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News Pre-2010

Mossvale Education - September 2009

Welcome to the Alpaca Industry was a successful seminar conducted in May 2009 with fifteen people spending the day exploring their alpaca business plans.  The seminar was designed for people wanting to explore the business aspects of alpacas and covered topics as diverse as setting business objectives, taxations implications, fleece and animal conformation.

The workshop was followed up by a cria training workshop and invited speaker Elizabeth Paul on Vit D and Ricketts in September.

It is also hoped to get Marty McGee Bennet of CAMALIDynamics fame to run her highly regarded two day animal training course in April 2010.

Tasmanian presence at Vic Colourbration - August 2009

Waving the flag on the mainland, Mossvale attended the Victorian Colourbration.  With over 400 animals and over 100 fleeces this is now the third largest alpaca show in Australia.  Against a line up 15 top animals we came home with a 5^th for our junior while female Aurelia.  It was great to see so many quality animals, especially in the black classes.

Mark joins Huon Agricultural Society Inc Committee - June 2009

Mark has been coopted to join the Ag Society.  The Committee meets monthly and is the dedicated band of locals who organise the Huon Show each year. A popular show, with around 13000 visitors, it is also the last of the five Alpaca shows each year in Tasmania.

Wynyard Show March 2009

Mossvale had a good start to the show season, attending Tasmania's only Colourbration show in the North West of the State.  In the led classes Mossvale Western Rose took out a 1st (Fawn), Mossvale Carenza 1st(Black), Jolimont Lawson 2nd and Ellen Vale Johnson 1st (white). 

Twins doing well -  February 2009

The twin black alpacas born at Mossvale Alpacas on 9 January 2009 are doing well three weeks on.

We have kept the twins and their mother (Goldenwest Burilda) is their own small paddock – which has lots of green grass and some shelter trees.

Minuet was very small when she was born (only 2.8kg) and was hand fed twice a day for the first two weeks.  She rejected the bottle last week and seems to be able to hold her own against her brother.  We are still heavily supplementing Burilda with about 15 litres of chaff, pellets and grains each day – which she happily eats.

Both twins have grown well and after 23 days have almost doubled their birth weight – Minute increasing from 2.8Kg to 5.7kg and Tango increased from 4.75kg to 9.2Kg.

Twins
Younguns

Minuet showing off
Minuet

Twins come to Mossvale - January 2009

On Friday (9/1/09) Mossvale welcomed the arrival of healthy twin black alpacas.

On checking our maternity paddock, Helen found Goldenwest Burilda in the paddock looking down on a very small cria and passing what appeared to be the placenta. However, Burilda was not passing this very easily (a lot of grunting) and on closer inspection there was a nose inside the placenta.

The first born was a 2.8kg female cria - named Minuet (she is very small). The second born was a 4.75kg boy - named Tango (he was a little tangled when he came out). Both cria were fully developed and healthy and have been accepted by their - somewhat confused - mother.

Minuet is just able to feed - but it is a stretch to reach mum's udder. We are supplementing her now with two 100ml bottles a day which seems to be sufficient for her.

Burilda was our last Western Australian mating before we packed up the last of the herd to come to Tasmania - an interesting parting gift from WA!

During winter we had been worried about Burilda's condition and she had fallen to a low body condition score and appeared anaemic . Having only recently moved onto a new property and knowing that the pasture lacked a lot of minerals and nutrients and that our fertiliser top dressing would not yet have had an effect, we assumed that she was losing condition due to suckling a baby and the poor quality pasture. During winter we were supplementing with a gain/chaff mix every second day, but we kept Burilda with the weanlings who had free access to the gain/chaff mix after weaning. We also begun to drenched her with an iron supplement (Iron Cyclen) and a general mineral mix (Humavyte)and gave her three ADE injections and three mineral injections (VAM) between June and October. In hindsight maybe she was feeling a bit off colour for other reasons.

