Carrageen Suri Alpacas LLC

Serious about Suris

John and Carol Furman
82 West Gray RoadGray, ME 04039
207-653-1144
207-653-1759

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Carrageen Alpacas is growing!

Our Roth has been very busy. After ultrasounds on Sept. 22, we have 6 confirmed pregnancies! Our Jasmine, Ciara, Chipita, Domino, Tyra and Jackee-O are all due to deliver next August or September. Roth is an excellent herdsire and we hope to carry on the Crown Royale tradition of excellence.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

We're breeding at Carrageen Alpacas!

Well we're finally able to do breeding here at Carrageen. What with the breedings, field tests and ultrasounds we are pretty busy. But what an exciting time it is.
We have Bred our herdsire Roth to our Tyra, JackeeO, Jasmine, Ciara, Jungle Rose, Lily Rose, Chipeta and Domino.
Roth was sired by the great Sweetbriar Farm's Crown Royale. Crown Royale was one of the great show winners, a stunning alpaca with great presence and personality. These traits have certainly come through in Roth. What a sweet boy he is!

Friday, August 24, 2012

All of the hay is in the barn!

What a relief to know that we have plenty of hay for our alpacas. The final 200 bales of our hay arrived yesterday! In an hour it was up in the loft. It was a hot day, hot work, but well worth the effort. We are mixing it with what we have left over from last year so that the alpacas can gradually get used to it.We feel very fortunate to have such good hay already.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hay in the Barn!

It's always exciting around this time of year at Carrageen Alpacas. We like to have our hay in the barn and not have to worry about that aspect of our life. However the dealer we used last year was not available!
So...to the internet I went and located a dealer a half hour away. Last week over half the order arrived...230 bales. Depending on the weather we'll be getting the remaining 200 soon.
We feel much better now! Good for another year....

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A rainy night at Carrageen Alpacas

Wow....did it rain last night! Out of a deep sleep at 2AM to hear thunder, see lighting and listen to rain POUNDING on the roof. Needless to say sections of our pasture look like ponds. Thankfully...no poop in the barn! The alpacas looked a bit sleepier than normal during chores this morning.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Jim Barker

It is with sadness that I write about the passing of a friend. To those of you who knew Jim, you know what kind of person he was. For those of you who didn't you should try to learn more. You can go to www.Brown-Forward.com and read a wonderful obituary about him.
Our foundation herd here at Carrageen Alpacas is built on Jim's animals. We have purchased 6 animals from Sweetbriar Farm and have had 5 offspring from them. The Crown Royale line that he produced is one of the finest in the country. Jim's many show ribbons are proof of that.
Jim was a lovely man with a quick mind, a wonderful sense of humor and one of the hardest working people I have ever met. He was always there for us to answer questions, provide support and to help us out in a multitude of ways. As president of the Suri Network, he advanced the cause of alpacas across the country. He was very active in youth skiing activities in Ohio and a great husband to his wife Gini and father to his 3 daughters.
To those of us in the alpaca community, this is a real loss.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Keeping the barn area clean and fresh

Sanitation around and in the barn is very important. Regular cleaning of animal waste and dirt not only helps keep the alpacas healthy, but it also shows visitors that you care and take pride in your operation.
At Carrageen Alpacas we do a complete poop cleaning ( barn and pasture) at least 3 times a day.
For in barn clean up (which we hope does not happen, but inclement weather can force the animals into the barn and....well...accidents happen) we pick up the poop, sweep the floor and use "Stall-Dry" for urine control. Also automatic waterers are cleaned, they should be as clean for the alpacas as they would be for humans.
For paddock area cleaning, we sweep up the poop and use a product called "Equine Pine"
for control of urine odor. This is a great product as it absorbs very well and leaves a fresh pine smell.
Being vigilant about keeping a clean area for your alpacas cannot be overemphasized. It actually can be fun!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Daily observation can prevent future problems

After the morning chores are completed, we at Carrageen Alpacas spend the next hour or so just watching our herd. We study each animal to make sure that there are no problems. We watch to make sure that their gait is normal, that there are no wounds or abcesses, and that they are eating as they should.
Crias are checked to make sure that they are nursing well and that they are in good spirits.
Sometimes all the above are ok but there is something about a particular animal that doesn't seem right. This is where being knowledgeable of each animal's personality is important. For example, an alpaca that is normally active and curious may separate from the rest of the herd and act lethargic. Being vigilant about paying attention to your alpacas can prevent health problems from developing into more serious conditions.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Touch Your Alpacas

Alpacas are naturally flight animals. Some of your alpacas will be less likely to move away when you approach them while others will run if you make even the slightest movement toward them.
If you want to be able to handle your alpacas well you need to touch them every day.This can be a stroke on the neck, a pat on the butt or simply putting out a hand and have them approach you.
Developing trust of humans can be difficult for some alpacas. Patience and regular attention on your part will help ease this. We have a wonderful girl who was extremely skittish for the first 2 years that we had her. Over the last few months she has become much more affectionate. We have made sure to give her that extra bit of attention each day. While not quite as "huggable" as some others that we have, she is much calmer and easier to work with than ever. This is a big help on herd health day.
Alpacas are very easy to care for compared to other animals. Take advantage of this. Get to to know each one. Talk to them and let them feel your kind touch every day.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Alpaca Health- Weight and Body Scoring

Alpacas need to be evaluated on a regular basis. Because they have such wonderful fleece, health problems can be masked.
Here at Carrageen Suri Alpacas in Maine, we designate the first weekend of every month to herd health. Each animal is weighed and body scored. For those of you not familiar with body scoring, the thumb and index finger are placed against the animal about 6 inches behind the withers. We use a 1 to 5 system, 1 being too thin, 5 being too fat. Our goal is a score of 3. If your fingers are too close together, that is a 1, too far apart is a 5.
Weight is recorded and measured against the last month's weighing. Any dramatic loss of weight ( more than 5 lbs.) requires that a fecal test be done to determine the possible cause of the weight loss.
Newborn crias are weighed every day for the first ten days. Weight gain should be 1/4 to 1 pound per day. After this period we weigh them every week for 3 months.
Also while we are weighing the animals, eyes are checked for any abnormalities and the body is checked for any wounds that may have occurred.
By being vigilant and having these regular health sessions, your alpaca will enjoy good health and a long life.