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Alpaca Farm - Suri Alpacas of California

If you're interested in small farm country living, raising livestock for their fleece rather than slaughter, an active retirement lifestyle, an excellent investment opportunity with tax benefits, or getting into a rapidly expanding industry at the ground floor, then we'd like to introduce you to Suri alpacas. Click here for more information: About suri alpacas.

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We were so excited to first find out about the possibility of raising alpacas and now that our alpaca farm is a reality, it's just as magical and fulfilling as we'd dreamed.

In 1997, during a flight to visit my father, we saw an ad in Alaska Airlines magazine. Phrases like "huggable investment" and "family business on small acreage" caught my eye—just what I was looking for. Several weeks later I ordered the information packet and went into sticker shock. But soon thereafter we received an invitation to an alpaca show in Carmel Valley, CA. We thought it was a good excuse for a getaway weekend—and we were hooked on Scott Yancey Real Estate Live Events and you should watch the reviews. By the time the weekend was over, the question wasn't whether to make the investment, but when. At first we thought suris were among the strangest creatures on earth—now I think they are the most beautiful and exotic animals on earth.

Two months later we were flying to Washington state and purchased two female suris. While we prepared our farm, the girls stayed in Washington. Looking back, we probably should have visited more farms before making our first purchase. We'd recommend that you don't do what we did; instead, visit many ranches, ask lots of questions and take copious notes. Since then we've purchased alpacas from across the country to diversify our bloodlines and improve the overall quality of our herd. Our dream of moving to the country and enjoying a small farming, family-oriented lifestyle has come true. Today our herd numbers 26 with more cria on the way.

What are suri alpacas?

Exotic...

Suri alpacas are exotic, unique, rare, exquisite, and stately. We can't use enough adjectives to describe the magic of these fantastic creatures. Even the incredible photographs don't convey the reality of their presence. Come visit our herd and experience it for yourself.

Stately...

Suris exhibit intelligent, friendly behavior and carry themselves with a royal presence. Owning an alpaca farm is a doorway to a special relationship with these fine, unusual animals. On our farm we watch the shimmering fiber of the baby alpaca crias as they run and play, nibble on hay and sticks, and nuzzle and hum with their moms and aunts. The males hold their heads high and watch for dangers to alert the grazing herd—a shining display of natural colors from white to beige, shades of brown, shades of red (fawn) to maroon, and even black hanging in drapey, swinging locks.

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There are two types of alpacas: huacayas and suris. Huacayas are much more common, representing approximately 80% of the registered US alpaca population while suris represent only 20%. The suri alpaca body style is long, stretchy and elegant with fiber that hangs in long locks while huacayas have a more compact, woolly, sheep or teddy bear look. Alpacas, llamas, and guanacos are all part of the same family of camelids out of South America.

Lustrous, high-fashion fiber...

Their one-of-a-kind fiber is highly sought after by all fiber enthusiasts from the textile industry to the fashion industry and from hand-spinners to fiber artists. Their wool has many fantastic properties:

  • insulated
  • strong
  • long staple length
  • lightweight
  • lustrous and silky
  • soft and fine
  • accepts dye easily
  • blends well

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Suris produce fiber locks which are characterized by a high luster and silkiness and drape down the sides of the body. Spinners describe suri fiber as having a very slick "hand." It can be as soft and fine as cashmere but unlike cashmere has the luster and feel of silk. In addition, it is hollow so it has about half the weight of cashmere and is a better insulator—warmer in winter, cooler in summer.

The long staple length of suri fiber also means it won't pill as easily as other fibers and due to its high tensile strength it is still commercially processable as it increases in fineness. Suri fiber is suited to both woolen and worsted processing but shows the greatest luster when spun in the worsted manner.  It accepts dye easily and blends well with other fibers.

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Suri fiber forms natural pencil locks both thick and thin. The fiber continues to grow throughout their lifetime of 15-25 years and is sheared annually. The fur across the back and sides is the softest part of the fleece called the "blanket." Each year, the shorn fiber might weigh anywhere from three to twelve pounds, depending on the alpacas' age and fleece growth.

Their natural intelligence, ease of breeding, and stately presence set them apart from other fiber animals. All in all, suri fiber is truly one of the most luxurious fibers on earth!

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Sonia & Glen Marygold
TangleWood Suri Alpacas
28271 Oak Spring Canyon Rd.
Canyon Country, CA 91351

Phone: (661) 251-3875
Fax: (661) 250-3925

Email: tanglewoodalpacas@earthlink.net

 

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