Sunday, January 08, 2006

And on his farm he had some....

I really doubt Old MacDonald would have ever had alpacas...

I've been looking into heritage/heirloom breeds of various livestock, planning my own little perfect working farm. I'd love to go the completely organic/free-range/humane route, cutting back on productivity in order to emphasize quality and good genetics. Here's what I have so far


I simply can't get these fuzzy little fibre-producers out of my head. If I ever get a farm going, Alpacas will definitely be featured. I might have to start off with something a little more orthodox, just to get my feet wet. People look at me like I'm crazy when I say I want to start an Alpaca farm... I may be a little off my rocker, but I don't need other people knowing that ;)

I think I'd like to start off with some brown Huacayas.


I'm not overly interested in raising sheep, but I find people are much more understanding if you say you want to raise sheep for their wool, rahter than Alpacas for their fibre. If I end up breeding sheep, I definitely won't be picking the usual Dorset, or Suffolk. No... I'd need a breed that stood out, a rare breed like Black Welsh Mountain, Jacob, Saoy Karukul. Maybe even Navajo Churro, Kerry Hill, Llanwenog, Teeswater, or Lincoln Longwool if I could get my hands on a breeding pair. Shetlands would be nice as well, although only rare in North America.

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of raising Shetlands. I was just reading about "rooing" which I think would be preferable to shearing, especially for handspinning.


Again, not big on the whole meat thing, but a breeding pair of Highlands or Galloways would be nice for my DH (I can't eat beef, so a calf would be a nice treat for him).


I could possibly raise some small pigs, not really interested at the moment.


I'll definitely need some draught horses to help out on the farm. I saw some promising Norsk Fjord Horses. They are simply beautiful. However, I've always wanted a giant Clydesdale, and I've heard they are becoming quite rare. This may be due in part to their expensive feed costs... Ohh - Irish Draughts are quite nice.


A couple Indian Runners to cut down on the bugs. I really don't think I could raise ducks for meat..


What farm doesn't have chickens? Of course I'd need free-range heritage chickens.. just haven't looked into it yet.

Hmmm - Scots Dumpy, Dorking, and Old English Pheasant Fowl look like good candidates


Hmmm... not too interested in goats.


Yes - I'll need a beehive... still ahven't looked into it yet.


Some nice Angoras would top off my list of fibre producing animals :)


I'm not too sure I'd raise Llamas for their fibre, but I'll definitely need a large male as a guard for the alpacas and sheep.


A large Pyranees or Komondor to help the Llama protect the herds.

I think that's it for now... I haven't gotten much further than sheep, so I'll probably update this list in a few days :)

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