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Paca Talk #10–Alpacas in the News for June 26, 2009

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Welcome to Alpacas in the News, the weekly segment of Paca Talk dedicated to bringing you alpaca-related news items from around the world. I’m Maren Bradley Anderson, your host, and this is Alpacas in the News for June 26, 2009.

Alpaca Industry News

June 23, 2009

From an email from Glen Pfefferkorn on June 23.
WVLF Directors, Research Committee, Newsletter editors,
Some word is being bounced around that alpacas are very susceptible to endophyte infection from pasture and hay.  OSU [Oregon State University] researchers have done some preliminary work which shows otherwise.  I’m forwarding an email which includes a short report that was presented at the International Camelid Conference in March [2009].  I received approval to pass the info about.

———- Forwarded message ———-

Camelids, Endophyte Toxicosis, and Ryegrass Staggers

Linda L. Blythe
A.Morrie Craig
Christopher Cebra
Charles Estill

A number of cases of suspected ryegrass staggers have been reported in
the Pacific Northwest.  In addition, there are reports on the internet
of llamas developing ryegrass staggers at a show when they were housed
on turf variety grass set up in paddock.  On the same source of
information, it was stated that llamas are three times more sensitive to
lolitrem B than are cattle or sheep. To date, no studies had been
conducted on the threshold levels of lolitrem B in llamas or alpacas.
With the current analytical ability to measure lolitrem levels in
pasture grass, straw, seed, and pellets at the Endophyte Laboratory at
Oregon State University, these threshold levels can now be ascertained.
The toxic threshold level for cattle is 1800 to 2000 ppb.  An experiment
was conducted using alpacas to determine the threshold of toxicity in
this species.

Nine alpacas were divided into groups of three and feed three different
doses of lolitrem B in pelleted endophyte positive perennial ryegrass
straw (Lolium perenne L).   In adjacent pens, two 9 month old heifers
were fed the same three diets to serve as controls.  The dosages of
lolitrem B averaged 900ppb, 1270ppb, and 2700ppb.  The quantities of
feed consumed and the food left over (orts) were measured.  Calves in
this experiment developed clinical signs of ryegrass staggers at the
2700ppb dose but not the other two doses.  Alpacas consumed feed with
the two lower doses, but refused the feed containing the 2700 ppb.  No
alpacas developed any clinical signs of ryegrass staggers in this study.
These results would at least indicate that alpaca are not three times
more susceptible than cattle.

June 16, 2009

AOBA Veterinaria Forum on the AOBA website.

AOBA Veterinarian Forum.doc

David Barboza, Secretary

Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association

AOBA has formed the Emergent Health Issues Task Force and instituted a web based Veterinarian Forum.  AOBA’s Vet’s Forum is now operational and is available to any licensed Veterinarian without cost.  The emergent health issues task force is composed of Veterinarians who are developing a comprehensive health issues system within AOBA to react when National health issues occur.   The initial major objectives of the group are as follows:

  • This task force will recommend a structure for a panel of Veterinarians who will review major health issues as they emerge and make recommendations to AOBA for communication to the membership on the possible impact to the national herd and what, if any, course of action should be taken.
  • Institute a peer review process composed of Veterinarians who will review articles and information on health/husbandry issues before they are posted on the AOBA website.  This process will help to assure AOBA members that the information being posted on the website is current and accurate.
  • Create a Veterinarian forum on the AOBA website where information can be shared and discussed among Veterinarians committed to the industry as well as archived for future reference.

If you haven’t already please encourage your vet to sign up and participate in AOBA’s Vet Forum located on the web at www.alpacaowners.com.  Contact AOBA Executive Director Bill Edmunds at bill@aobamail.com for more information or if your vet would like to participate in either the Emergent Health Issues Task Force and/or the peer review panel.

Alpacas in Mainstream Media

June 22, 2009

UA students turn hobby into career
Akron Beacon Journal – Akron,OH,USA
Last year, Medina native Katie Simmons had one of the more exotic internships: the Misti International alpaca farm in Arequipa in southeastern Peru.
See all stories on this topic

..Henry is among 11 students who are studying knitting, crocheting, cross-stitch, needlepoint and embroidery at UA with an eye to jobs in those industries.

