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Tierra Prometida Alpaca Ranch

....a promise for the future

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A little Alpaca History

Alpacas 101: A Little History by Kern Deschner
In the early 1800’s, entrepreneurs were exporting sheep wool from Peru to the British textile mills. The importers in Portsmouth became fascinated with the incredible material used to make the sacks for shipping the wool. They found the source to be alpacas high in the Andes. Since the South Americans used most of the alpaca fiber, the little that was allowed for Europe was highly treasured and started a high-end fabric industry still growing t

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Are You All In?

March 24th was a beautiful day at the ranch for our open house! Rhonda said to be sure and send her thanks to the many visitors and new friends that braved the hillside road and were rewarded with a perfect day with the alpacas. The alpacas were in a good mood and full fleece. Rhonda’s incredible trophy haul from all the championships at the Houston Livestock Show decorated the barn, and our son kept the pastures, and therefore everyone’s shoes, clean. There wasn’t even any “spit”!
My f

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Breeding with Purpose

Rational Breeding Decisions:
First of all, thanks to all those who visited the ranch over the holiday break! The weather was great and the babies friendly. If you missed your chance, we still have lots of friendly alpacas that are camera hams. Just let us know ahead of time so we can be sure to have a guide available.
By the time this goes to print, we will have completed the alpaca seminar on February 2-3rd. Three world class alpaca judges agreed to come to our ranch to educate a

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Cooling Down Heats Things Up!


For three months, it’s been too hot for alpacas to want to have a baby (cria) or even to breed. When cooler weather arrives, they become much more interested in being active, including breeding!
Since cooler weather is the best time for birthing, and alpaca pregnancies conveniently last a year, we will soon be starting to have our fall crop of cria, a very cute time! Alpacas mom’s (dams) are re-bred within a month of delivery so we will also soon be starting the breeding season. We

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I Felt That

I Felt That!
I felt that! As a physician, those are words I hope not to hear when treating a patient. However, those words take on a much more positive implication when they apply to working with alpaca fiber. I have written about alpaca yarn, fabric, and even rugs, but have not yet mentioned one of the easiest and most artistic ways to work with alpaca fiber: felting!
Felting is the process of intentionally tangling the fiber to form a solid mat. There is “wet felting” usually do

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Let's Talk about The Quechua Benefit

Today, instead of talking about Tierra Prometida Alpaca Ranch, I want to tell you a little about the people who brought us the alpaca...the people who have been caring for them and arranging their lives around these amazing animals for centuries: the Quechua people.

The Quechua speaking people were the "Incan Empire". With the conquest by Pizarro and the decimation of the population by Small Pox, the Inca retreated into the mountains- the altiplano of the Andes. It was here where t

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More about Alpacas

Alpacas: Part 2 in the Series
Raising alpacas and using their fiber continues to be a growing industry in the United States although the growth has been slowed by the economy, pretty much like everything else. Unlike many other livestock industries that have completely collapsed, the alpaca industry continues its gradual growth because of the intrinsic value of alpacas as livestock and of their fleeces. One good side of these economic times is that alpacas have become much more affordabl

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Now...what?

Around April 1, we sheared nearly 1/3 of a ton of alpaca fleece, and that is no April fool’s joke! Each of the fleeces were placed individually in plastic bags and put in a barn store room to be sorted later. Through May and June, we were off on the road to alpaca shows. Now, however, comes the time to chase the snakes and scorpions out of the store room, and settle down to figure out how each fleece will be used.
The easiest choice is picking the fleeces that will go to competition, set

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On the Road...Again!

It’s Show Time, so It’s On The Road Again!
When I was a kid growing up in Corpus, everything was far away. It was a big deal to drive to Houston. El Paso might as well have been on the moon. Little did I know that my perception was reversed . . . the world is not a long way from Corpus as much as Corpus is a long way from the world! Now, Corpus fans, don’t get upset about that . . . I love CC and part of me will always think of it as home . . . but we didn’t get out much.
Since we

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The Summer Doldrums in Texas

Now Comes the Quiet Time
Summer has arrived at Tierra Prometida Alpaca Ranch. The shows are over, the trailer is parked, and the show materials stored. The alpaca cria (babies) are born, shearing is done, and it’s getting too hot for even the stud males to be interested in breeding. In the cool of the mornings, and twilight, the alpacas wander around the pastures while the cria stretch their legs with group races. During the days, the trees make great shade. We have had some rain so th

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Why Alpacas?

