***Project Update: We are so thankful that we have met our initial funding goal and we couldn't have brought the alpacas home without you! One thing we have discovered after bringing everyone home is that we definitely need more barn space for them, as the alpacas prefer to be inside during inclement weather. All the funds raised through Kickstarter will be used for the animals. We will likely need to add onto our barn as well as fence in the additional pasture and build a summer shelter so your contributions will be put to good use! Thanks again for backing our project or considering being a backer.
Spinners End is a modest fiber farm where we raise quality animals for their fiber which is then spun into yarn; woven, knitted or felted into a new creation. These fibers are processed, in part, by hand on the farm and in part a small local carding mill. Our fibers are blended into soft naturally colored wool blends that may include fiber from our Shetland sheep, llamas, pygora goats and angora rabbits.
The welfare of our animals is of the utmost concern. Our fiber animals are a part of our family- everyone has a name and receives attention and affection. It is our intention that they will live their lives out at our farm if at all possible. Our animals are guarded against predators (including coyotes and wolves in our area) by their companion llamas. The animals graze in a small pasture during the summer months and are supplemented with quality locally grown grass hay. In our area, grass hay is generally harvested only once a season, allowing nesting grassland birds the opportunity to raise and fledge a full brood of young. During the winter months, grass hay is supplemented with treats of whole oats. Fresh water, mineral and kelp supplements are available at all times. Animals are vaccinated and examined for internal parasites and wormed if necessary. Part of our philosophy is we don’t believe in the routine application of chemicals or pesticides where it isn’t warranted.
Another philosophy of ours is, if possible, to provide help where help is needed, and here is where our Kickstarter project comes into play.
There is a wonderful man who owns an alpaca farm a couple of hours away from us. Unfortunately, life circumstances are forcing him out of business and he needs to quickly rehome his remaining Suri Alpacas. He has four crias (baby alpacas) and nine adult females, many of whom are bred. He needs to recoup at least a partial investment in his animals so he cannot just give them away. He is asking very little compared to their actual monetary worth. Unfortunately, there are few folks seeking to add these animals to their farms at this point in time in our area so he is left with animals that need a home within just a few weeks. He isn't sure what will happen to them if he isn't able to sell them. Some alpacas in this area are going to auction and being sold as meat animals because of the surplus of animals and the increase in hay prices.
They are beautiful creatures, very earth friendly as they tread softly on the land and provide excellent fertilizer and fiber. They are very social animals and it is a joy to be out amongst them listening and watching them interact with one another. And those soulful eyes!
Spinners End Farm is a small family farm owned by Sherry, Will and our three smallish children. We live amongst Shetland Sheep, numerous English angora rabbits, two rescue olde English babydoll southdown sheep, three rescue llamas, two pygora goats, a flock of chickens, three dogs, two ducks, two cats, three guinea pigs, and a few fish. We live in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan in a small town called Curtis.
Spinners End was started with the gift of a spinning wheel and three rescue llamas. We soon added a small flock of registered purebred Shetland sheep. Our Shetlands originate from one of the finest breeding programs in the region, where the focus is on soft, fine fleeces. English angoras came to our farm to add diversity to our fine fiber and because they are such delightful creatures. Our children (ages 12, 9, and 8) assist us with some small, but significant tasks to help them learn about the responsibility, care and joy that comes from animal stewardship; the biology of the animal and the ecology of a farm.
By adopting these animals in need we will also be able to expand our fiber line by adding an array of natural alpaca colors. The expansion will include the addition of both huacaya and suri alpacas which produce very different fiber types.
We appreciate your consideration of our project, thank you so much for reading the story of our journey!
Risks and challenges
Adding more animals to the farm will mean adding additional fencing in the spring.
We have an opportunity to use fallow pasture just down the road at two other farms, so this obstacle will be relatively easy to overcome. It would mean additional work putting up secure fencing and a shelter for the summer months; they would all return to our barn for the winter.
The project will be broken into two different phases. First, we are trying to raise initial funding to help bring the animals home. Secondly, if we achieve funding over our initial goal it will be used toward fencing and building a three sided shelter.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The farm owner recently has told us we can purchase all 14 alpacas for $5,000.00 or we could buy fewer for $500.00 each. We will be able to bring them all home with the money pledged thus far with what we had saved, and are extremely grateful for the generosity from all our backers! We woudn't be able to bring them to our farm without all of you. Anything over what the animals themselves cost will go to fencing in new pasture and a summer shelter for them. Kickstarter fees are removed as well and the cost of the rewards. This has been such a rewarding experience for us!
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