Alpacas at Dancing Rocks Ranch ~ Read Our Opinion

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Our AOBA Show Ring rules require that we present our alpaca in the best natural field conditions possible. Why would AOBA make such a rule? Because this whole business is about the fiber. We, as breeders, create these animals with luster and fineness through careful genetic management. The Show Ring is supposed to be our showcase where these qualities are apparent to the judges, other breeders, and the public. When the alpaca are shampooed, conditioned, dyed, beauty-sheared and manicured, it presents a distorted and even deceptive appearance. What fiber processing mill would want this fiber? These additives would be considered contaminates and defeat the grading process. If you bought such an animal, had the animal sheared and sent the fiber to be processed, what a nasty surprise you might get when your fleece is returned to you. Where did all that gorgeous luster go? What happened to that slick handle? Well, it was washed out in the fleece’s first cleaning. Meanwhile, your alpaca has strange spots appearing on its blanket. Should you call your vet? No, but you have just had your first experience with dyed alpaca. This reminds me too much of the used car business. Every car salesman knows that a shiny, waxed car sells better than one that needs a bath, regardless of what condition the cars are really in. Well, you can “Pimp my ride”, but I’ll have my alpaca “Naturally”.

Ed Fincher & Amanda Brand