Like the old song says, with alpacas, to know them is to love them! We have never had a ranch visitor that left our ranch not wishing they could take some home. That being said, taking home livestock means accepting some degree of work and expense, and potential new owners always have a lot of questions. We are always ready to answer.
One of the most common questions asked about alpacas is “What do you do with them?”, and the corollary, “How can you make money doing this?”. Throughout t

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Why....Winter Births in Texas?

Winter is a good time to be an alpaca. Finally some relief from the heat, and the alpacas could not be happier! They are in full fleece with only a month before show season, and only four months before shearing time. They are energized by the cold. While the moms watch, the excited babies run laps around the pastures, kind of their version of alpaca NASCAR. On a day so icy that the humans just huddle inside, the alpacas are practically bouncing in the pasture. They are made for this season

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Wrapping Up 2012


Last month, Rhonda wrote an article about her favorite charitable cause, the Quechua Benefit. As I write this December article, it is still November, and she is still in Peru, where spring is coming. Rhonda is the medical director for a crew of providers that are caring for the Quechua natives of Peru who live high in the Andes, often above 15,000 feet. This medical team goes once a year, helping as they can with the resources available, and trying to make a difference in the lives of t

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The Fiscal Cliff


In December, our alpaca moms delivered to us some of the best babies we have ever had. Rhonda’s careful attention to breeding, health, and nutrition in our alpacas has led to a cria crop that should do spectacularly well in next year’s shows. With the colder weather, the alpacas are their most active and happy. The babies get together and have pronking races around the pastures. It’s hilarious to watch. Some of these babies are healthy and beautiful, but will not be up to Rhonda’s exact

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I'm not very good at blogging....

I guess I just don't get it. Why would anyone take the time to write down their random thoughts for no one in particular. No one may ever even read what you write...so why bother? Is it the whole process of letting of steam and venting? Or is it like talking to yourself...except in ink? And if so...do you really want just anyone reading it? Hmmm. I can understand keeping a journal; I just wouldn't want to share it with everyone.
Maybe it is an effective release for those individuals

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The Spring Harvest--April 2012

Alpaca Fiber: The Spring Harvest
Not much of a winter this year. I am going to have left-over kerosene that the greenhouse didn’t need. The fire ants are already figuring out that the winter was short, warm, and damp. At least I don’t fret over the dandelions out here on the ranch. Actually, I kind of admire the fact that they are early risers, up and at ‘em.
Our ranch is the “early riser” for the most intense season in the alpaca world, the shearing season. Yup, like the wave of b

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Auction Excitement! The Priority Auction, 2012

I am sitting at the auction hall at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas and some of our alpacas will soon be going on the auction block. Elvis is on stage showing an alpaca right now and he is doing pretty darn well!
Las Vegas has colored lights everywhere. Earlier today, previewing the alpacas to be auctioned also reveals every color that alpacas may show. White, black, grey, “rose” grey and every shade of brown. This is color that goes through the fiber, to the core, and is a natural,

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AAA Futurity....here we come!

We are on the to the Futurity in Grand Island Nebraska!
Yesterday we left at about 9am and headed due north on I-35. On board, we have Jenny Thompson, my trusty ranch manager and friend, Harriet Neubauer, a friend and relatively new alpaca breeder, myself....and TP Poseidon's Gladiator, TP Poseidon's Isaac's Journey, TP Poseidon's Isaac's U2, Tierra's XXXSTACy, TP Poseidon's Elin, TP Poseion's Rose, Matrix Serenity, Snowmass Winter Kiss, and Matrix Serentiy's Scarlet. We have high hopes

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The End of March already? Really?

Wow! This year seems to be zipping by! We are shearing starting tomorrow and by Saturday should be done and everyone will be shorn except for our show string. I can't wait to get my hands into all of those TP Poseidon's Motivator's babies fleeces! Too bad that they won't be old enough to show until fall...I can't wait.

We will be heading off to the Futurity in a couple of weeks and then The Great Western Show and Nationals.
Then my son Mark will be graduating from High School

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