Tanglewood Farm

where alpacas are a passion, not just a business

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Why I have Anatolians as livestock guardians

When I had my first four Alpacas for short time, one of my neighbors informed me that he had seen two coyotes at my locked driveway gate. That is when I started searching other farms for what they used to protect their animals. Some used Llamas, some used donkeys, and some used Great Pyrenees. I did not want to add donkeys or Llamas to my herd, and was considering Pyrs because I liked that breed at dog shows. Then I ran across a farm that had four Anatolian Shepherds as guardians for their A

Alpaca Farm Days Sept. 25 and 26

Our farm will be open to visitors for the first time this year for National Alpaca Farm Days. Hours are 11 to 5 both days, rain or shine. Admission is free, and well behaved children are always welcome, but please leave your dog at home. We will provide visitors who want to feed the Alpacas with appropriate feed and so you will have plenty of photo opportunities. Entrance to the Alpacas' pens will not be permitted. Besides the Alpacas, you will also be able to see what can be made out of th

All male herd

As planned, all of my female alpacas have now gone on to new homes, some of them close enough that I can visit them, and I have made new friends as a result of that as well. This all happened just in time, as I had to have my left knee replaced for the second time and this time, it is taking much longer to heal. The new surgeon I used, told me I was one of the "lucky ones out of 2500" to have the knee go bad. Fortunately, my farm sitter was available while I was recuperating from having a larg


I have been so busy that I have neglected posting anything to my blog for months now. As a single female farmer of ARI registered alpacas and a breeder of AKC Champion German Shepherds, it has been exceptionally difficult with the weird weather we have had. My pastures have grass growing like weeds, but I can't mow due to all the rain we have had. Every time I think about mowing, the rains start up again. I know my animals are all tired of being locked in the barn or their kennels, but I can

New crias

I had the chance to go and visit my nephew and niece and their two children in Truckee, Ca, so had my farm sitter come and take care of my animals while I was gone for two weeks. Of course, I had crias due at any time, so wrote up a list of instructions as to how to care for them, and also left the vet's number for "just in case". As I was frantically trying to get everything ready for the trip, one of them dropped her cria the day before I was to fly out, so that left just one more to come.

Snow and extreme cold

It has been, and continues to be, one of the coldest winters I can recall. I love snow, as do my alpacas, but this extreme in temperatures, has me doing things I have not had to do in a long time. I, unfortunately, left the heated water hose attached to the faucet in the barn, so there was no water to add to the tanks. As a result, I had to schlepp(a German word meaning to carry) water buckets with heated water from my kitchen to the barn, which is not an easy feat. As there was a bit of ice

injection site cyst

I have not had one of these in nearly 14 years, but last week I discovered a hard lump on the side of one of my alpaca females. I suspected it was an injections site cyst, and waited for it to erupt, then cleaned it out with warm soapy water. Got the nasty stuff out and then flushed it. It has healed nicely. and yesterday I discovered one on one of my black girls. Am waiting for it to erupt, and since tomorrow is herd health day, will deal with it then. It never fails, if it is raining, it

Clinton County Farmer's Market

We will be a vendor again at the Clinton County Farmer's Market every Saturday from 8:30 to Noon beginning June 3, 2017. Come and check us out. We have fiber from our alpacas, raw, as well as washed, carded and spun, the ever popular dryer balls, cat toys(tested and approved by my own housecats) and perhaps a handwoven rug(if time permits) also made with yarn from our animals.

There are a variety of vendors there, so you can also shop for produce, organic meats, jewelry, baked g

visitors from Germany

Yesterday I had visitors from Germany. They were long time friends of my cousins and touring with my brother who had taken them from Boston, to New York, Washington, DC and then to my farm before heading to Chicago and then Iowa. It turns out that they had visited Peru in the past, and had also taken in an alpaca farm while there. When I let them touch the fiber of one of my males(they were shorn three weeks ago, they could not believe how soft it was. The lady had purchased an alpaca shawl

Shearing Day is a success.

Well, in spite of the dire predictions of the weathermen for storms on the days scheduled for shearing, we had a great two days of nice cool weather without a drop of rain. As a matter of fact, it was so cool that I had to coat one of the crias and my two Suris. My shearers and helpers were great and we got all of the girls finished one day, then went on to finish off the boys the next. Now to process all that fiber when the weather turns warm.

New cria

On the 21st of this month we had a huge surprise in our barn, a totally black little cria male, already up and running around. As I had only bred one female last year, I was not expecting this one, so will have to do some real background searching via DNA to find out who daddy is He has gained weight each day and has made his way into the herd, leaping around and causing general havoc. Mom, also a true black, and Evander daughter, has plenty of milk and is super protective of her little guy.