Tango looking for his first feed ...
Tango
The twins at a day old ....
Twins
Minuet following along with Tango

Minuet and Tango

Strong Show Success in 2008 - December 2008

Well almost the end of another year and time to take stock. We've had a year to get used to the seasonal differences in Tasmania and adjust our animal management regime. At least I'm looking out of the window at green grass and rain, where as in WA by now it would be sunny days and brown paddocks; but winter cold and low feed levels are much more of a threat in Tasmania and cost us with the loss of two older animals this year. Not helping that fact is that Tasmania has been in drought for the past few years and this year we have only had 70% of the normal annual rain fall.

We have had our first crop of Tasmanian cria, with sixteen being born in 2008 - including 10 winter births, which I would not recommend in the South of the State. We are looking forward to the next big batch of cria from our Tasmanian matings - due mid January on.

We have taken an active role in shows in the Region, including convening the Huon Show in November. Winning three of the four Supreme fleeces that we entered was probably the highlight of the show year. One of our new Stud Males (Encantador Marcel) took Supreme fleece at Wynyard in March and also won first in the Hobart and Launceston Royals. At Launceston Royal our junior stud male, Jolimont Lawson took Supreme fleece, and Jolimont Reggae first in the 12-18 month class. Hobart Royal saw another Mossvale animal take Supreme fleece, Encantador Peony. At the Huon show we were also award a first in each fleece class we exhibited in (Lawson, Peony and Marcel).

In the led classes, Jolimont Reggae did well taking a Reserve Champion at Royal Hobart, being beaten by the Supreme Champion animal. At the Huon show we changed our "show team" - with Huon being our local show we were able to bring out some younger animals and also older pregnant females. The first surprise of the day, was our young light fawn female, Mossvale Western Rose taking Champion Junior Female - our first Tasmanian born alpaca to win a ribbon. We also took the Champion and Reserve Champion Intermediate Female (Mossvale Fifi and Mossvale Carenza) and followed this up with Champion Adult Female for Swan Valley Sweet Dream and Reserve Champion Mature Female (Mossvale Zamira). Jolimont Lawson also took out Adult Reserve Champion Male.

In between the shows, this year has also seen hay cutting, fencing, road building and shed extensions and fit out - all up a busy year.

In 2009 we will start up our open days again and also run a hands information weekend for people interested in entering the industry.

Wynyard Fleece Show – good results  March 2008

Mossvale showed a limited number of fleeces at the 120th Wynyard show, but were stoked with the results.

Presenting two of our  new light males for the first time, won both Champion and Reserve Champion Huacaya fleeces.  Encantador Marcel won the Champion rosette (and best light fawn), Jolimont Lawson took Reserve Champion (and best white) and Ellen Vale Johnson won a first in his class and was also commented on as a fleece of very high standard.

 

fleece award fleece award


Both Marcel and Johnson are available for stud services.

Mossvale Shows in Tasmania December 2007

Well what a year - moved 75 alpacas across Australia, started a new job and begun to establish a new farm.  We even managed to get some fleeces into two Tasmanian shows.  An added challenge for coloured breeders in Tasmania is that the fleece classes are "all colour" and only judged by age groups.  So we were very pleased to take home a ribbon in our first Tassie show - with Zidane winning a third place. Zidane is the son of Digger and won Best Black at Whiteman in 2007.

Royal Launceston Show 2007

Mossvale Zidane - 3rd Fleeces 9-18 months

Huon Show 2007
Mossvale Zidane - 2nd Fleeces 9-18 months
Ellen Vale Johnson - 1st Fleeces 30+ months
Loungville Park Bosun's Mate - 3rd Fleeces 30+ months

Mossvale in Small Farms Magazine 7/12/07

Do you want to know more about the planning for our move and some of the
critical considerations for us?  Mossvale was featured in an article in the
December 2007 edition of Small Farms.

The Big Move 23 November 2007
Mossvale is finally heading off from WA and at 6am the helpers gathered to load 69 somewhat confused alpacas. The loading operation went smoothly, thanks to Loraine and Natasha (Westsuri), Ray and Keely Taylor (Taylor Alpacas and our driver) and Jean Baxter (Corbracagh Downs Alpacas) – and we were on the road by 9am. Each alpaca was given a vitamin B shot before being loaded, with the load separated into mums and babies (all babies were older than 3 months of age), single/young females, males and two older stud males (separately penned).

