a Suri Farm, ltd.

Fine Peruvian Alpacas in the Heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country!

Dennis Balbac & Monica Kline
1864 Mount Zion RoadMyerstown, PA 17067
717-514-0022
717-991-9420

A Routine Day

Life on the Farm

Date: 03/22/05
Life on the Farm
Our days begin as the sun rises and we greet these wonderful animals with which we share our lives. Mornings are a peaceful time at a Suri Farm, ltd. Cheech and Chong, the barn kitties run out to greet Dennis as he heads up the hill on his morning commute to work … in the barn. The alpacas run to the barn eagerly anticipating “chow time.” Most days, the morning feeding requires less then an hour to put out the feed and refresh the hay and water in each barn.
... Full article >


Accoyo

The name “Accoyo” refers to an Alpaca that has been bred at Estancia Accoyo in Peru. In the United States, the name Accoyo refers to an alpaca imported from Estancia or to a direct descendant of an import from Estancia Accoyo. An alpaca is considered pure or “full” Accoyo if its parents are both pure Accoyo.

Accoyo alpaca are highly desirable because of the meticulous breeding program established by Don Julio Barreda at his Estancia Accoyo ranch in Peru. His animals have become world famous ... Full article >


Alpaca Supply and Demand

Date: 01/11/05

The supply and demand of alpacas has been moderated by the effects of relatively slow herd growth. In 1994, the population of registered alpacas in the United States was only 5,368. In 2004, that number had grown to around 70,000. In 2007, the count was just under 128,000. It’s important to note that it is the responsibility of the breeder to notify the Alpaca Registry, Inc. of the death of any registered alpaca so it can be removed from the national registered herd count. That doesn’t always ha... Full article >


Alpacas in 2008 Farm Bill

A momentous goal was reached for the alpaca industry during this year’s National Conference. While many of us were celebrating in Sandy, Utah, our farm businesses were being improved and positively impacted miles and miles away. And we didn’t realize that we had something much greater to celebrate than any show ring ribbon or championship banner. In Washington, D.C. on Thursday May 22, Congress enacted into law the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 – better known as the Federal Farm Bill... Full article >


Body Scoring

Date: 01/12/05
Alpaca owners have to do many things to improve or maintain the health of their herd. The basics include providing clean water, fresh hay and fertile pastures. In addition to that, many farmers provide an alpaca chow filled with vitamins and nutrients geared toward our South American Camelids. We also like to provide mineral mixes, top dressings on feed and lactation supplements. All of this is done with the best of intentions to improve the health and fleece quality of our alpac... Full article >


FIRST IMPRESSION

The Importance of Your Farm Name, Logo and Website

We all know the importance of a good first impression. And the alpaca business is filled with wonderful examples of both good and not-so-good examples. As you enter this new and exciting industry, you should consider several things beyond the quality of the alpacas you purchase.

We encourage you to search the web and publications such as Alpacas magazine and the AOBA Farm and Ranch Guide for examples of what others have done. It is not possible to visit every alpaca farm in the United States... Full article >


Get Your Money for Nothin' and Your 'Pacas for Free

Well, not exactly, but it IS a pretty good deal!

What happens when a visionary Secretary of Agriculture gets together to brainstorm with the Department of Community and Economic Development? A loan program is born that can be described as nothing short of brilliant for the farming industry in the Commonwealth! That’s right; in Pennsylvania $100 million has been set aside for low interest loans to grow agribusiness – and ALPACA FARMS QUALIFY!

A few years ago, PA Secretary of Agriculture Dennis Wolff had an idea. His goal was to offer Pennsyl... Full article >


History of Alpaca Fiber

Date: 01/12/05
Suri fleece is comprised of high-luster fiber and drapes down the animal’s body in a twisted or flat form. It is highly desirable in the fiber market and commands a premium price in the range of four to six dollars per ounce. Hand spinners admire the fleece for its durability and its ease at accepting color through dying. The fashion industry desires Suri fleece because it has the softness of cashmere, the luster of silk and the featherweight and warmth of goose down. Suri fleece... Full article >


Our First Cria

Do you remember this line from the classic film Gone With the Wind? If not, it went like this –
Prissy: Is the doctor come?
Scarlett: No, he can’t come.
Prissy: Oh, Miss Scarlett, Miss Melanie’s bad off.
Scarlett: He can’t come, there’s nobody to come. Prissy, you’ve got to manage without the doctor, I’ll help you.
Prissy: Oh, lawsy, Miss Scarlett.
Scarlett: Well, what is it?
Prissy: Lawsy, we got to have a doctor, I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ babies!

Well, Prissy could’... Full article >


Paris Sights!

C'mon, be honest, if I really titled this important article 'Parasites' as it should be, would you have clicked on it ... I didn't think so ... but if you have alpacas or are interested in getting alpacas, you really need to learn about different parasites and the things available to control them.

The first thing you need to come to terms with is that the world is full of internal and external parasites and so is your farm. It is impossible to totally eliminate parasites but what you must do ... Full article >


Suri Alpacas

Date: 01/12/05
Suri Alpacas are the rare type of alpaca and represent only about four percent of the world population of alpacas. Suri account for nearly ten percent of the North American alpaca population and experts in the industry doubt that the percentage will increase making the Suri a rare and valuable, long-term investment.

Suri Alpacas are distinguished in the camelid family because of their unique fleece characteristics. The fiber grows parallel to the body while hanging in long, se... Full article >


The Alpacas are Coming

Imagine if you will the panic that spread through New England, late in the night, as Paul Revere made that fateful ride warning everyone in the countryside about the impending onset of British troops…now you know what it feels like in the days preceding the delivery of your first alpacas! It is a very real and not so uncommon emotion. I don’t wish to downplay what can be one of the most anxious times in your life. But I’m here to tell you - there is no need to panic and certainly no need to take... Full article >


The Breeding Process

Breeding is priority number one at a Suri Farm, ltd. Whether it is the reproductive health of our dams or the selection of the appropriate herdsire, we take great care in planning for the breeding process.

Every breeder should consider these things BEFORE the actual process, and it is a process, takes place:

The reproductive history of the dam and herdsire;
The time of year at which the birth of the cria will occur;
The veterinary care necessary throughout the breeding, pregnancy and bir... Full article >


Value of Owning

We’ll begin this section with a question – when’s the last time you hugged your 401k? Okay, how about your entire stock portfolio? Your broker? Take some time to read about the value of owning alpacas and you will see why some folks refer to them as the investment you can hug.

Alpaca breeders, regardless of farm size, can expect to harvest and sell fleece and sell quality offspring profitably. But, the sale of quality breeding stock is the basis of the current North American alpaca industry a... Full article >


Who Owns Alpacas

Owners/breeders come from all walks of life. We’re pretty sure if you queried the AOBA membership you’d find a butcher, a baker and an honest-to-God candlestick maker. An issue of Alpacas Magazine highlighted a former rock band member, former Mayor, former military member and a former horse jockey. We say “former” for all of these because they are all now full time alpaca farmers.

More and more, alpacas are providing an important source of income for those willing to invest in the alpaca life... Full article >


William's Friendly Spirit Thrives with Pennsylvania Alpaca Farmers

I am quite sure that William Penn would've been an alpaca farmer. I am sure of this because, the more Pennsylvania alpaca farmers I meet, the more I realize that William Penn's "Holy Experiment" is alive and well nearly 326 years after the Charter of Pennsylvania was written. Let me explain ... first about Penn and then about the alpacas.

William Penn was a member of the Society of Friends, otherwise referred to as the Quakers. To put it mildly and meaning no offense, Willy and his Friends ma... Full article >