-borne virus in alpacas in the eastern U.S. Clinical signs include fever, lethargy, seizures, recumbency, and other neurological signs. Within 2 days 89% of the animals died. The exact epidemiology of the disease in alpacas remains to be determined. Immunization trials of alpacas using the equine vaccine have been reported by researchers from Tufts University suggesting that 3 doses of a bivalent-killed equine encephalitis virus vaccine induces an antibody response against EEE virus.


Enterotoxemia due to Clostridium perfringens A, C, and D continues to be a serious problem in crias and juvenile alpacas and llamas. Research in this area has focused on the development of vaccines. Most of the research has been conducted in Peru and Argentina. Argentinean researchers have tested a new strategy for vaccination against epsilon toxin produced by Cl. Perfringens type D with some success, but further studies are needed to actually show the efficacy of this preventive treatment.


It has been established that coronavirus is involved in cria diarrhea in 64% of herds. A recent report from Oklahoma State University suggests that this virus may also be involved in some cases of diarrhea in adults, particularly when they are stressed. Alpaca coronavirus (ApCoV) genome was sequenced and shown to be related to group 2 BCoV, a human coronavirus and porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus. 38 PURELYSURI

©2011 Wonder Why Alpaca Farm

Blue Tongue Virus

Since the outbreak of Blue Tongue in 2006 in sheep, reports are accumulating regarding the emergence of this disease in alpacas in U.K., France, and in California. Research in Switzerland showed that whole virus inactivated vaccines (Bovilis BTV 8 and BTVPUR AISap8) can illicit an immune response in alpacas and that 2 doses injected 3 weeks apart may be suitable for vaccination.

Mycoplasma Haemolamae

Mycoplasma haemolamae (previously called “eperythrozoon”) has long been known as a cause of anemia. A highly specific and sensitive PCR test for it has been developed at Oregon State University. A recent collaborative study by researchers from OSU, Chile, and Peru demonstrated that 19.3% and 9.3% of

animals are positive for M. haemolamae in Peru and Chile respectively. There was no association between positive status and anemia. The OSU groups showed that treatment with oxytetracycline does not completely clear the alpacas from the organism and these animals remain carriers. In 2010, a survey in Switzerland found 18% positive cases in 40% of the herds tested. The same group developed a real-time TacMan速 qPCR assay for specific detection and quantification of M. haemolamae. There was no relationship between the number of organisms and clinical signs.

Pharmacology and Anesthesia

A report from Auburn University studied the pharmacology of a new, very effective antifungal drug (Voriconazole) given orally or intravenously. This study showed that the oral dose would have to be 5 times that of the IV dose. Researchers from Washington State University have been conducting in-depth studies on analgesic and anesthetic drugs. One of the most commonly used analgesics, butorphanol, was shown to have minimal effect on the cardiovascular system of alpacas. In 2010, an Italian team of researchers studied the pharmacokinetics and safety of Tramadol, a narcoticlike painkiller (analgesic). Their findings suggest that the drug can be safely administered intramuscularly (IM) at the recommended dose with a good absorption. However, an evaluation for pain management has not been offered yet. Morphine for control of pain has been studied in llamas. IV injection may be required every 4 hours. Analgesia was difficult to evaluate due to high individual variability in response. Researchers at the University of Tennessee tested field anesthesia using Xylazine and ketamine at two different doses and reversal with tolazoline. The duration of anesthesia was dose dependent and tolazoline shortened the recovery time. Oxygen should be available when high doses of these anesthetics are used. University of California at Davis researchers tested the anti-ulcer drug omeprazol absorption after intrarectal delivery and showed this route is not efficacious. Earlier studies have shown that oral administration is also ineffective. Another anti-ulcer drug, pantoprazole, was investigated by researchers from North Carolina State University. The drugs administered IV or SC showed a significant increase in pH of

A report out of the

University of Pennsylvania includes important

information about sepsis. C3 (third stomach compartment). It is safe and may be a good approach for prevention or treatment of gastric ulcers.


Individual case reports on various congenital abnormalities continue to be published randomly. However, very little progress has been made to determine if there is a genetic basis to some of these abnormalities. This is in great part due to the lack of a national/international database and most importantly on the accurate diagnosis of condition by submission to full necropsy. The main report on diseases of the neonate in the last 3 years comes out of the University of Pennsylvania. Although the number of cases in this report (21) was small, it offers the clinician and breeder some very important information on the risk factors, clinical presentation, and treatment possibility of sepsis. These cases usually present in the first week of life (usually by 2 days) and most have a failure of passive transfer. The study showed that one cannot rely on serum total protein to determine the passive transfer status and that measurement of IgG is important. Gram+ and Gram- bacteria were isolated equally from these cases and survival rate was shown to be higher if there are no gastrointestinal or nervous system signs. Blood work is generally not very helpful. The report emphasizes early recognition of sick or at-risk crias (prematurity, dystocia, unattended birthing) and early, proper antimicrobial treatment. Researchers at Tufts University showed that although correction of failure of passive transfer of immunity by IV administration of plasma is generally continued on page 42



safe, the technique may cause complications due to changes in lung volume in crias with abnormal cardiopulmonary function or other disease. Research at the University San Marcos in Peru suggests that overgrowth of Cl. Perfringens and induction of fatal enterotoxaemia may be facilitated by a mucosal damage due to E. macusaniensis. A survey by the Ohio State University researchers on preweaning mortality and morbidity in llamas and alpacas, showed a mortality rate of 2.1%. Infectious problems were the leading causes of death. Diarrhea (23%), umbilical hernia (16%), and unspecified infectious diseases (15%) were the top 3 causes of sickness. Dystocia was the single most important risk factor of morbidity and mortality. Peruvian researchers have shown that Cryptosporidium parvum is prevalent in alpacas and represents a high risk for diarrhea in crias.

Zoonotic Diseases

A recent report, 2011 from the U.K., suggests that Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli O157 can be harbored by healthy camelids. Although the prevalence of infection was very low (2%), this report shows the potential for transmission to human and reinforces the need for adopting good hygiene. Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium parvum), a parasite that causes diarrhea and sometimes constipation in crias, was linked to zoonotic transmission from alpacas to humans. A similar situation was reported in England. A study by researchers from the USDA environmental microbiological safety in Maryland showed that alpacas can harbor Giardia duodenalis and be a source of contamination for people.


A report from University of California Davis described clinical presentation and mortality rate of Oleander intoxication in llamas and alpacas. Intoxication should be considered in animals presenting kidney failure, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular dysfunction. Mortality rate is 25% if not treated properly and 10% if treatment is adequate (supportive therapy, fluid, administration of absorbents). A report from Australia described nitrate-nitrite 42 PURELYSURI

poisoning in alpacas that resulted in deaths and abortion after access to oaten hay. The same report also points to a possible death by cyanide poisoning from ingestion of an ornamental variety of South African daisy. Researchers in Australia showed a higher sensitivity of young alpacas to perennial ryegrass toxicosis (staggers) than sheep and cattle. This syndrome is due to the presence of neurotoxic mycotoxins produced by a fungus that infects perennial ryegrass. The administration of a mycotoxin deactivator during the period of risk seems to reduce the severity of the syndrome, but does not eliminate it. More studies are needed to determine an appropriate dose and frequency of administration.


Reports are being generated by retrospective studies of alpaca and llama tumors, particularly at Oregon State University. A recent report describes clinical and laboratory findings in animals with malignant round cell tumors. OSU researchers studied the prevalence of cancer in 551 camelids; prevalence in alpacas was 4.9% with a mean age of 5.5 years. The most common types are skin cancer and lymphoma. These tumors are characterized clinically by loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness or recumbency, and increased size of lymph nodes. Diagnosis can be confirmed by cytology. Young animals seem to show a faster progression of the disease.