Over 4,000 KM were travelled to arrive safely in Tasmania just 5 days later – including crossing Australia by road and Bass Strait by sea. We received some dirty looks from the alpacas as we were backing up to the cattle ramp – I think they wondered where we had been.

Once unloaded, they did a quick circuit of the paddock and settled down to some serious eating, rolling and sunning. None of the animals appeared distressed - a testament to the hardiness of the alpaca.

Unloading Crabtree

Unloaded

Mossvale on the move 18 August 2007
Mossvale is moving to Tasmania.  After 20 years in the West, it is time to move back to the Eastern States.  The draw of green pastures and family made Tasmania a good choice for our business.  Preparations have begun to move around 70 alpacas to our new farm in the Huon Valley, about 20 minutes outside of Hobart. In addition to our proven lines of black alpacas, we have also sourced some excellent WA white genetics from significant studs including Banksia Park, Swan Valley and Encantador.  We have always had a significant investment in both white and black huacayas, but the new animals we have added to the stud mark a significant upgrading of our white herd. We look forward to developing the Mossvale brand in the Eastern side of the country.

 

Open day and stock sale 24 June
Mossvale will be holding an open day and stock sale on 24 June.  From 9-10am we will hold an introduction to alpaca session, with our sale animals being offered from 10am.  We will be offering range of white and coloured alpacas, some with cria at foot, select stud males and a range of wethers.

 

New offer on mating 6 June.
Mossvale will be offering our WA clients a real deal for our live cria guarantee – the “pay when you drop” deal. With our 2007 matings we will not charge you until you have a cria on the ground in 2008!

This is a great chance to use some of WA’s top black stud males –

  • Mossvale Digger (71753) - uniform crimpy fleece that is passed on, sire of Best Black, Whiteman 2007.

  • Longueville Park Bosun’s Mate (21746) - long penciling crimpy staples, multiple ribbon winner in Eastern States shows and his cria are winning progeny classes in 2007. New to WA.

  • Mossvale Bruno (95602) - dense well covered fleece with style and defined staples. Best Black, Whiteman 2006

  • Silent Knight (19546) - passes quality to his progeny. Still solid black at 11 years.

  • Autumn Lane Aaron (61880) - great fineness for a black male, still 20.5 micron.

  • Mossvale Otis (77565) - jet black male with long lustrous fleece.

This deal will also be extended to our Highlander males – Winterbrook Harry (son of Highlander) and Winterbrook Bill (son of Prince John). Both throw true to type Highlander style fleeces.

 

Digger Progeny wins Best Black at Whiteman 2007 – 22 April 2007
Mossvale had a great show – taking home two firsts, a second and “best black” at the 2007 Whiteman Park Alpaca show.  Judges Dianne Condon and Natasha Clark worked through around 250 animals.  There was another great black showing with 23 black alpacas being exhibited. 

We were particularly pleased that Zidane won the “best black” as he is the first Mossvale Digger progeny we have shown.  We also congratulate Sue and Laurie of Shady Hills Alpacas who entered their Digger progeny, Shady Hills ANZAC, who won second to Zidane.

Digger was Best Black and Reserve Champion Adult Male at the 2005 Perth Royal Show.

2007 Whiteman results were:
Mossvale Zidane - 1st Junior Black male and “best black” at the show.
Mossvale Connor - 1st Intermediate Black male.
Mossvale Anton - 2nd Intermediate Black male.

Zidane’s has well defined crimpy bundles that are consistent across his fleece.  The judges commented on his lustre, crimp and consistency.  These are many of the traits that Digger has and has passed onto both Zidane and ANZAC.

2007 Whiteman Park Show Team

Bosun's Mate passes it on … 24-25 March 2007 
Bosun's progeny showed well at the Royal Toowoomba Show held on the 24-25 March 2007. He sired the first Junior Black Female 6-12mths, first and second Junior Black Male 6-12mths, and Champion Senior Male. 

Bosun’s progeny also won the Sires Progeny award. This is an important confirmation of his ability to consistently pass on his qualities to his cria . 

