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SWAG Newsletter July 2013. - · PDF file 2017-12-21 · SWAG Newsletter No. 54 1 SWAG Newsletter July 2013. Dear fellow SWAG members, Thank you for reading this newsletter, remember

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  • SWAG Newsletter No. 54 1

    SWAG Newsletter July 2013.

    Dear fellow SWAG members,

    Thank you for reading this newsletter, remember it is your newsletter for your benefit. If you

    have anything which may be of value to fellow alpaca breeders please let me know and I can

    include it in the next issue.

    I have just been outside in the sweltering heat of the morning carrying out some ‘spitting off’

    and whilst I was wrestling with an ever more exasperated stud male I was thinking about

    something I heard last year. What brought it to mind is that 12 out of the 13 females I ran past

    the male this morning ‘spat off’, but only one did in fact ‘spit’.

    Luckily for the male, one female sat and he was able to calm himself down and get on with

    what he is supposed to do.

    Last year someone told me that they had been ‘spitting off’ and that it took ages for some

    females to spit off. After gently enquiring as to their method it was revealed that some of these

    females were kept in the pen being chased around until they did actually spit!

    Most of the females that I ‘spat-off ‘ this morning didn’t even get as far as going in the pen with

    the male. I know how my girls react and behave because I watch them closely. The females

    don’t need to actually spit. It is obvious in most cases, if you watch for the signs carefully,

    when a female is rejecting the males advances. The ears go back, she starts looking for a way

    out, she starts trying to get away, she may scream and maybe she will spit.

    I am not trying to teach people to suck eggs I suspect that the vast majority of readers fully

    understand ‘spitting off’ but if this article can help one person to carry out ‘spit offs’ a bit more

    effectively then it is job done.

    Now come on, don’t just sit there, start thinking about a useful contribution for the next issue.

    Thank you. Mark Steele (Newsletter editor)

  • SWAG Newsletter No. 54 2


    “A breed society run by show people is doomed to failure”

    This quote by Louis de Neuville* (1930-2013), who has been described as a giant amongst

    cattle breeders, is a warning and recognises that breed societies and their affiliates need to

    serve their members across the broad spectrum of breeding, keeping of animals and

    marketing of product.

    It is 20 years since I became involved with Alpacas and the breed in this country has changed

    considerably since the first arrival from Chile in 1995. The show ring has acted as a spur for

    improvement and the results are for all to see. With the improvement of the animal has come a

    fledgling fibre industry which all members actually participate in with the selling of their fleece. I

    suggest we need to get more professional in handling fleece that means for the most part just

    doing the job properly which in turn means sticking to a few basic rules. SWAG will continue to

    play a part in encouraging breeders and keepers to improve their returns.

    Health is another area that constantly needs attention. Diseases are not static and there is

    forever something around the corner. How times have changed. Look at the consultation Defra

    has put out on a Strategy for Establishing Freedom from bovine TB over the next 25 years.

    The word Camelids appears throughout the document. It gives Camelids the opportunity to

    help shape the fight against the disease alongside the farming community over the next 25

    years. We can no longer say we are being ignored as both BAS and BLS are in the front line

    as named consultees. The consultation ends on 23rd. September and comments on the

    document should be forwarded to the Breed secretary. I am very happy to discuss and put on

    paper if that would be helpful.

    Nutrition will be another area SWAG hope to tackle with a vet’s day later this year. A few

    examples of how SWAG sees the picture. In conclusion please come to the SWAG Autumn

    Show and bring some alpacas. It is SWAG’s show open to all members, novices especially

    welcome. We are aiming to have lots of fleece buyers, mills plus equipment, feed and farm

    suppliers to alpaca keepers, lots of interesting people to talk to.

    *Louis de Neuville is widely regarded as the man who saved the Limousin breed in France and went on to establish Limousin breeding programmes across the world. His passion for and dedication to the Limousin breed helped ensure that the Limousin is bred to the very highest of standards in numerous countries worldwide.

    Richard Beale (Chairman, South West Alpaca Group)

  • SWAG Newsletter No. 54 3

     Colour Championship

     Entries Open 9 th

    of September / Close 23 rd


     Two show rings

     Judges: Val Fullerlove (Females) & Liz Barlow


     Entries welcome from all UK breeders

     A5 Colour brochure – advertising available

     Plentiful accommodation available locally

    For more information please contact:

    Organiser: Di Davies ([email protected])

    Advertising: Mark Steele ([email protected])

    ‘NEW’ Autumn Alpaca Show Run by SWAG at The Hand Equestrian Centre, Clevedon, N Somerset, BS21 6TG

    16th & 17th of November 2013 Everyone Welcome / Easily accessible from the M5 / Friendly atmosphere

    mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected]

  • SWAG Newsletter No. 54 4



    This ‘new’ event in the alpaca show season is aimed at alpacas arriving in the show ring in the

    best possible condition. By November it is expected that alpacas will have 5 or 6 months fleece

    growth and will be looking at their best! By having it in November it also opens up the

    possibility of showing females who would otherwise miss out due to being in the later stages of


    A full fleece show– minimum 2 inches of fibre,

    Colour championship for both Huacaya and Suri Alpacas.

    To assist breeders who specialise in a single colour there will be two rings with Liz

    Barlow judging all the male classes and Val Fullerlove all the female classes.

    The male classes will start with whites, followed by Lights, Fawns, Browns, Grey and

    Blacks. The female classes will start with Blacks, followed by Grey, Brown, Fawn, Lights

    and Whites.

    All Colour champions will be decided on Day 2, when we will also be judging Dam’s and

    Sire’s Progeny, Junior Handlers, Best British Bred and Supreme Champions.

    The Suri and Huacaya classes will be interspersed. There will be no classes for


    Entry Fee - £20 + VAT. Electricity for fans may be booked on line – cost £25 + VAT.

    Advertising opportunities in A5 show catalogue. Full page colour advert £50.

    Sponsorship opportunities - £200 will buy you a banner displayed in the main arena, a

    full page advert in the catalogue in a prominent position, acknowledgement in catalogue

    and throughout show – publicity as a sponsor on the SWAG website.

    Craft tables will be available to SWAG members for £20 providing an ideal opportunity

    to offer Christmas gifts for sale.

    The café serving food, beverages and a range of drinks will be available throughout the show.

    Overnight camping is allowed at the Hand and hook ups (electricity) can be booked through

    the Hand Equestrian Centre.

  • SWAG Newsletter No. 54 5


    In May Childerley Alpacas welcomed new and existing SWAG members to the SWAG Fibre Course.

    Chas Brooke started with an in depth look at fleece, describing different fleece characteristics, discussing positive fibre traits and what you should be breeding and aiming for. Chas also spoke of Genetics and Nutrition amongst other factors and a very coherent explanation of histograms. Lots of samples were passed around to look at closely, labelled with stats, SD’s, CV’s, SP’s, CF’s.

    Daniel Childerley demonstrated shearing, and took the opportunity to use the new skirting table, designed and hand-made by Childerley alpacas. When skirting the fleeces, Jean, Dan and Sue from the Natural Fibre Company were all on hand and gave advice.

    Jo McManus spoke of her experiences as a small breeder and offered some valuable advice.

    Jean Field gave a talk on “Getting your fleece out of the barn” and kindly brought along her Drum carder, spinning wheels and looms for those who wanted to have a go. Jean also gives advice on processing your fibre and what you can realistically achieve.

    Karen Childerley spoke about Needle felting and encouraged everyone to try it, she was really pleased as most