Students from [University of Akron]  UA and other universities spend three weeks on the Akron campus learning the needle arts. Then they intern for specialty yarn makers, shops, crafters and pattern makers for eight weeks in London, Montreal, rural Virginia and many points in between.

…Then they send the students out to internships, where they may be paid or may get free housing in exchange for their work.

Last year, Medina native Katie Simmons had one of the more exotic internships: the Misti International alpaca farm in Arequipa in southeastern Peru.

The trip refocused the interests of the UA graduate student from metalsmithing to alpacas. She’s doing her thesis in clothing, textiles and interiors on the Ohio alpaca industry, the largest in the United States, and plans to open a mill to process and clean alpaca fiber and spin it into yarn.

The internship ”completely changed the direction of my schooling,” she said.

Fungus sends alpacas blind

Toxins from an unidentified fungus are causing blindness in alpacas on a farm in Western Victoria.

Marnoo alpaca farmer, Tracy Krupa, says four of her alpacas have gone blind after ingesting the toxin, with three of them having to be euthanised.

She says an investigation by the Department of Primary Industries wasn’t able to find the source of the fungus.

“We had plants taken away and the DPI came up and had a look at the plants around the yards in the paddock,” she says.

“There are gum trees in the yard; [we're unsure] whether or not a fungus grows around the base of the gum trees – we just can’t identify it.”

Things that Make You Go “Hmmmm?”

June 23, 2009
Jargon Watch: Queasing, Predator X, Greenfinger
Wired News – USA
Wildly popular on YouTube, this mythical, alpaca-like creature was conjured by Chinese citizens to protest Internet censorship. Though the grass mud horse
See all stories on this topicThis is from a regular feature in Wired magazine.

Grass mud horse n. Wildly popular on YouTube, this mythical, alpaca-like creature was conjured by Chinese citizens to protest Internet censorship. Though the grass mud horse looks innocent, its Chinese name—Cao Ni Ma—sounds like “f**k your mother” in Mandarin.
Jonathon Keats (jargon@wired.com)

Farm Shout-outs

Hidden Pastures Farm, NJ Olde Lafayette Village Farmers Market begins new season on June 28
Sparta Independent – USA
Visitors can also meet an alpaca. Each Sunday, buyers can purchase fresh produce, flowers, plants, organically raised meat, eggs, goat’s milk soap, fruit,
Starlight Alpaca Ranch, Missouri SWCD hosts field trip
Hannibal.net – Hannibal,MO,USA
Ralls RII summer school students toured Curryville Fisheries and Starlight Alpaca Ranch as guests of Ralls County Soil and Water Conservation District.
See all stories on this topic
Shadow Pines Farm, Massachusetts Boston Globe 10 reasons to love South County, RI
Boston Globe – United States
“We sell alpaca products here, including scarves I make on a tabletop loom.” It’s a place you can visit informally, either by just stopping by or
See all stories on this topic
April’s Acres Alpacas, Oregon
A tour on Lane County’s Long Tom Country Trail
OregonLive.com – Portland,OR,USA
Less than a mile away –which qualifies as a next-door-neighbor out in the country –is April’s Acres Alpacas. The owner was at an alpaca sale in Nebraska,
See all stories on this topic
Don& Aline Brennan, New York
Raising llamas a labor of love
Utica Observer Dispatch – Utica,NY,USA
Llamas and alpacas were really in at that time.” She had been hoping the llamas would generate extra income, but as competition in the alpaca and llama
See all stories on this topic
Sallie’s Fen Alpacas and Profile Alpacas, Washington
Barrington Farm Tour Day
Examiner.com – USA
Tour our alpaca farm. Meet our award winning livestock and cute baby alpacas. Learn about alpacas, watch a hand spinning demo. www.sfalpacas.com #3 Yellow
See all stories on this topic
Coon Hollow Farm, Connetticut
Four Oxford Hobby Farms Welcome Public for Visits
Voices – Woodbury,CT,USA
Each will have a farmstand where people can purchase items like alpaca fiber, sheep’s wool, rovings for spinning, homemade soaps, maple syrup,
See all stories on this topic

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One Response to “Paca Talk #10–Alpacas in the News for June 26, 2009”

  1. richardquillan Says:

    I love alpaca clothing for its smoothness and low price. Your information about alpaca industries is very useful for fans like me. Thanks for sharing with us.

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