Tooth Root Abscesses

Researchers from the Ohio State University reported a retrospective study on surgical treatment in 123 cases of tooth root abscesses in llamas and alpacas. This study showed that early detection when the animals are still in good body condition has a better outcome. Complications of surgery occurred in 50% of the cases and included reinfection, chronic draining tract, or osteomyelitis.

Metabolic Diseases

Hyperglycemia is a common feature of sick or stressed alpacas and has been extensively studied by researchers at Oregon State University. They reported

on the management of hyperglycemia with insulin to reduce serum or plasma triglycerides. In their latest research, Exenatide, a product used to treated diabetes in humans, was tested in alpacas. It increased insulin release in alpacas and decreased glucose in the blood but was associated with an increased rate of colic.


Researchers from Washington State University reported on the use of acupuncture as an adjunct to treatment of paresis (downer) in alpacas.


As one can see from this brief review of the current scientific literature, there is a lot of activity in research on South American camelids in different parts of the world. This summary was based on the review of 560 scientific papers and 120 scientific abstracts.

However, this review is by no means exhaustive, as several aspects of fundamental research, particularly in immunology and reproductive physiology, were not mentioned. Clinical research in camelids remains generally underfunded compared to other species, but significant strides are made every year. One aspect that the author did not attempt to tackle (but would be important) is to compare the research performed on New World camelids to that being generated in Old World camelids. l

Ahmed Tibary, D.M.V., Ph.D., Dip. ACT


Ahmed Tibary is Professor of Theriogenology (Reproductive Medicine and Surgery) at Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He teaches and conducts research on the reproduction of camelids, horses, and ruminants.



United States Alpaca Kathleen Cullen

These amazing articles from 1846 prove that we aren’t the first to believe alpacas are “beautiful and valuable animals.”


Alpacas have been in America a lot longer than you might expect – since 1846 to be exact! Recently my sister, Megan Cullen, who is a cultural resource preservationist in Belfast, Maine, came across an article in an 1846 newspaper while she was doing some research for the city of Rockland, Maine. It caught her eye as it mentioned alpacas. She copied it from the microfiche and sent it to me. I was intrigued and, with her help, began to do some more research. What I found was very interesting! I only have the beginning of the story from several articles in various agricultural news journals from 1846, which I share below. Eventually I hope to find out “the rest of the story.” To make these articles easier on the eye, they were retyped in a more readable font. Some sections were also removed due to the lengthy prose in which they were written. You are welcome to read these articles in full at our website, www.foothillsalpacas.com. They are a fascinating peek into the perspectives of the mid 1800s.


Association of 1846 This is the first article that caught our attention. It was published in the Lime Rock Gazette in 1846.

The Alpaca

Their introduction into the United States We have observed with pleasure the intention of the American Agricultural Association at the suggestion of R. L. Peel of Ulster county, to introduce the Peruvian Sheep or Alpaca into the United States. This animal inhabits the slopes, table lands, and mountains of Peru, Bolivia and Chili, enduring all the vicissitudes of climate. They are found 12,000 feet above the level of the sea, where they derive a subsistence from the moss & c. frowning upon the rocks exposed to all the rigor of the elements and receiving neither food nor care from the hand of man. The shepherd only visits them occasionally, yet much are their gregarious habits that the member of one flock seldom stray away and mix with another, being kept in discipline by the older ones, who know their grounds and become attached to the place of their nativity, of which they re-

turn at night, evincing an astonishing vigilance and sagacity in keeping the young ones together and free from harm. Hence there is no need of branding them. So great is the intelligence of some leader of a flock, that much value is on this account attached to them by their owners,-part of whose duties they perform. These animals, says William Walton, are found on the snow-capped mountain Chimborazo, 11,670 feet above the sea. In This tropical region excessive heat is experienced in the month of August during the day, and towards evening the thermometer regularly falls many degrees below freezing point Still the Alpacas abound and thrive. Their teeth are so strong that they can easily crush and masticate vegetable substances too hard and tough for ordinary cattle. In the formation continued on next page



of their stomach they resemble the camel and can undergo extreme hunger and thirst. Their meat is tender, wholesome and savory, and in that country is recommended by physicians to invalids, in preference to fowls- for all declare that their meat is extremely wholesome and as palatable as that of fat sheep. The quality of Alpaca meat could not fail to be good, when the cleanliness of the animal, in nature of its food, and the neat and delicate manner in which it feeds are considered. They eat the purest vegetable substances, which they cull with the greatest of care and in habitual cleanliness surpass every other quadruped. The hardy nature and contented disposition of the Alpaca, cause it to adapt itself to almost any soil or situation. Another remarkable feature in the Alpaca is that it does not perspire, for which reason, and it’s peculiarly cleanly habits, the fleece does not require washing before it is taken from the back. Although confined to regions where the Alpaca is free from all diseases incidental to common sheep. The chest is guarded by a callosity, which comes in contact with the ground while the animal reposes, and protects it from cattarrhs, or other disorder disabling the limbs. They will yield from 12-15 pounds of wool, which is suited for the finest class of goods and calculated


to compete with silk. It is almost fashionable now as that fabric being worn by her Majesty Victoria. So firmly is its reputation now established that there is every certainty of a growing demand, to meet which an additional quantity will annually be required. It is supposed that owing to neglect of the inhabitants of Peru, there has been an enormous decline in the number of Alpacas, which will eventually render them difficult to be obtained We would therefore urge strenuously on the gentlemen of wealth, merchants, and agriculturists and in fact all who feel an interest in the welfare of the country, to come forward at once and assist the Society in an undertaking so worthy of all praise. We undated the cost of bringing out three hundred will be $10,500, delivered in New York; of which sum three thousand have already been promised. We sincerely hope those engaged in an enterprise so noble will not allow the matter to flag. –N.Y. Jour. Of Commer. zzzzz continued on page 50

There's a Flame Pool Suri near you.

Ken &Marsha Hobert {970) 586-9519


• COLOR and B&W Digital Copies • GRAPHIC DESIGN • PHOTOGRAPHY • Photo Printing & Enlargements • Moveable/Removable Wallpaper & Signs • Banners & Signs • Rack Cards • Fliers

We're just one farm, but our suris are in many locations throughout the U.S. , because Flame Pool Alpacas agists across the country at select farms. That way, we have access to numerous high profile bloodlines and our suris are available to more farms. No matter where your farm is, contact Flame Pool Alpacas to ~o\ Alpqc-. arrange a visit to see our /CJ ~~~ suris for sale. {Z


wholesale@peruvianlink.com www.peruvianlink.com 1(888) 607 PERU (7378)

Kathy Graziani

Marie-Christine Girton

Columbia, MD Home: 410.884.5397 Mobile: 443.812.1102 RamePooiAipacas@verizon.net

Sales and Operations Manager


lpaca Clothing, Accessories and Home Decor


• Pardner

• Cantano


Joan McCurry • 132 Orchard Ave. , Woodbury CT 06798 • alpacaconnection@aol.com

203-266-9002 • 203-266-0425 •

www.alpacaconnection.net www.surinetwork.org


This article was found in the Genesse Farmer, 1846.