Getting ready for spring and shearing

Sunshine is here today, which makes me very happy, and I know the pacas are enjoying every ray as well. It has been one historic winter, going from freezing to the upper sixties from one day to the next. I am not looking forward to the insects this summer. As soon as I can wade through the mud, I will clean out the winter mess from the barns. Had the tractor and mower serviced during the winter, so everything should be in good working order. Need to get a new seed/fertilizer spreader as the

Clinton County Farmer's Market, puppies, etc.

Be sure to visit us at the Clinton County Farmer's market where we will be set up on the first and third Saturdays of the month for the winter and spring. We will have lots of stocking stuffers for that special person on your list Dec. 3rd and 17th, so be sure to stop by between 9 and 12 and check out what products we have available for you.

Our current litter of AKC German Shepherds is down to one male , so check back with us if you want to be placed on our puppy list. Our puppies

Latest cria

We had a surprise on Friday, September 16th. It was late in the afternoon when I went to let the female herd back into the barn. I saw a heap of something light in the back of the pasture, and when I went to check, found that Tea Rose had given birth, a few weeks early, to a tiny, nine pound, light fawn male. He was so small that he had trouble reaching the milk bar, was already dry and able to stand and walk, although a bit wobbly. Got mom and baby into the barn and weighed him. His slight

Our new LSG

Liberty, the Great Pyr we added as a helper to Kander, our Anatolian, is working out nicely now. She has finally decided that Tanglewood Farm is her new home, and even during our Farm Open House days the last week-end in September, she stayed put and walked down to the driveway gate only to welcome visitors and escort them up to the barns. She is very sweet and spends her nap times mostly in the garage where my GSDs have their kennels. At other times she has even been seen in the pasture with

New Livestock guardian

Because I felt that my Anatolian was feeling lonely after loosing his buddy, Rika, last year, I have decided to add a new LSG, a Great Pyrenee, a female, already spayed, and used to working with livestock. Her name is Liberty and she is a sweet dog, but has already escaped twice. So, I will be installing a hot wire on the bottom of all of my pastures, as well as my dog yard. Right now she is penned in a 20 foot kennel run from which she cannot escape.

New animal

Tanglewood will be adding a new male, bred by Briar Run Alpacas, that will be co-owned with Good Time Ridge Alpacas. We are excited about this new addition to our growing herd, as we are sure this boy will become one of our top herdsires as he matures. Mercury will be spending the remainder of this year at Good Time Ridge Alpacas and will alternate with residence at Tanglewood. We have also added several stunning young males from Briar Run, who will be starting their breeding careers this sp

Help during breeding time

Since it is spring, and breeding time is soon coming up, I thought I would share some info that helped me when I had animals that had not bred before. You just want to make sure that they know "what to do". In that case, I always get two breeding pens set up, one for the experienced and one for the inexperienced. I got the two experienced ones together, and had the newbies in the pen next door where they could see what was going on. It worked like clockwork, as the newbie male watched and le

Shearing time

Shearing time is just about three weeks away, so I am getting my ducks all in a row to ensure an efficient and pleasant shearing event for all. So here goes:
1) Recipes for a good lunch for everyone--something that will not put them to sleep after eating, and making sure I have stuff for those who are on special diets(gluten free, etc.)
2) Clean out the barns so that there is no hay/straw, etc.
3) Clean the mats that I use to put under the shearer's mats, which helps to keep eve


Yesterday, January 31, I attended the 9th Annual Buy Local Foods Seminar, at which I gave a seminar entitled: Why Raise Alpacas? There was a very interesting and varied group of presenters, and even though I don't plan on raising my alpacas as food, I obtained a great deal of information about non gmo grains, and their processing from a new mill called Shagbark in Athens, Ohio , as well as great general farming information from Christine Tailer, who does Non-GMO farming and beekeeping on a s

Addition to my herd

December 7th I drove down to W.Va to get a weanling male, and guess what? I came home with three stunning boys. Alpacas are like potato chips and German Shepherds, you can never have enough. Thursday and Friday were herd health days and with the help of my farm sitter and her husband, I was able to get everyone except Black Mystique done. Mystique decided she was not going to get her shot that day, and nearly knocked over the pen I had around the scale. We decided it was not worth possibly

Washing fiber

Ok, so I have several big bags of blankets that I need to process and started to wash several today. In two hours, I got two full blankets washed and spun out. I have pvc pipes with plastic chicken netting attached, so I can lay it over one of my big dog crates to dry, as the weather is not conducive to outdoor drying. I am getting the system down pretty pat now and will spend a few minutes in the morning, pulling the drying fiber apart. Once it is dry, it will be picked. Got six bags of bl

Getting ready for Old Man Winter

Now that it is almost December, I am getting my barns ready for some cold weather, and moving the adult males to the main barn where there is a new addition to make things more comfortable for them as well as for me. The summer barn has no water lines to it, so it is not an option for a cold winter. The main barn has water lines, and watering troughs that are kept from freezing via some submersible heaters. It also has electric, so I can do work in there after dark.
So far, the only ma

new addition to my herd

Two weeks ago, a new junior herdsire came to Tanglewood farm from Kaleidoscope Alpacas His name is Wild Card, and he has some super, duper fleece, is covered from his nose to his toes in the most incredible fiber with crimp, crimp, and more crimp. I plan on showing this boy next spring. His sire is none other than Royal Flush.

