November 20, 2010
Program Notes by: Laura Miner
Program: Wendy Dittbrenner, a Prescott Valley alpaca and merino sheep rancher.
Program started at 10:45am
Slide show and fiber samples passed around during presentation
Ranch was purchased in 1998 - Peaceful Prairie Ranch
1999 one alpaca purchased from Idaho (a chocolate brown)
Divorce, but kept the ranch and the alpaca
2008 Rescued 35 alpacas
Now the largest alpaca ranch in Yavapai County
Why alpacas? Rare, Hardy, Easy Keepers, Easy Birthers, Disease Resistant, High Demand due
to limited numbers, one baby per year, tax breaks and appreciation make it good business sense.
AOBA – (National Organization) – Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association
ABA – Alpaca Breeders of Arizona
Costs: Each alpaca costs about $35 a month for hay alone because of no pasture.
66 alpacas, 7 merino sheep, 3 bales of Fine Orchard Grass a day to feed them, 23 water buckets
to keep clean and filled, 18 pens to clean, $12,775 annual on Hay, 730 feedings per year, 455
pounds of fiber shorn annually.
Alpacas judged on strict criteria – confirmation and fleece
Each animal DNA tested and micro chipped
Babies called CRIA
Alpacas are induced ovulators, single births, 11 month gestation
You choose the date you want the babies to be born and breed accordingly
Need a good relationship with vet, and a good shearer.
The Ranch has Fleece, Yarn, hats, scarves, socks, etc. for sale.
Anyone interested in a FIBER CSA (Community Supported Association) contact Wendy. For
$100/share the participant gets a share of the harvest. Can be yarn, fleece, etc.
The weekend after Thanksgiving Peaceful Prairie Ranch is having an open house. (Flyer on back
Each member was given a sample of alpaca or merino fleece.
Program ended at noon.