The Alpaca We are happy to learn that a few enterprising wealthy gentlemen of this State are about to import a lot of Alpacas from South America, this season. They are said to clip about 10 lbs. of wool, worth from 25 to 30 cents per lb. per head. They are very hardy animals, and those taken to England have done remarkably well. Several millions of pounds of Alpaca wool are annually imported into Great Britain. It is made into mouslin de lains, and a variety of other fabrics, being long, fine, and almost of a silky texture. We doubt not that the Alpaca will prove a valuable acquisition to our present stock of domestic animals. zzzzz


My enterprising sister, Megan, found the following article with some time and effort. I have not changed any of the wording or spelling in this article, so that you can read it as it was written in 1846. American Agriculturist and the Rural New Yorker: Volume 5 - Page 216, 1846.

THE ALPACA. On no two points, according to our informant, do the early writers on Peru so perfectly agree, as in the number of species of the Andes sheep, and the purposes to which the Incas applied them. They state, as already observed in our last No.1, that there were four kinds, two tame and two wild—a fact too well established to admit of a doubt; and, as our avowed object in laying these sketches before the public, is to throw light, and elicit the inquiry, whether the rearing of the alpaca is applicable to the soil, climate, and rural industry of the United States, we shall not enter into these nice distinctions, but regard them as coming within the sphere of the practical zoologist, rather than under any effort of ours.

The comparatively small size of Peruvian sheep, as well as of the vegetable forms by which they are surrounded, clearly indicates that the climate of the Andes is not favorable either to animal or vegetable growth. It has also been remarked, that there the human species is subject to the same rule; man decreasing in bulk and stature in proportion as he dwells near the mountain summits. In Peru, the winter sets in towards June, and is severely felt on the highlands, where the snow remains upon the ground six, and in some places eight months in the year. Here, at an elevation of from 8,000 to 12,000 feet above the level of the sea, the Peruvian tends his alpacas and llamas, allowing them to range at the foot of the snowy cliffs called punas, or to wander on the paramos, or heaths, where they derive subsistence from the moss and lichens growing on the rocks, or crop the strong grasses and

tender shrubs which spring up upon the flats, favored by moisture. On these commons the animals may be said to shift for themselves, exposed to all the rigor of the elements, and receiving no food from the hand of man. The shepherd only visits them occasionally; yet sue! are their gregarious habits, that the members of one flock seldom stray away and mix with another, being kept in a good state of discipline by the old ones, which know their own grounds, and become attached to the place of their nativity, to which they return at night, evincing an astonishing vigilance and sagacity in keeping the young ones together, and free from harm. Hence there is no need of their being marked; and so great is the intelligence of some punteros, or leaders of a flock, that a more than ordinary value is, on this account, attached to them by the owner, part of whose duties they perform. The most valuable breeds are said to come from the central provinces; and here it may not be irrelevant to observe that there are two varieties of alpacas, differing in size, figure, and fleece. The breed called coyas is the most diminutive, and is esteemed for the smallness of bone and symmetry of form. It is chiefly confined to the Cusco range of mountains, more particularly to that part continued on next page



of it intervening between the ancient city of the Incas and Haumanga. It is thought to be a remnant of the old royal flocks, or those once owned by the priests of the sun, who are represented as having the choicest breeds. That territory was besides the principal theatre of agricultural operations, the seat of power, and the centre of Peruvian civilisation. It was from this breed that the beautiful white and brown alpaca (fig. 56) owned by Mr. Cross, late of the Surrey Zoological Gardens, was obtained.

The Alpaca Of Mr. Cross.—Fio. 56.’ This specimen was originally brought from Lima, where it had been a pet; and the perforations in its ears, in which ornamental rings had been placed, were still visible. Its graceful attitudes, gentle disposition, and playful manners, were particularly attractive. Ladies frequently caressed it as if it had been-a child. Although kept in the unwholesome atmosphere of a crowded city, pent up in a close room, and unavoidably fed on unsuitable diet, it nevertheless attained the usual age; thus affording as satisfactory an example of hardihood as could be wished. zzzzz 52 PURELYSURI

Regarding the references to “Coyas” on page 51: I did some searching to find the meaning of this term as it appears to refer to either Suri or Huacaya. It was interesting that what I did find was a reference to the “Coya” in the religion (see below). I found one other reference to Alpacas as “Coya” in a book about the Spanish conquest of Peru. In that book, there was a reference to some people captured as slaves and taken back to Spain along with 400 Coya. Because of this dual role within the cosmos and the parallel chains of authority, men controlled the cults to the male gods and women controlled the cults of the goddesses. The Coya, who was believed to be the daughter of the Moon, headed the cult of the Moon. The Sapa Inca headed the cult of the Sun, and was believed to be his son. Women priestesses stemmed down from the Coya in the same way that male priests extended from the Sapa Inca. Women priestesses wielded power as the heads of these cults. This is because the goddesses of Incan cosmology controlled earthly fertility and human procreation, both of which were integral to Incan agricultural society. Women also had their own royal ancestral cults. Coyas were mummified just like the male Incan rulers, and were worshipped and attended in the same way, meaning they were also treated as though still alive and they retained their estates even in death. (Similar to the way Egyptian kings were honored in death.)

I found the following article in the British-American Cultivator, Toronto, February, 1846

We wish we possessed onetenth the wealth of many a man we could name in this country, for one of the first things we would do with a very small portion of it, would be to import a few alpacas and naturalise them here for the benefit of the agricultural community. We wrote a little article on this subject in our April number, last year, and we do intend to continue inserting other till we can influence some one, who has sufficient patriotism, so make an importation of these most beautiful and valuable animals. It pains us, absolutely, to look around and see the worthless objects on which so much money is spent in every quarter of the United States; and yet one might solicit for years and it is

doubtful whether so small a sum as one thousand dollars would be raised for the worth purpose of importing what might ultimately benefit the country untold millions. This does not arise from a want of liberality on the part of our citizens, but unfortunately from improper education. Yes we mean education in it’s enlarged sense- an education which teaches people to do with their abundant means what is for the advantage of the fellow citizens- aye, and for the world. Instead of spending them so exclusively for the gratification of their won immediate vanity, pride and luxury. Is there not a merchant among the millionaires of this great city, who will stand up as Mr. Dawson did- honored be continued on next page



his name- at the late meeting of the British Association for the advancement of science and say: “It is now six years since I first joined this society for a little recreation or relaxation from the trials of 30 years close application to commercial life and at Birmingham I brought a subject before it’s notice, which received its countenance in a special manner. I there declared the object of that paper, which was to induce our various manufacturers to exercise their ingenuity in discovering means to consume wool of a silken texture (as can be seen retailing) in a manufactured state, and also to prepare our landed gentry and farmers to naturalise the animal called the “Alpaca”- a species of sheep that eat what the cow, the horse, the common sheep etc. reject. The manufactures have succeeded beyond my most sanguine expectation , and the naturalization also; the former has created a na-


tional wealth of £3,000,000 to £5,000,000 per annum, the latter is progressing rapidly. I have proved these mountain-rangers can be domiciled in our own country, though brought from beyond the Andes Mountains in Peru. (How much more easily then would they do this in the United States-a climate similar to their own! I have tried the experiments in my own lands, in the west coast of Ireland, in the wildest districts of the county of Kerry; and already a company on the tapis to bring over ten thousand of those animals for the national good. As the race is nearly extinct in Peru, it is desirable to bring them out to our isles; their wool approaching silk and their flesh being improved by English air and pasture. Our Sovereign and Prince-Albert are now wearing royal robes manufactured at Windsor. In ten years these animals will add £20,000,000 per annum to the national wealth!- Am. Ag. zzzzz

Lastly, the following article was found in the Library of Congress archives of 1857. In finding this article, my question was finally answered as to whether alpacas were ever imported to America. In fact, there are two references to animals being imported. Once again, spelling was not changed in this article, much to the chagrin of my spell check. It is interesting to note the lengthy sentence structure used. It reminded me of my husband’s (Holger Caban) native German language where a whole page can be one sentence.

