Can I get more of XX colorway?
-- Yes-- sometimes.
Snallygaster is happy to dye any of our active colorways. Please understand that while we strive for consistency, part of the charm of indie dyed is that no two skeins are identical. If you want one of our retired colorways- we can create a special order and will dye that in batches of 4.
The alpaca yarn is a little trickier. Since we have the yarn processed by animal yearly, there is only so much fleece available at once. We try really hard to get the colors consistent, but there is variation year to year in the texture of the fiber. If you would like a large quantity of alpaca yarn, we are happy to custom dye for you. Contact us for availability.
Where do the alpacas come from? Are they all from Maine?
The alpacas are mostly from Maine, however we have 2 from New Hampshire.
Why do they need rescuing?
Lots of reasons. Here are a few:
Alpacas are herd animals. They don't do well alone.
Sometimes we take in animals that the rest of the herd has died off and the owners are retiring.
Sometimes the farmers have aged and their children aren't interested in continuing the farm.
Sometimes the alpacas are raised by children for 4-H and colleges don't allow them to take the critters with them to the dorms.
Once upon a time, alpacas were thought to be an easy way to make money. Lots of professionals invested in herds and then realized that while the critters are relatively low maintenance, they do still need care and it was more effort than they were prepared for.
What do the alpacas eat?
Our animals graze on grass as much as we can manage. We supplement that with hay, grain and alfalfa pellets. As the grass dies off for the winter, we give them hay and increase their grain feeding to twice a day.
How long do alpacas live?
We don't know. It was thought that alpacas live for about 15 years. But we are finding with better care, that is a low number as most of our animals are older than that. We don't know the ages of all of our animals, but we are watching Princess Mia because she was born on the farm and we know exactly how old she is.
How do you tell the alpacas apart?
It's difficult when they are sheared. But when their fiber comes in fully, they have very different faces. Our white alpacas are difficult to tell apart from a distance. But up close they have unique top knots of fiber and definitely different personalities.
How often do you shear the alpacas?
Once a year in the spring.
Do they spit? Bite? Kick?
YES! They mostly spit at each other. Biting is very rare. Sometimes when they are particularly feisty, they will kick to defend their food.