A visit to U.S. Natural Fibers in Springfield, Kentucky

Since I want to continue learning about alpacas and the exceptional fiber they produce, I felt it would be of benefit to me and the fiber that my animals produce, to attend one of the sorting seminars that was being offered in September at U.S. Natural Fibers in Springfield, Kentucky. Most of the seminars have been too far away for me, but this was just a three hour drive from Tanglewood, so I decided to go for it. What I did not know is how much I would learn, both from the very helpful teac

A surprise package

As many alpaca farmers, I am anal about checking my pregnant girls when it gets close to their due dates. On September 1, though, I was very busy and had to go shopping for numerous alpaca related items, one of which was getting needles for the next herd health day. Getting home around five, I was tired, and decided to take a quick cat nap. No sooner had I laid myself down, than I realized that I might as well do the pm barn clean-up right then, instead of waiting until later, so got up and

a visit to the Alpaca Fiber Co-Op of North America

This week will be our third time delivering alpaca fiber collected from a number of farms in Ohio. It is always an enjoyable time to meet and chat with the folks at AFCNA, and to see the products that are available. as well as discuss the progress of the alpaca fiber industry. . When I leave there, I will make sure that all the farms that delivered fiber to me, will be notified by phone or email that it has reached its destination.

Cria is finally here

After 373 days of anxious waiting, we finally have a cria here, the first of 2015. As usual, I was checking Deerfield out every half hour or so, and was beginning to think that June 13th would pass as the rest of the 373 days had done, with lots of watching, but nothing productive to show for it.
Then, finally, at 4:00 pm, I noticed a bubble, the first sign of impending birth. I had put in a call to the vet clinic the day before because I was worried about the exceptionally long gestati


Anticipating the birth of a new cria is always an experience, particularly with this one. My fawn girl, GSAF Miss Deerfield, is driving me bonkers, waiting for her to deliver this highly anticipated cria, which will be the first offspring of our new herdsire, CFI Peruvian Stryker. Her due date was in late May, and here it is the ninth of June, and although she has cria sticking out on both sides, apparently has no desire to drop her baby yet. About an hour ago, I checked on her again, as I ha

Around the farm

I have noticed that my Guinea hens, who had been sitting on a bunch of their eggs, have not been seen for two days. The male is getting lonesome and has been looking for them too, but neither of us has found them. Last night, Kander, the ever vigilant Anatolian Shepherd, managed to do one of his Houdini escapes and slipped past me as I was bringing a bale of hay in to the boys. Of course, he let all the boys out as well, and as luck would have it, I had left the driveway gate open so I could

Shearing Day

Shearing day at Tanglewood Farm, is always a day full of surprises, and this year's was no different. I was still running around getting stuff prepared when my great helper, Shannon and shearers, Maegan and Mike arrived to start the day long activity to shear 27 alpacas. Echo, one of my older German Shepherds , was in the yard to greet them, and even Isaac, Maegan and Mikes oldest boy, who was scared of dogs, made friends with her.

I had not had time to move my male herd from the

How to get an unwilling alpaca onto your trailer

Tip number two. If you have trouble, and I have had, getting one of your alpacas to get onto the trailer, just bring two or three , then load the one you need on the trailer and bring the others back to the barn/pasture. Remember that these are herd animals, and it is often much easier to get one moving where you want it to be, when bringing several along. This also makes lead training much easier as well. I generally train two or three together with an animal that is already lead/halter b

Tip number 3 Moving the entire herd

Sometimes you will want to move the entire male or female herd at one time. To make this go very quickly, I just get a metal pan, put some of their grain in there, and just rattle it a bit. It is amazing how well they can hear, and once they associate the rattle with grain, they will come, and very quickly. I have also clapped my hands together right before I rattle the grain, and it took no time at all for them to associate the clapping of the hands with the grain. As soon as I clap my hand

Tips for newcomers to alpacas

I will be posting tips for those new to alpacas, as I find time.