The Llama and Alpaca

Their Geographical Distribution,Organization Food, Habits and Probable Adaptation to Certain Regions of the United States

On the lofty Cordilleras of the Andes, in South America considerably below the line of perpetual snow from Chili nearly to the equator, there abound at least three kins of animals known under the names of “Guanaco” or “Llama”, “Paco” or “Alpaca” and Vicuna, the latter of which, according to the classification of Cuvier, is merely a variety of the llama. This

also agrees with the opinion of the Inca Garciaso de la Vega, who says, in the year 1811, that “the domestic animals of the Peruvians are of two kinds- the greater and the smaller-which they, as a common name, call llama, that is cattle or sheep. The larger kind they call huanacu-llama on account of the resemblance it continued on next page



bears to the wild animal known in Peru by the name of huanacu, from which it differs only in color; for the domestic llamas are to be met with as various in their colors as horses, but wild llamas are uniformly of a chestnut color. The larger kind bears a great similitude to a camel except that it is deficient in the hump upon it’s back and is not so large. The small kind they call paco-llama, which is only reared for it’s flesh and wool. The vicunas are not very unlike goats in their appearance, except they have no horns , are larger and are of a leonine color or more ruddy. They live in the highest mountains and groves, and particularly love those cold regions of solitude, which the Peruvians designate by the common name of punas, neither are they annoyed by frost and snow, but are rather created by them. They go in flocks and run most swiftly; and such is their timidity that, at the sight of man or wild beasts, they instantly hurry into inaccessible retreats, and elude their pursuits. There were formally a great number of these animals here, but they are now become much more rare in consequence of the promiscuous license of hunting them. Their wool is very fine, resembling silk or the fur of the beaver, an the natives deservedly hold it in high estimation; for, besides other properties, it is also said to resist heat and impart coolness to the wearer. 56 PURELYSURI

The llama (Auchenia glama) ordinarily, is from 4 to 5 feet in height, of a light- brown color on the back and sides, and under the belly uniformly white. Sometimes, however, it is dun grey or even inclining to purple and very seldom parti-colored or black. The hair is long, of a texture between silk and wool, but not curled. The alpaca (Auchenia alpaca) is smaller than the llama. It’s usual height only 4 feet. It appears more corpulent, however, owing to it’s possessing a much longer and much more profuse clothing of hair, which, sometimes, is from 8 – 12 inches in length on the sides, rump and breast. The fleece of an old individual is represented to weigh 20 or 30 pounds. It partakes of various colors, often being parti-colored, but more frequently white than the other species. The most valuable breeds are said to come from the central provinces, and here it may not be irrelevant to observe that there are two varieties of alpaca, differing in size, figure and fleece. The breed called coyas is the more diminutive, and is esteemed for the smallness of bone and symmetry of form. It is chiefly confined to the Cusco range of mountains, more particularly to that part of it intervening between the ancient city of the Incas and Haumanga. It is thought to be a remnant of the old royal flocks, or those once owned by the priests of the sun, who are represented as having the

choicest breeds. That territory was besides the principal theatre of agricultural operations, the seat of power and the centre of Peruvian civilization. The Peruvian dry the flash of the llama as well as that of the alpaca, which they are very fond of eating. The order to which the genus Auchenia belongs offers to the eye of the naturalist but a very small anatomical difference of the conformation from that containing the camel, properly so called. The feet are not like those of that quadruped, entirely padded with an elastic sole, but the two toes are separated, each having strong, horny nails, or hoofs, nearly resembling the talons of a bird, with a thick cushion, or pad beneath. These animals are also dissimilar in the formation and arrangement of their teeth, having on each side of the upper jaw one canine tooth more than the camel, but are deficient in a second canine tooth in the lower jaw. Their incisors project fully half an inch from the muzzle bone, so as to meet the pad fitted above, by which means and with the aid of the tongue and cleft lip, they are not only enabled to draw together and clip short grass upon the ground, but also, with their long necks, pointed muzzles and the oblique posture which the head can assume, to collect herbage growing on the hedges and in the interstices of rocks 7 feet high as well as the tops of hedg-

es and tall shrubs. Their teeth are, at the same time, so strong and interlock in such a manner that they easily crush and masticate vegetable substances too hard and tough for ordinary cattle. The absence of the hump and of the callosity on the breast also constitutes striking points of difference between these animals and the camel. The llama however has a conformation resembling the llama hump, being provided with an excess of nutritive matter, which lies in a thick bed of fat under the skin and is absorbed as a compensation for an occasional want of food. Some of these animals, as in the camel, have callosities on the knees of the forelegs and like them kneel down in the same manner. Their stomachs and those of the camel in some respects are similarly organized. That of the llama, according to Sir Everard Home, has a portion of it intended to resemble the reservoirs for water in the camel, but these have no depth, being only superficial cells, and have no muscular apparatus to close their mouths, and allow the solid food to pass into the fourth cavity, or digesting stomach, without going into these cells. But the stomach of these quadrupeds certainly much have some kind of internal mechanism for retaining water or secreting a liquid substance, for it has been remarked, along the flanks of some parts of the Andes, that they lie far above any lakes or continued on next page



streams and abstain from drink a great portion of the year and further, it has been observed that in a state of domestication they never manifest any desire to drink so long as they can obtain an abundance of succulent herbage. From the peculiar organization both of the camel and the llama we are led to infer that each is evidently fitted by Nature for the endurance of great hardships and privations the one amidst the sand of the desert under a burning sun; the other on the wastes of some of the loftiest mountains of the globe, with a region of perpetual snow above. The slight variations of their conformation, such as that of the foot, are modifications of Nature, which befit them for their respective abodes. The habitation amongst the rocks would be mechanically impossible for the dromedary, whilst the burning plains would be as little suited to the paco. The llama in its natural habitat on the Andes, at an elevation of 8,000- 12,000 feet above the level of the sea, far above any lakes or streams feeds through choice on a sort of rushy grass or reed called tchu, which grows in abundance where it is said these animals are never known to drink so long as a sufficiency of green succulent herbage can be obtained. They also derive subsistence from the mosses and lichen, which fringe the rocks among 58 PURELYSURI

their native haunts, or by browsing upon tender shrubs. They adapt themselves to almost any soil or situation, provided the heat is not oppressive or prolonged and the air is pure, possessing a hardiness of constitution admirable well adapted to the nature of their birthplace where during half the year, snow and hail incessantly fall, whilst in the higher regions, nearly every night during summer, the mercury sinks below the freezing point, and the peaks are perpetually covered with accumulations of ice or snow. It is astonishing that the temperature of the air, on the mountains so peculiarly situated and exposed to the full glare of the vertical sun, should be so much chilled as almost to present the desolate aspect of the Artic regions; and yet such are the tracts upon which the vicuna and the guanaco abound and run wild, far above the abode of man, and are hunted for their flesh and skins. It is remarkable, however, that they do not inhabit Quito, Santa Fe, Caracas and although the climate of the mountains of those parts is similar to that of High Peru. The comparatively small size of these animals, as well as the vegetable forms by which they are surrounded clearly indicates that the climate of the Andes is not favorable either to animal or vegetable growth. It has also been remarked, that there, the human species is subject to the same law, man decreasing in bulk and stature in proportion as he swells

