Suridipity Ranch

Where your alpaca "happenstance" begins!

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

How much space do I need to own alpacas?

Our crias starting to eat hay

Our crias starting to eat hay

This question is one of the most asked questions when I am showing or meeting new folks about alpacas. Surprisingly, alpacas do not need much space. Depending on the amount of grass and hay supplement you will feed, you can fit 10-15 alpacas in an acre. When that number is maximized, please be aware that you will have to supplement your feed with good quality hay and with some added alpaca pellets for treats.

The fantastic thing is that alpacas do not eat a lot of grass like cows and horses. According to the Alpaca Owner's Association guidelines, they only eat two pounds per 125 pounds of body weight per day! That is not much at all considering the average alpaca weighs 150-180 lbs. Their digestive tracts are so efficient that 2-3 lbs of hay is all they need in a day's worth of eating. I can recall during the 2017 winter I had 12 pregnant mothers who took 3 days to eat a 65 lb bale of hay! (A great tip is to purchase only second cuttings to maximize nutrition with less waste)

So there you have it! Alpacas do not need a lot of space and they do not need a lot of feed. As long as you can provide great quality hay, shelter, fresh water, and ample space they will be happy. A great fact to note is that alpacas do not poop everywhere like cows or horses. They choose a community poop spot and the whole herd defecates only in that area alone, so clean up is a breeze since it's all in one spot. This makes for a cleaner enclosure!

If you have further questions I would suggest you visit the Alpaca Owner's Association website. They have an alpaca academy link to help you understand alpacas even more. They even have a frequently asked question section! The link is posted below. Feel free to copy and paste. And as always, we are happy to show you and help you learn more about alpacas in any way we can. Email us, call us, or schedule a ranch visit and we can help you hands on! We do offer boarding for your alpaca if you feel that you do not have sufficient room. We will take care of them for you and you are free to visit your friend anytime! We are not far from Castle Rock and Parker and only 40 minutes drive from Denver, Colorado.

We hope to talk to you soon!

http://www.alpacainfo.com/academy/about-alpacas
Mel giving Taylor some grain as treats

Mel giving Taylor some grain as treats

During shearing with Rolling Plains Ranch

During shearing with Rolling Plains Ranch


Friday, August 3, 2018

Cria season is at full swing!

Bebop at 4 weeks old

Bebop at 4 weeks old

It is now August 2018 and the last of our suri alpaca crias have all been born! The summer season is well underway and we are excited to welcome four baby alpaca girls to Suridipity Ranch. Our first baby comes from Mont Alejandro (sire) and Hip-Hop (dam), who we aptly named Bebop after her mother. She definitely is the fastest growing girl on the ranch. At 4 weeks she is now 40lbs!

Our second girl is also a Mont Alejandro (sire) baby, with Bella Bianca as the dam. We named her D.Va after one of our favorite characters in Overwatch. She definitely is a sweetheart and is probably the tamest of the four girls that we have. She is lustrious and has fine fibers throughout.

The third cria on the ranch was born from Pines Edge Kanui (sire) and Zenyatta (dam). We named her Ellesmera (Ellie) after one of our favorite books, Eragon. This girl light fawn girl resembles her dad with a fawn line across her neck. She is definitely a winner with gorgeous locks and thick fiber right out of the womb!

Last but not least, our fourth cria from Young Josef (sire) and Lennoxx (dam) is a beautiful light fawn girl that was born right before a thunderstorm! With fawn ears and light fawn fiber, we are excited to see how she will do in the show ring! We named her Galadriel (Gal) after a favorite elven character in Tolkien's books.

And there you have it, our show ring girls for 2019! Wish us luck this coming show season! And if you are in the Denver, Castle Rock, Elizabeth, Kiowa, or Parker area, feel free to give us a call to see these girls. We are situated in Elizabeth, Colorado and about a 40 minute drive from the downtown Denver area. These beautiful suri alpacas will be here playing in the pasture, ready to meet you. Schedule a ranch visit with us today!

D.Va at 3 weeks

D.Va at 3 weeks

Ellie looking photogenic at almost 2 weeks!

Ellie looking photogenic at almost 2 weeks!

Gal 7 days old smiling for the camera

Gal 7 days old smiling for the camera


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Check us out at The Fence Post!

We made it to the papers! The Fence Post covers agriculture news and information to better your life. Covering Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and the country. Check out their article covering the Great Western Stock Show 2018! Our alpacas recently won the show and we are totally excited about it!

https://www.thefencepost.com/news/alpaca-ranchers-show-off-breeding-at-national-western-stock-show/

Want to see alpacas up close? Schedule a ranch visit! Want to see the difference between huacaya and suri fiber? Visit us! Maybe you have been thinking about getting your own alpaca? We would love to help you on your journey. We offer free mentorship and will help you through the whole process! Our alpacas come from championship genetics and are trained to halter and be handled. Ask about our available alpacas for sale!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Surprise win at the Great Western Stock Show!