As the current owners of Bosun’s Mate we are very happy to pass our congratulations to Rosemary and Liz from Longueville Park for their recent show success.

Longueville Park Bosun's Mate arrives - March 2007
As part of our herd development strategy we have been looking to expand our stud male options and decided last year to purchase an unrelated male.  This led us on a search that ended in Queensland in late 2006.   Helen made the final selection at the National Show, where Bosun won third in a competitive Adult Black Male class.  In particular she was taken by his fleece which has good crimp and bundling.  His fleece length and bundling gives Bosun a SRS style fleece.  As a 5 year old proven male we were also able to see that Bosun passes on his confirmation and fleece style to his prodgeny.

First Digger baby - February 2007
We have now weaned our first Digger cria - Mossvale Zidane, a solid black male.  While still young, his fleece is showing the crimp and style that we have found in Digger's line.  Digger's fleece style helped him achieve his Reserve Champion Ribbon at the 2005 Perth Royal Show.

Good Show to end the Year – 11 November 2006
The final WA show for the year is held in Albany (over 400 km South of Perth). This year was the first Mossvale has shown in Albany, and it was worth it just to see the green grass and the rain (which has all but gone for the year at home).

It was a good show for Mossvale – with all our animals and fleeces shown taking home a ribbon.

Animal results:
Adult Males (18-30 months) Black - 1st Mossvale Bruno, 2nd Mossvale Alby J.

Black fleece results:
Fleece 6-12 months - 1st Mossvale Bruno, 2nd Mossvale Arwen, 3rd Mossvale Alby J
Fleece 12-18 months - 2nd Mossvale Demelza, 3rd Mossvale Otis
Fleece 18-30 months - 2nd Mossvale Digger

 

Important Mossvale Dates
ANNUAL FLEECE SALE AND OPEN DAY SALE - will be held on Saturday 2 December from 9am to 12. Over 80 fleeces will be on display and for sale before they are all shipped off to the Fiber Coop – last chance until shearing 2007 for spinners to pick up a lovely fleece. We will also have a number of animals on display and for sale.

PUBLIC SHEARING DAY – in response to numerous requests for shearing, Mossvale will hold a public shearing day on Saturday 25 November. If you live in the area and need a shearer - call soon to book in.

Mossvale does well at Gidgegannup Show – 28 October 2006
Our local show this year was a busy one. While Helen was off at the National Alpaca Show in Canberra identifying potential stud animals, Mark was left at home to hold the fort. It just happened that this year the fort included setting up our own animal display as well as a fleece exhibition for the Association. The Gidge Ag Society are keen to see an Alpaca fleece section in their show so we thought we’d see what interest was about. The display looked pretty slick for a country show (see the photo) and had a lot of interest – we’ll see how that develops.

Mossvale also had a good show for our coloured sheep fleeces – winning first, second and third in the Medium to Strong Class and taking home the Champion Coloured sash.

Helen’s spinning also took out a first for a skein of white alpaca and second for a black skein. We were also very pleased with a first for a home spun article which was a lovely white scarf spun and knitted from Callum who was one of our first two Alpacas – this also won best home spun item.

Fleece Exhibition

Best Exhibit at Toodyay Show - 14 October 2006
With the increasing number of alpacas in the Perth Hills, local shows are creating alpaca fleece classes. Mossvale took the opportunity to enter fleeces in the 153rd Toodyay Agricultural Show today.

Two of Mossvale’s stud males were placed with Mossvale Felix receiving a first in the brown class and Winterbrook Harry placed second in the White/Fawn class. We also won the first and second in the black fleece section, winning first for Mossvale Dorabella and second for Rosedeane Ebony.

We were also successful in the sheep classes, winning the first and second place for the coloured wool fleece class.

Overall, Mossvale won the best exhibit for a coloured Corriedale Ewe’s fleece and most points in the Alpaca and Coloured Fleeces section.

Gidgegannup Sale Day - Sunday 17 September 2006
Twenty WA sellers presented 70 alpacas for sale today at Gidgegannup. Mossvale was pleased to present the top selling alpaca (Mossvale Daisy, $6,600) and sold females and wethers as well.   Overall the Sale sold mostly female alpacas, with 17 sales bringing an average price of around $3,500.