near the mountain summits. In Peru, the winter sets in towards June and is severely felt on the highlands, where the snow remains upon the ground six and in places eight moths in the year. As soon as the narrow and green strip of land bordering upon the Pacific is passed, the traveller begins to ascend the slopes and when he attains the first table-land, observes a complete change in the climate and the appearance of vegetation. Except in the yungas, or hollows, where an alluvial soil has been collected and where the Indian plants his sugar-cane, banana the country wears a naked and barren aspect. The female llama and alpaca go with young eleven or twelve months and rarely produce more than one at a birth. They are weaned when half a year old, but are not put at work before they have completed the third year. They begin to bear when two years old. The llama and alpaca, as well as the alpaca and vicuna can be induced to breed together and of the former union there are frequent instances to be met with in Europe as well as in Peru. From this alliance a beautiful hybrid results and possible finer to the eye than either parent and also more easily trained to work, but like the mule it does not procreate. From the sterility of this hybrid race, it would follow that

the alpaca is distinct variety of the llama tribe, differing as much from it’s allied species as the horse does from the ass and consequently that the two domestic animals of the Peruvians were not brought to their present state by means of crossing. Their intermixture is a modern expedient by the Spaniards. It is a rule of the vital economy that life only springs from life and every being in consequently endowed with the property of generating an offspring, inheriting a nature similar to it’s own. When the species vary, this rule ceases to act whence, although, possessing a strong physiological resemblance in many important points of their organization, there must necessarily be some material difference between the llama and alpaca in the functions of generation, which it is more than presumable equally extends to the wild species, and that difference produces all irregularity at variance with Nature’s laws, constituting an essential condition of life. It appears from the report of M.Bory de Saint Vincent, a distinguished naturalist, who accompanied the French army into Spain, under Marshall Soult, that he observed in the Zoological garden on Don Francisco de Theran, at San Lucar de Barrameda, in Andalusia three alpaca-vigonias (the cross between the vicuna and alpaca) the fleeces of which were much longer and six times heavier than those of any other variety. The Spanish continued on next page



were proud of this acquisition, thinking that they had thereby obtained a new race of woolbearing animals, calculated to people their hills and repair the loss sustained through the decline in their Merino flocks. By the experimenting of crossing, however, they defeated the very object which they had in view, as the animals gradually died off without leaving any offspring and in the curse of a few years, there was scarcely one individual to be found in the kingdom. The Peruvians are careful not to overload either of these animals, the burden of which is generally about 100 pounds, though, for a short distance, on good roads, they occasionally carry 12 or 15 pounds more. They are usually docile and willing to perform their task, if gently treated, but if provoked they express their anger by turning back their ears and spitting into the face of their offender even is he be 3 or 4 yards off. Their food is never prepared for them, but when unemployed, they are suffered to graze on their native mountains, often pasturing in company with the wild species, but they are so much accustomed and apparently attached to mankind that they never exchange servitude for freedom. Those animals which have been brought to Europe and the United States appeared to thrive well for a time on the same sorts of food a 60 PURELYSURI

eaten by cattle and sheep; but the inferior kinds of browse, grass and hay with a due proportion of potatoes, carrots, or other succulent roots, were preferred by them to rich pastures and farinaceous grains. Too liberal an allowance of nutritious and stimulating food to an animal extremely abstemious cannot, therefore, be regarded other than injurious. Its peculiarly formed stomach is not adapted to dry, hard food, the best proof of which is it’s habitual abstinence from drink. In Peru, the llama is sometimes treated with maize or millet in their green, soft, milky stage. In regard to the diseases of these animals, it has frequently been remarked that, when they area taken down to the lowland towns and ae there kept for much length of time, they perspire freely as soon as the hot weather comes on and if neglected, a scurf or rash forms on the skin. In their new character, the coat of course is carefully preserved as being ornamental, but if it is shorn off and the animals is bathed in the cool part of the day, before the system ahs been heated by exercise or the natural warmth of the climate, the sufferer invariably recovers in a short time. This cooling remedy, is has been observed, the animals themselves, naturally seek, for when taken down to the heated atmosphere of the plains, should this rash break

out, both these animals instinctively of in search of a refreshing steam, not for the purpose of drinking, as has been erroneously supposed, but for bathing and thereby preserving their health. For a period of nearly forty years, the subject of introducing these quadrupeds into this country has been agitated and several attempts have been made to engraft them into our husbandry. As well known instances of this, it may be recollected that the late Colonel Skinner published an extended notice of these animals in the “American Farmer” in Baltimore, advocating their adoption in 1821, the “American Agricultural Association” of the City of New York raised a fund by subscription for introduction, in 1846, a present of several of them was made by the Peruvian Government to the Honorable Daniel Webster, when Secretary of State, and the early part of the past winter, a cargo of llamas and alpacas were shipped to Baltimore, on speculation, from Guayaquil. But owing to the apparent inadaptability of these animals to the climate and elevation of the Atlantic and Gulf States, all the experiments hitherto made proved futile. To Succeed, then, as a last resort, we have only to direct our attention to those

vast elevated tracts known under the name of the “Great Plains” at the east of the Rocky Mountains, and lying principally between longitude 20 and 30 west from Washington, extending from Texas to the Artic sea. These plains contain but little timber or woods and individual trees rare. They mostly have a gentle slope from the west to the east, though in some instances gracefully undulating, clad with thick nutritious grasses and teeming with animal life. The soil, though compact, is a fine calcareous mould. The climate is comparatively rainless, storms being rare, except during the melting of the snows on the mountain crests, which swells the rivers like the Nile, to irrigate rather than to drain the neighboring tracts. The herbage, which is perennial, edible and nutritious throughout the year, is peculiarly adapted to the dryness of the soil and the temperature is the air. It consists, principally, of the “Gramma” or “Buffalo” grass and covers the ground an inch in height, having the appearance of a delicate moss. During the melting of the snows, in the immense mountain masses beyond the Great Plains, the rivers yield a copious evaporation in their long and sinuous courses; storm clouds gather on the summits, roll down the mountain flanks, and discharge themselves in vernal showers. In continued on next page



this temporary prevalence of moist atmosphere, these delicate grasses grow, seed in the root, and are cured into hay upon the ground by the returning drought. It is in this longitudinal belt of eternal pasture that the llama and alpaca would thrive, of at all in any part of our domains, where infinite herds of aboriginal cattle, the buffalo, the antelope, the elk, and wild horses abound, as well as the mountain sheep, the white and black tailed deer, and innumerable smaller games. They could be imported from Peru to a number of a few hundreds, by the way of the Gulf of California and the Gila, and presented as a token of friendship to the immense population of nomadic Indians, or their chiefs, by whom they should be protected under prohibitory laws. Could these animals be suffered to remain unmolested for ten or twenty years, if successful, they would probably increase to thousands, and even millions, ever after while immense profits would result form their flesh, skins and wool, besides using them as beasts of burden in places inaccessible to the camel or the mule. D.J.R.



As with all research, I am left with more questions than I started with. For those of you who read this article in its entirety and are intrigued by this information, you might enjoy seeing what more you can find out. It would be interesting to track down at what point the word “Coya” came to mean “alpaca,” and more specifically, did it mean “Suri” or “Huacaya”? The pictures in these articles appear to show Suri alpacas. l Kathleen Cullen


Kathleen Cullen has owned Suri alpacas for nine years. She and her husband have 50 animals on their ranch, Foothills Suri Alpacas, in Washington. Kathleen has long been active in the alpaca community and currently serves on the Suri Network Board of Directors. In addition to owning alpacas, Kathleen has her own psychotherapy practice.

The NEW California SURl Connection For Colore & Accoyo Suri dsires ofDistinction!