Back at the stalls. We were super excited!

Back at the stalls. We were super excited!

When our sweet Violet Sky won reserve championship at the ABR Fall Festival Alpaca Show 2017, we thought hey why not try for the Great Western Stock Show? This annual livestock show is located in the heart of Denver, Colorado every January. We decided to bring along her brother, Persuit's Del Marco, because we had room in the stall for another male. We partnered up with Rolling Plains Ranch ( www.rollingplainsranch.com) to reserve stall space in the show because we are such a small ranch!

We had a wonderful time at the show. We saw different cattle ranches battle it out on the show for the best bred cows and bulls. We saw perfect show llamas duel it out on performance and halter. When it came time for the alpaca show, I thought that even if we don't win, it still is a great experience to be here. Much to our surprise, Violet Sky and Del Marco both won color championships! Last but not least, our Kobe baby Asuna won second in her class!

We were invited to attend the grand championship that would enable all the color champions to go against each other. This show ran late in the evening when all the champions were chosen. When it came down to it, the judges chose BOTH Violet Sky and her brother Del Marco as Grand Champions of the Great Western Stock Show 2018!!!

We were thrilled! What a way to start the new year! Unfortunately for new alpaca owners like us, we were unprepared for the attention afterwards. We had limited business cards to give and we had no marketing materials to give out whatsoever. Newbie alpaca owner problems! That's something that we definitely have to work on for the next show. No more empty un-decorated stalls from now on!

We want to thank our mentor Hillary from Shambalah Alpacas (www.shambalahalpaca.com) and Jen at Triple H Ranch (www.openherd.com/farms/4135/triple-h-ranch) for the great mentorship and training. We wouldn't be here without them, as well as the supportive alpaca owners around the Denver area who have taken us under their wing when we needed advice and support. Please check out Alpaca Breeders of the Rockies. They are the best alpaca organization we know!

If you want to know more about alpacas and how to get started, give us a call! We will teach you everything we know. Best part is that we are also still learning. It's great to know that with the right support, you too can start a very successful alpaca adventure! If you want to schedule a visit to the ranch to see the champions that's great too, we definitely can fit you into the schedule. Talk to you soon!
Violet (left) winning her color championship, with Asuna (right) at second place

Violet (left) winning her color championship, with Asuna (right) at second place

Marco winning his color championship

Marco winning his color championship

Our awards for the whole show!

Our awards for the whole show!


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Weaning our first babies...whew time flies by!

The babies hanging by the fence humming in protest

The babies hanging by the fence humming in protest

Today would mark the first infamous "weaning day" at Suridipity Ranch. Three of the four babies were ready weight-wise to start their own alpaca journey away from the their mothers. Surprisingly, the babies (also known as cria) were fantastic and didn't cry as much as I had thought they would! Once they found out where the yummy hay was, they immediately dove in and spent most of the day munching their favorite blades of grass.

Looking back, from when they were just little newborns trying to stand, and me running back and forth from the house like a crazy madman trying to get supplies ready; I can definitely say that we've grown quite a bit also. We moved to our country home in Elizabeth about 35 minutes south of Denver Colorado, in February 2017. Our first pair of alpacas came in the end of March 2017, and we added another female in April. We thought these three pregnant females would be it for a couple of years. Little did we know that in May we would be blessed with purchasing a new herd of 5 pregnant females and 2 males. So instead of two crias, we would be expecting five! Our alpaca journey went from 0-100 mph in a span of 3 months!

Our very FIRST cria, Tootsie Roll gave us a scare when she could not nurse or stand within her first hour. To our dismay, she was so weak and lethargic by the second hour that we thought she would pass away. Thanks to our wonderful mentors, and Dr. Balch we were able to give her enough milk and colostrum to help her get stronger during those first 4 days via feeding tube. Now she's one of the crias that we are weaning. If you are wondering, I sweated and stressed during each of the following cria births after that!

I can tell you that having alpacas will be one of the most rewarding and stressful endeavors you can have in life (similiar to kids probably eh?). Seeing these newly-weaners (is that even a word haha) has made me realize how blessed I am to spend each day with these beautiful animals. Their antics and soft demeanor gives me such great stress relief that I find myself just watching them for hours and not even know how much time has flown by. Now let's hope that these cria feel the same way about being away from their mothers these next few months!





Our babies have all grown up!

Our babies have all grown up!

Tootsie Roll 2 days old with feeding tube

Tootsie Roll 2 days old with feeding tube

Toby at 1 month

Toby at 1 month