Here is tip #1Saving money.
My vet told me to re-use the syringes when giving monthly shots. Once I finish giving one animal its monthly meningeal shot, I just take off the needle, put a new one on, and fill it up with the required amount. This works great, except once in a while I drop a needle, so in that case, I just put a new one on. A box of syringes lasts a long time that way, especially when you have 2

Marketing your farm

One of the best ways to market your farm and the products produced there, is to be visible at a farmer's market. Next week, Friday and Saturday,April 24th and 25th Tanglewood Farm and two of our alpacas will be at the new Crane Creek Farmer's Market in Mt. Orab on Eastwood Road, near Route 32. Hours are Friday through Sunday from two pm to seven pm. Since we generally have our farm store open on Saturdays and Sundays, starting in June, we will attend this market on Fridays and Saturdays in

Escaping Apacas

After seeing all those people running and chasing the two Llamas that escaped several days ago, I had to think back to my own first days with my alpacas. I had just gotten my animals the day before, and I wanted them to come from the field into the enclosed area where their barn was. I had been told to get a 25 foot tape that Marty McGee uses and so I had that on hand. There was just one difficulty with that, I was the only person on the farm, and there was nobody to hold the other end of the

Cold weather and alpacas

With the extreme weather we have been having this winter, I decided to do the deep bedding again this year. So the first thing was to get plenty of straw, and each day new straw is put on top of the poo piles in the barn. With so much snow on the ground, it is impossible to clean the poo like I normally do, and this also helps to keep the animals much warmer, as the composting poo helps to heat the barn. In addition, I also leave the barn lights on because the alpacas don't even want to stick

Herd Health Day

It was time to give the pacas their monthly shots and evaluations, and I was lucky to have a relatively warm day to do it. So got all the females and the crias done. Scale is not working and I suspect that the cord is broken somewhere because I put new batteries in. Will have to find a out if I can fix that or have it fixed somewhere. Have to do the males today, and the one bullheaded female, Tutu, who would not go into the small pen by the scale, no matter what I did.

We had a

Cold weather

So far, the cold weather does not seem to have affected my herd. They have all pretty much decided to stay in the barn, smart animals that they are, and nobody is shivering. They do have fresh straw every day and lots of good hay to munch on, as well as their Golden Blend Minerals. I also add Alfalfa and Beet Pulp pellets to their grain. They seem to love that, because it all disappears in a short time.

The water heaters are working, and I was able to fill the tanks up to the to

sudden temperature change

When you get sudden and dramatic temperature changes like we are currently getting, I make sure that tarps are up to cut down on the wind, and put extra straw down for all of the alpacas to cush in. They also require more water at this time, so I check the water tanks to make sure the heaters are doing their jobs. This makes the barn rather dark, so I leave lights on, even during the day. I use the floodlights that are led, and they don't use as much energy as the normal floodlights used to d

German Shepherd Puppies

It was because I had bred German Shepherds for thirty or so years, that I felt that I would be able to raise Alpacas as well. I have had thirteen AKC Champions over the years, not counting my Champion Anatolian Shepherd, and just recently finished the Championship on a female that I also showed at the National, where she placed second in her class of 23. I co-own all of my dogs with my best friend and half the dogs live at her home, the other half at mine.

On November 29th, our

live stock guardians

I have my two Anatolian Shepherds(no, they are not Mastiffs, although many folks think that's what they are) to thank for being able to sleep peacefully at night, knowing that they are guarding my herd of alpacas, and keeping them safe from the attack of coyotes and stray dogs. The brother of my female, Rika(an AKC Champion and Eukaneuba Championship competitor) was able to kill a coyote and badly injure another one, when his owner was being attacked in broad daylight while cleaning a pasture

New article in The Camelid Quarterly

My second article has been published by The Camelid Quarterly. Check out this great magazine, it is the only one, I feel, that really gives you information about alpacas/llamas, and their great fiber. Most other magazines are full of ads, but this one has many interesting and useful articles that anyone who raises or wants to raise llamas or alpacas should have. When my copy arrives, I sit down and read it cover to cover. I generally pitch the other alpaca magazines after flipping through th

Congratulations to Keen and Queen Alpacas for their purchase of our stupendous male, Inspector Gadget(aka Trisket)

Thank you for your purchase of Inspector Gadget. We know that he will produce something outstanding with the fabulous pedigree and fleece he has. I was reluctant to let him go, but I have his half brother, CFI Stryker, so agreed to let Kate Mayer sell him. I hope he will do well for you.

Barn addition

I am hoping to get the roof on my new barn addition today. Got part of it up last night, with the help of my trusty Kubota tractor. This will double the space that my males will have to protect them from the weather. The girls and their crias have taken over most of the main barn, so the adult boys, who have been in the summer barn, now will have their very own space. I will post pictures later on today, with the roof hopefully on. Feeling pretty proud of myself right now. I don't know ma