.. More to come! Check us out at www.derwyddalpacas.com AND www.alpacasofeldorado.com

Classing Your Clip


©2011 Donna Rudd

Donna M. Rudd

Top left - Suri carded and drafted; top right - Suri combed top; bottom right - washed Suri locks; bottom left - carded Suri (not drafted)

It seems that deciding what to do with your Suri fiber is a never-ending process. From making informed breeding decisions, practicing good pasture management, and fiber-harvesting techniques, it can take a year or more before you have product to sell. Shearing season must focus on removing the fleece with as few contaminates as possible, followed by skirting, sorting, and grading. Once your clip has been separated into various sorts according to lengths, color, and grades, you can really get serious about “classing your clip” — that means matching your sorts and grades to end product lines. It is important to consider the costs, availability, and function of all the mills in order to fully and accurately complete a cost analysis. Market trends, demands, and pricing must be carefully compared and evaluated before making a commitment to processing raw product into yarns and finished garments. A good working relationship with mill owners and operators 64 PURELYSURI

is important when facilitating the best use of fibergrade opportunities. There are so many variables to take into account when you decide to process your own fiber into product. It is often by trial and error that many breeders reach their goal of understanding the best path that leads to a profitable return. The shortest, simplest — and likely the lowest return on your dollar — is to sell your raw Suri fiber to a buyer such as a crafter or a co-op. Co-ops and large corporations receiving raw fiber generally use the services of a trained and experienced “classer.” A “classer” is someone who determines what specific lines of products are appropriate for various sorts and grades of fiber. They must be knowledgeable about processing options, mill equipment and its various operations, and production services. However, if you choose to develop your Suri clip into a variety of end product lines such as Suri

©2011 Little Gidding Farm

rovings, spun yarns, felts, woven fabric, or finished garments then you become your own “Suri clip classer.” I would like to walk you through some facts and considerations that need to be addressed when you start communicating with processing mills across North America. It is important that you understand the basic operations and types of fiber processing options available to you. Knowing these options before sorting and grading is important to help determine your sort lines and ultimately your end products.

Woolen processing mills. Generally, woolen processing mills deal with fibers that are considered short to medium-short in length. Carding equipment opens, disentangles, and individualizes fibers while blending and removing vegetable matter and debris. Fibers of various lengths are carded into a continuous web before attenuating (drawing out/drafting) them into unspun strips called “rovings.” Using the “woolen spinning technique,” rovings are spun into yarns that are bulky, soft, and fuzzy. These yarns have a lower twist and therefore are not as strong as other yarn; they are especially suited for bulky knitting projects and warm garments and blankets. Worsted processing mills. Combing equipment is the one function that makes “worsted yarns” different from woolen or semi-woolen yarns. This equipment removes shorter fibers so that the fiber lengths within the sliver (roving) are uniform, parallel, and very well aligned, resulting in fine, compact, and uniform yarns. A gill box, or pin drafter, is also used before and after combing to assure that all fibers are well aligned and parallel before spinning. Gilling is a drawing operation used to remove fiber hooks and level the fiber mass to ensure sliver evenness and linear density. Worsted spun yarns are strong with little or no loft or air, making the yarn cool, hard, smooth, and well-defined with a firmer twist. Yarns produced by worsted mills make excellent weaving yarns. Worsted spun knitting yarns from combed top continued on next page



©2011 Donna Rudd

do not have quite as much twist and provide wonderful drape and luster. There are currently only two true worsted processing mills in the U.S. that have combing equipment. Semi-worsted mills. This type of mill, such as “mini mills,” is a combination of the woolen processing mill and the worsted processing mill, but without the combing process to remove shorter fibers. Most, but not all, semi-worsted mills card then align fibers using pin drafters that make fibers lie parallel to one another and improve the uniformity of the sliver before spinning. Yarns produced from the semi-worsted process contain short and longer fibers that are mostly parallel to make yarns that exhibit some loft, but are still smoother and stronger that woolen yarns while not as well defined as true worsted yarns. In North America you will find all of the processing opportunities that I’ve just mentioned. Many mills have modified their equipment to improve specific functions, so it is always important to communicate carefully to assess their operations. Mill owners and operators are experts on their equipment. When you 66 PURELYSURI

understand their capabilities, limitations, and costs, good results happen. Some mills work with Suri alpaca fiber, and some mills just cannot. Other mills will happily process Suri fiber, but only if it is blended with other fibers. All mills have processing limitations with regard to length because of their equipment capabilities. Some mill equipment processes fine Suri such as Grades 1 and 2 very well, while other mill equipment is better suited for coarser fiber such as Grades 5-6.

As a classer, you must know and evaluate many things: Determine your grades. You must evaluate the total weights of each grade, what lengths are needed for the processing option you have chosen, and what color blends you desire. Just 20 pounds of Suri can become 4 different grades, 2-3 different lengths acceptable for processing, and numerous color blends. Lengths. There are mills that can only process

fiber under 4-5 inches long, some mills are better at processing fibers which are 5-7 inches long, and most mills cannot process fiber longer than 7 inches. However, there are a few mills that can process fibers up to 12 inches long. Shipping. Because there are mills across North America, you also have to consider how much it will cost to ship the fiber to and from that location. Take that information into account for your cost analysis and budget purposes. The “Suri factor.” Of course, you need to know whether a particular mill processes Suri fiber and if the mill only processes blends or if it will work with 100% Suri fiber. Processing services. It’s important to know if a mill offers additional services such as felting, dyeing, sock making, or weaving. Ask if they will assist you in making decisions regarding the various options such as blending, plying, and dyeing. You will need to know about the cost and timeframe associated with each service. When you are considering processing for any type of product, you need to know what grade of Suri fiber you have to work with. It makes no sense to make durable work socks from your lovely, soft delicate Grade 1-2 Suri fiber, but it does make sense to use your Grade 4-5 to make into long-lasting durable socks. Here is the reason why: Grade 4 Suri has a thicker micron and is therefore more durable and handles abrasion well (that’s what Grade 4-5 fiber is

naturally suited for). Grade 1 fine, soft Suri just won’t hold up under abuse and heavy wear and tear; it is best suited for gentle use and worn next to the skin as scarves, delicate sweaters, shawls, and fine garments. Don’t forget the all important question of whether to “blend” your Suri fiber or not. Blending will increase your poundage and give you more volume for your Suri product line. Always take into account what your end product will be and be sure to fit the yarn to the function. Blending can enhance Suri qualities such as smoothness and luster. For example, adding 10-15% silk to Suri fiber will increase luster and softness. But when you blend too much of another fiber with Suri, it can also detract from certain Suri qualities. For example, too much wool will take away some of the Suri luster. If you added a similar fiber and micron such as mohair, then your blend will be harmonious and both fibers would provide similar traits for a smoother more uniform yarn. If you wish to introduce an exotic element to your blend and follow current market trends, try 10% bamboo, soysilk, or tencel. For loft, lightness, and fluffiness, choose a blend of fine, crimpy fibers such as Huacaya alpaca, merino, or corm wool that will make a wonderful yarn with elasticity and memory. If you wish to create a “novelty yarn” with variation and texture in the grist, then choose fibers that do not have similar lengths to your Suri fiber. continued on next page



Other questions to ask yourself include:

2 1


• What will the end product be?

