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If you were going to start a fiber farm.

Discussion in 'Fibers' started by Ninny, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Dec 7, 2009
    Ninny

    Ninny Ridin' The Range

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    I keep playing with the idea of a small fiber farm. We raise chickens and thought this might be fun to add in. I have four acres. My hubby doesn't really want to bred anything except maybe the rabbits.
    Should i get a bunch of one kinda of critter or a couple of each?
    Im thinking alpcas, angora goats, mini sheep, angora rabbits. What Would you do?
  2. Dec 7, 2009
    MrsCountryChick

    MrsCountryChick Ridin' The Range

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    We have over 4 acres, and have Llamas & now starting with Alpacas. :) Can't wait for shearing to have fibre to work with. But We'd probably pick up 1 or 2 Angora goats if we came across them at a decently low price. ;) But I've crocheted since I was 12yrs old so I can't wait to have our own fibre yarn. Good Luck! Alot depends on price though for us, we were thinking about getting Alpacas for awhile, but learning about them & shopping around for the right priced animals took some time. :)
  3. Dec 7, 2009
    Ninny

    Ninny Ridin' The Range

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    I crochet as well!! I want so bad to make afghans with animal fibers bout its all almost cheaper to get the critters then buy all ready hand spun yarn with the amounts i need.
  4. Dec 8, 2009
    MrsCountryChick

    MrsCountryChick Ridin' The Range

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    Just think of the Wonderful one of a kind items you can make. :) & to know the yarn came from "Your Farm" is Great. Even in Peru where Alpacas are farmed everywhere, it's rare & very expensive to buy an item made of 'All' Alpaca fibre. (They usually combine Alpaca fibre with dog or other low quality fibre.) :ep Angora rabbits are adorable, but need continual grooming on a regular basis, if not daily. & we already have Dairy Goats that we milk, so that's just Waaaaaay too much commitment to us to take care of a fibre rabbit. & they need to be groomed so they don't get binded up internally from grooming themselves alone without a caregiver grooming their fur. They're Beautifully soft tho, but I think once your husband finds out how much work & effort to takes to raise fibre rabbits he may want to lean towards other fibre animals, like angora goats, alpacas, etc. that just get sheared once a yr in April or May. Some recommend anywhere from 8 to 10 alpacas per acre, other places it'll say 10 to 15 per acre, of course you may have to suppliment with hay, etc. But with having 4 acres you can definately have a few alpacas just fenced in on 1 acre. ;)
  5. Dec 8, 2009
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

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    I wouldn't do more than 8 alpacas per acre. They need their space and they will eat down their favorite areas in the pasture. You will need to supplement them with hay.

    By the way, if you look around, you may be able to find gelded males at a low price. I know in Ohio people are practically giving away their alpaca males and some are actually giving them away. The ones that are being given away aren't gelded but if they are free and you are just paying the cost of gelding, that isn't bad.

    I have 2 young males at my farm now that the owner is willing to sell at an extremely low price. The one male was bottle fed for a short while and will come up to you. He still doesn't want to be hugged but if you lean down and "put your face out" he will come over and smell noses with you.
  6. Dec 8, 2009
    Ninny

    Ninny Ridin' The Range

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    If i was ready for them i would so be interested in him. Im still trying to win the hubby over to alpacas idea though. Do they like ponds? We have a small one.
  7. Dec 8, 2009
    ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Alpaca Master

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    You would need to fence them off from the pond. They will drink from it but they will also poop and pee in it. For some reason alpacas poop and pee when they are in water.

    In the summertime I put out little kiddie pools for the alpacas but I have to change the water at least once a day because one of the alpacas will poop or pee in it.
  8. Dec 13, 2009
    foxish

    foxish Exploring the pasture

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    I've looked at sheep before; we just don't have room for them. Merino sheep provide awesome wool, and Jacob sheep are just frickin' COOL. Angora goats are wonderful if you like mohair; it doesn't felt like wool does, that can be either a pro or a con for you. If you want to conserve animals-per-space, you might consider little guys, like miniature sheep (babydolls, or miniatures of whatever breed you like, it seems like there are miniatures of most breeds), or Pygoras, which is a breed developed by crossing Pygmy goats and Angora goats.

    Angora rabbits are great family pets, but they're certainly higher maintenance than goats and sheep, since they need so much grooming.
  9. Feb 4, 2010
    Ohioann

    Ohioann Just born

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    Hi, I'm new here but have had fiber animals for years. We have 2 Shetland sheep wethers now that we use for wool production. Shetland wool is soft and great to spin and since the breed is small the boys are easy to handle. With no females or intact males we don't have to worry about breeding, birthing, etc. I imagine you could do the same with rabbits, fiber goats or camalids. If you have a good supply of hay you don't need to have a large area but they do enjoy having room to roam. If you are going to raise your own fiber make sure you have access to a shearer. It's hard to find a shearer who will do small herds at a reasonalbe rate. Some people shear their own animals but not something I enjoy. The best thing to do is to find a spinners and weavers guild in your area. I belong to 2 and members ofen have fiber for sale so there is a great variety available.
  10. Jan 20, 2011
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl Ridin' The Range

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    i'm new to fibers too. actually i'm about to buy my first fiber animals and teach myself to do all the steps.
    i'm about to buy a few angora goats. if you want fiber animals but don't want to breed you could get some angora goat wethers. the mohair gets thick faster then on does but slower then on bucks (and it won't stink). but you get more mohair on a wether becuase it doesn't use any energy on breeding or growing a baby or making milk for a baby or go into heat. and no babies... which is good if you don't want them.
    good luck!

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