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  Aragon Alpacas, breeding for fineness in colored fleece

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Aragon Alpacas Sales & Breeding

 
Flora & Sundancer
Flora & Sundancer

   Alpacas are quiet, gentle and curious animals, slightly smaller than their camelid cousin, the llama. Indigenous to the Andes of South America, these herd animals graze on pasture grass or hay. Fleece colors range from white and light fawn to brown, mahogany, rose gray, silver, and black, and many shades in between.

gambrel barn, circa 1896
alpacas at Aragon

   Having never owned lifestock before, we carefully considered the implications of getting involved in the alpaca business. We looked beyond the doe-eyes and the cute babies to the business model and the daily tasks, and agreed that the 'alpaca lifestyle' appealed to us on multiple levels.

   Our two-year search for farm property was rewarded! We purchased our farm in Eugene, Oregon, just 35 miles from Mike's birthplace of Oakridge. We readied the 1890s-era barn and pens, and after boarding our alpacas with our mentors, we brought them to their new home. See more photos and notes of our progress along the learning curve on our blog.

A Spinner's Barn Farm Store   A Spinner's Barn is our Farm Store offering yarn and items made from our own alpacas' fleece as well as from other local farms' bounty. Store hours overlap farm hours: "If we're home, we're open" by appointment or by chance, so please call or email to make sure we're available. Throughout the year, we schedule Open Farm Days, and also host school groups, senior residents, foreign students, families, and other visitors to enjoy our 'living postcard'.

   Alpacas are fleece animals — that is the harvest of our farming business. Aragon Alpacas began breeding toward fineness of dark-colored fleece, but for hand-spinning, we recognize that light colors are very dyeable and desirable, too. And Nature has a way of surprising us!

Aragon Alpacas proudly offers afghans, lap blankets, baby blankets and shawls,
woven at a local farm with yarn from our herd. Available in our farm store,
A Spinner's Barn, and at ECO Sleep Systems and Plume Red in downtown Eugene.

Blue-ribbon Herdsire:
Canzelle's Kalahari
Canzelle's Kalahari, champion herdsire
   For breeding selections, we make the wisest choice possible by considering the attributes of a female and adding higher qualities in a male, always reaching upward. Physical conformation, fleece characteristics, color genetics, and temperament of each parent enter into the equation. We then wait for almost a year (gestation is roughly11.25 months) for the outcome, and then another few years before that offspring matures and shows what he or she can produce.

     Shearing season - our harvest - has produced a bounty of fleece for sale to artisans. A few will be skirted for shows, others sorted for spinning. Raw fiber is desired by hand-spinners or it may be sent to a mini-mill for machine-processing into roving, batts, or yarn. Small mills are often run by other alpaca farms, so the fiber is in skilled hands. There is also a fiber co-op in North America to promote this home-grown resource.

   The alpaca industry is so new in the United States that owners and veterinarians are continually learning and sharing information, linking together in our literal grass-roots network. In the summer of 2008, alpacas were declared "livestock" by the U.S. government, which further enhances their asset value. Do an online search to find farms in your area and go meet alpacas for yourself. And if you are in the Eugene, Oregon, area, we'd love for you to come visit us!

  For a continuing source of information on raising alpacas for sales and fleece production, read our blog. Upcoming topics include alpaca health and nutrition, finding a veterinarian, herd managment tips, networking with other ranches, guardian animals, and much more.

Drake's Arabesque Drake's Arabesque d'Aragon
"Alpacas offer an outstanding choice as a livestock investment. They have long been known as the aristocrat of all farm animals. But most of all, alpacas are easy keepers, they have a charismatic manner, do very well on small acreage and produce a luxury product which is in high demand."
~ Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association ~

  Aragon Alpacas Sales & Breeding
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Aragon Alpacas

Alpaca Sales & Breeding
Alpaca Sales & Breeding
33005 Dillard Rd.
Eugene, Oregon

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