7 6

4 5

©2011 Donna Rudd


1) angora rabbit; 2) soya silk; 3) yak; 4) fine merino wool; 5) bombyx silk; 6) dyed bamboo; 7) bison and camel down; 8) washed unprocessed cormo wool

Personally, I love a yarn made from blended long Suri with 10-15% shorter fibers of bison down, qiviuk, cashmere, camel, or even cotton. They all give me texture and softness even though each blended fiber has a totally different fiber length, it makes a beautiful and unique yarn. There is a mill in eastern Canada that works with mohair boucles. I have used Suri in hand-spinning boucles for years and would love to see how this mill turns Suri alpaca into boucle yarns. My motto as a master spinner is: “If mohair can do it, Suri can do it better!” Some of the most important questions to consider at the beginning of your journey of classing your own clip are: “Who is my market?” I love this subject because it is different for each and every breeder out there. It will not matter if you market warm, durable socks to forestry workers and outdoorsmen, or sell soft, comfortable socks and shawls to your co-workers at the office. You need to know who will be willing to pay for your product and how much they may be willing to pay so that you make a profit margin. By defining your market, as a classer you’ve taken the first step towards determining what you may wish to produce in order to sell your Suri fiber. If you were to live in Arizona and you have lots of Grade 3-4 Suri from your clip, your market may not support sales of heavy, warm socks. However, you could consider having that fiber spun into durable rug yarn and woven into beautiful Southwestern luxury rugs and carpets that would sell in your area. If you have a farm website and market your Suri products from home, then your options are worldwide and limitless. 68 PURELYSURI

• When and how can I get my product to market? And at what cost? • Am I making money or am I just spending money to move my raw product? • And, most importantly: Am I producing the best quality products possible? By looking at the market demand, knowing your sorts and grades, developing your product lines to meet those demands, and carefully reviewing your processing options and costs along with processing time frames, you are well on your way to defining the niche your fiber may fall into. You are now on your way to classing your clip. One cost-effective method of having your fiber harvested, processed, and marketed is combining your fiber with your friend’s or neighbor’s fiber. Larger orders may allow for discounts, quicker access to the processing queues, more processing mills to choose from, and a broader and more cost-effective product line. From experience, both you and I know that this partner needs to be pulling the yoke the same as you. It is not beneficial to partner with someone who does not share your goals, work load, and ideals. Whew! There is a lot to take into consideration when you act as a “classer” of your own fiber. Those Suri breeders who market high-quality end products are those people who have taken the time to research important issues like those mentioned above. You’ll recognize that by their superior product lines. l

Donna Rudd


Donna is a certified camelid sorter/grader/classer (from Olds College), as well as a certified wool and mohair judge, master spinner and spin-off judge. She has worked with Suri alpaca and llama fiber almost exclusively for the past 15 years and instructs spinning,weaving, and felting classes. Donna has volunteered on the Suri Network Product Development committee for four years and authored the “Understanding Suri Fiber and Fleece” seminar and the Suri Alpaca Fiber Harvesting Code of Practice.

Suri Network


Long-Range Strategic Plan 2011-2014

This winter the Suri Network (SN) Board met to update the Long-Range Strategic Plan (LRSP) to prioritize and focus the next three years of SN activities. Input from a membership survey was instrumental in developing the new plan. Many of the priorities of the previous plan, written in the fall of 2007, have been accomplished, including: • Expanding membership from less than 200 to more than 500 members • Adopting the Suri Breed Standard and the Suri Breed Standards Council • Developing the Suri Marketing Folder, DVD, IPHAY USA Today marketing program, and other marketing tools • Establishing the Product Development Committee (PDC) which has spearheaded Suri involvement in major regional yarn markets, developed the Suri Code of Harvest, and conducted the traveling seminar “Understanding Suri Fiber and Fleece” • Concluding a research project—co-funded with the Alpaca Research Foundation (ARF) in conjunction with Professor Christopher Lupton of Texas A & M University, Agriculture Research and Extension Center—which focused on validating an objective method of measuring luster in Suri fleece The following outline of the SN’s LRSP for 20112014 was developed to empower the SN to realize the visions and focus on the missions of our organization.

Vision for the Suri industry: To become the world’s premier producer of Suri genetics, fiber, and valueadded Suri products.

Vision for the SN: To be the premier organization enhancing economic opportunities for breeders of the Suri alpaca – livestock with the ultimate natural fiber. 70 PURELYSURI

Dick Walker, M.D.

SN mission statement: To promote community, national, and international awareness and interest in Suri alpacas; to promote the growth and quality of the Suri breed and industry including its products; and to provide marketing opportunities for SN members. Nine priorities were identified as being instrumental in achieving this mission: 1. Communication 2. Education 3. Marketing 4. Suri genetic improvement 5. Funding 6. Product development 7. Research 8. Membership 9. Youth program Goals were identified for each priority, as were the strategies and actions necessary to achieve these goals. 1. COMMUNICATION – Achieve consistent and effective dialogue with the SN membership and all recognized strategic stakeholders. Strategies: Develop a plan to ensure consistent communication between the SN Board, committees, advisory board, and membership. Selected Actions: • Identify all strategic stakeholders • Schedule monthly rotating calls with committee chairs and identify communication needs for each committee • Establish a social networking presence via Facebook • Publish PurelySuri magazine yearly, Suri Network News quarterly, periodic email blasts and questionnaires when relevant • Arrange SN rallies at selected shows and other regional and national events

2. EDUCATION – Offer educational opportunities to SN members that will advance their success in the Suri industry. Strategies: Establish a SN Education Committee to identify educational needs and to implement strategies to support members’ success. Selected Actions: • Solicit members for the SN Education Committee • Survey members regarding their educational interests and develop topics and available resources to meet members’ interests • Conduct and promote the Annual Suri Symposium • Promote the Regional Understanding Suri Fiber and Fleece seminars produced by the PDC • Develop, in conjunction with Gaston College, a seminar on the basics of Suri fiber processing (“Suri 101”) to be offered at the Suri Symposium in August 2011 • Coordinate member education on all major network activities and committee actions such as: the Suri Classification System, SHIP, Suri Fleece Code of Harvest, show rallies, Suri fiber and fleece seminars, as well as involvement in regional yarn markets such as Madrona, SOAR, and others 3. MARKETING – Advance the Suri breed as the ultimate livestock investment and facilitate the marketing of Suris and Suri products. Strategies: Assist members with marketing their breeding and fiber stock, as well as Suri products, by facilitating the development of a variety of marketing opportunities. Selected Actions: • Prepare a marketing plan • Develop websites to assist members in marketing both their Suris and Suri-related products, including fleece, yarn, textiles, and develop a plan to market those sites • Survey member support for an All Suri Show and/or sale and, if sufficient interest exists, plan such an event for 2012 • Continue to promote the IPHAY USA Today marketing program • Promote the Suri Symposium and Annual All Suri Fleece Show

• Update existing promotional materials and develop new ones as needs are identified by the SN Board and Committees 4. SURI GENETIC IMPROVEMENT – Develop and market programs that track and promote genetic advancement of the Suri breed. Strategies: SHIP combines the Suri Classification System, based on the Suri Breed Standard, with objective fiber test data and adds statistical analysis of selected traits to calculate expected progeny differences. This single program creates a system to evaluate Suri genetic performance for members to utilize across their entire herds. In addition, this program should help identify future research needs regarding genetic improvement in the Suri breed. The program is expected to add value for members as statistical methods gain recognition for selecting breeding stock. The database, once created, will also help refine the determination of heritability of the most economically valuable fiber traits and track trends in the phenotype of the national herd. Selected Actions: • In conjunction with consultant and livestock geneticist, Clint Schwab, Ph.D., develop database parameters, a recording system, select traits for evaluation, and conduct a trial run of limited data to present to members a tested model by August 2011, at the Suri Symposium • Open the program officially to all members and encourage participation • Based on data collected and analyzed from the first year SHIP, convene the Suri Breed Standards Council for review and discussion • Determine the economic viability of providing SN members with the scientifically proven SAMBA technique for luster measurement as an additional parameter in fiber testing, and consider these values for possible inclusion in SHIP 5. FUNDING – Ensure the long-term viability and growth of the SN by means of a comprehensive development plan. Strategies: Develop the 2011-2012 annual budget and determine fundraising requirements. continued on page 73



a cas

Selected Action: • Form a steering committee to develop a draft development plan for SN board consideratioin, and to assist in fundraising 6. PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT – Encourage the development of both commercial and cottage venues for production and marketing of Suri fiber and value-added products such as roving, yarn, woven, knitted, felted, and fiber arts products. Strategies: Support and promote the activities of the SNPD Committee and educational activities for members, as well as the general public, on the attributes of Suri — the ultimate natural fiber. Selected Actions: • Develop a course on Suri fiber processing for Suri Symposium, “Suri 101” • Create and market a web-based venue for members to market Suri alpaca products • Create an outreach program for members who have products for sale • Create demand for Suri fiber products in appropriate venues once the marketing site is launched • Investigate avenues for branding Suri — the ultimate natural fiber • Organize and conduct, in partnership with member farms, regional “Understanding Suri Fiber and Fleece seminars” • Coordinate participation at selected regional fiber/ yarn festivals and markets 7. RESEARCH – Leverage all available resources to achieve measured progress with Suri genetics and end products. Strategies: Empower the Research Committee to search for pertinent projects that have merit in advancing the vision, mission, and purpose of the SN and the Suri industry Selected Action: • Form a research task force to explore potential projects and seek out academic assistance in attaining grants 8. MEMBERSHIP – Empower and energize SN membership participation and maintain trust at all levels. Strategies: Increase membership participation

in committees, events, and surveys, as well as encouraging non-member Suri breeders to get actively involved with the Network. Selected Actions: • Develop a means of recognizing new and renewing members • Update and publicize the benefits of Network membership • Develop a position of volunteer coordinator to facilitate member involvement • Develop a list of needed volunteer positions and brief descriptions of activities • Activate the “associate membership” provision of the bylaws • Investigate the development of a program called “Friends of the Suri Network” and encourage involvement through Facebook 9. YOUTH PROGRAMS – Partner with traditional livestock community youth programs to encourage, educate, and support youth involvement with Suri. Strategies: Partner with already established youth programs— 4H and FFA—to establish protocols, enable and encourage members to develop programs at their farms because an active, vibrant youth program is a key strategy for industry growth. Selected Actions: • Develop, publish, and make readily available to member farms standardized protocols/manuals for 4H and FFA youth programs • Develop a plan to encourage member farms to establish local youth programs • Educate membership about youth programs via the Suri Symposium, email blasts, and an enhanced presence on SN website • Develop various methods of recognition for the youth involved in these programs, as well as the members leading these efforts • Investigate development of programs for “special needs” youth l

Dick Walker, M.D.


Dick Walker and his wife, Nancy, have been raising Suri alpacas for 10 years. In addition to raising Suris, Dick also practices emergency medicine. He’s served as president of the Suri Network for several years.



Small Breeder of the Year 2011



Advertising Index .925 Suris of Sterling Alpacas, LLC................7 Accoyo Ltd.....................................56 AJ’s Partners, Alpaca Ranch. .............................................. 69 A.J,’sAlpaca Alpaca Ranch.......................................24 Bella Suri Farm........................................ 74 Alpaca Bella Suri Farm..................................39 Alpaca Connection.............................................. 49 Alpaca Magic Alpacas of ElUSA........................................59 Dorado........................................... 63 Ameripaca Breeding Co., Inc...... 66-67 Alpacas Alpaca at Phoenix Hill Farm.............................. 14 Ameripaca Alpaca Breeding Co., Inc.. . ........... 40,41 Barmik’s Hummer Hacienda..........................23 Awesome Acres. 30 Big Meadow Creek.................................................. Alpacas...........................72 Beloveds Farm.......................................back cover .........................................23 Brooklyn Alpaca’s. Broken Road Alpacas. . .............................. 20,21,72 Chelsea Farms..................................................3 Capital Alpacas. ..................................................... Country Haven Farm Alpacas........................278 Derwydd Alpacas. . ............................................... 63 Dancing Moon Alpacas..................................58 Doran’s SuriFarms, Alpaca............................................. 23 Double Dutch Inc...............................52 Dos Doñas Alpaca Farm...................................... 43 Enterprise Alpacas.........................................62 Eldora Suri Alpacas........................................ 24,25 Flying M Ranch.............................................50 Pool Alpacas, Ltd...................................... 49 .........................Back Cover GreatFlame Lakes Ranch. Fleeces-to-Go...................................................... 76 Hay Creek Station..........................................35 Flying M Ranch.................................................... 30 Humm V Farm...............................................52 Funny Farm Alpacas............................................ 75 J.C. Alpaca Farm............................................27 Great Lakes Ranch............................... inside cover Joy of Alpacas................................................23 Hay Creek Station............................................... 65 Meadowgate Farm Alpacas. Heritage Farm Suri Alpacas.............................68 ............................... 77 National Alpaca Sweepstakes........................18 Hillside Alpacas................................................... 67 PoloHobert, Field Farm/Suri Sculptures....................38 Ltd..................................................... 49, 76 Prairie States Insurance Agency, Inc..............16 Hocking Valley Alpacas....................................... 14 Pucara International.......................................48 Housetop Mountain Suri Alpacas........................ 14 Sagebrush Alpacas.........................................87 Long Hollow Suri Alpacas.................................... 29 .........................................37 Salt River OrchardAlpacas. Hill Alpacas. ........................................... 23 . .........................................58 Sandollar Alpacas. Peruvian Link Co................................................. 49 14-15 Sierra Bonita............................................ Pines Edge Suri Alpacas..................................... 75 Silken Suri Alpaca Amber Isaac.......52 ................ 34 Polo Field Studio Ranch Arts/Suri/ Sculptures. River Run Ranch................................................. 34 Sunny-Rise Ridge Alpaca Ranch, LLC.........38 Rodgers’Alpacas........................................34 Reserve Alpaca Farm........................... 14 SuperSuris River Alpacas............................................... 19 Suri Salt Futures, Inc.............................................64 San Juan Jolley Acres......................................... 14 Suri Peak Alpacas..........................................33 Serenity Valley Alpacas....................................... 14 Suz Silky Suri Alpaca Farm...........................36 Suri Network. . .........................78, inside back cover Sweetbriar Suri Alpaca Farm.........................10 Sweetbriar Suri Alpaca Farm. ................................ 7 ...........................58 Thunder Mountain Alpacas. Penn Alpacas........................................ 44,45 TrueWest Colors Alpaca Farm...............................62 Wilkins Livestock LLC. . ........................................ 72 Weather’d T Ranch........................................16 WindLivestock Walker Ranch. ............................................ 37 Wilkins Ranch.................................8 Windy Hill Farm NC............................................. 34 Wind Walker Ranch.......................................45 Wisdom of the Fox Alpacas................................... 3 Windy Hill Farm NC ....................................16 Wisdom of the Fox Alpacas...........................37 76 PURELYSURI

SBS Argonaut


• A free marketing service exclusively Suri. Display your Suri farm and sales information at SuriNetwork.org. • Increased marketing exposure focused on Suri alpacas and Suri products. e Add your Suri products to your individual storefront using PayPal checkout. e NO COST to Suri Network members. FIND OUT HOW AT SURINETWORK.ORG





Improved Breeding

Visit www.SuriNetwork.org 1-877-NET SUR/ (638-7874) Everyone Welcome!


Bon rca's SlRlUS


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.