Fleeces Clean Up at Fairbridge 2006 - 3 September 06
The third Fairbridge Village Regional Alpaca Show was conducted on 2 September 2006.  Due to our attendance at the national Fleece Conference in Canberra on the same week end Mossvale entered fleeces but no animals this year at Fairbridge.

The Fairbridge show has grown into a significant regional show with over 230 animals and over 80 fleeces being shown.  It is pleasing to see a number of large coloured classes.  There were 10 animals entered in the Intermediate Hucaya black class and most other brown and black classes had reasonable fields.

Mossvale did well in the black fleece classes, including a clean sweep in the 6-12 months class.

Our fleece results were:
Fleece 6-12 months Black Huacaya  
    1st Mossvale Bruno, 2nd Mossvale Arwen, 3nd Mossvale Alby J
Fleece 12-18 months Black Huacaya  
    1st Mossvale Demelza, 3nd Mossvale Otis
Fleece 18-30 months Black Huacaya  
    1st Mossvale Digger

Farm Open Day - 24 June 06
Mossvale held another successful open day on Saturday. A steady flow of people arrived during the day to inspect the alpacas and the farm layout. The Alpaca Association in WA has a high number of enquires each month as a growing number of people consider blending lifestyle with their working life. There was strong interest on the day in how to balance running a succssful alpaca stud and a full time job.

Best Black and Best Grey at Whiteman 2006 - 23 April 06
The Alpaca Autumn Show conducted by the WA Central Region attracted 214 animal entries and 143 fleeces to Whiteman Park on the ANZAC day week end.

Mossvale was pleased to be awarded both the Best Black and Best Grey for animals at the show. Particularly impressive was the competition for the best black - 8 animals came to the final line up. The show certainly had more black entries than we've seen in WA shows for some time with 31 black Huacayas entered.

Animal Show results for Mossvale were:
Intermediate Males (12-18 months ) Black - 1st Mossvale Bruno, 2nd Mossvale Alby J.
Adult Females (18-30 months) Grey - 1st Mossvale Daisy
Intermediate Male Suri (12-18 months) All other Colours - 2nd Mossvale William
Best Grey - Mossvale Daisy
Best Black - Mossvale Bruno

Fleece results:
Fleece 6-12 months - 1st Mossvale Bruno, 2nd Mossvale Arwen
Fleece 12-18 months - 2nd Mossvale Demelza
Fleece 18-30 months - 2nd Mossvale Digger
Fleece 30-48 months - 3rd Rosedeane Jedda


First Fleece Shipment Arrives - 23 March 2006
Last week we received our first shipment of processed fleece. Our 2005 fleece clip was sent to Victoria to be processed into rovings and yarn and it was with great excitement that we picked up the first batch to be returned. We now have beautiful blue black rovings, professionally cleaned and processed to take out vegetable matter and medullated fibre.

Sheep, craft and eggs at the 59th Gidgegannup Show - 29 October 2005

Unfortunately the local Gidgegannup Show does not have any alpaca classes (yet), so we had to make do with sheep, craft and eggs! All in all it was a good choice too.

Helen's black sheep herd cleaned up in the coloured sheep fleece taking out the Champion Coloured fleece with one of her stud rams.

Coloured Ram's Fleece - First and Champion Coloured Fleece (for Roger the Merino).
Coloured Fine Fleece - First (for a Merino ewe).
Coloured Medium / strong fleece - First (for a Corriedale x Merino ewe).

In the craft section Helen entered a black alpaca hand spun and knitted scarf with a pretty cable pattern. This article was awared First place in the Home Spun article class and also took out the Champion for the Home Spinning class.

Not to be left out the Barnevelders laid six lovely brown eggs that took the second place in the hotly contested class for Six Brown Eggs.

Mossvale also had a display at the show (three coloured wethers) which generated a lot of interested with people want to discuss alpacas a pets and for business opportunities.

We also supported the Gidgegannup Progress Association's "Produce and Products" tent. Nestled among the Chinese dates, Macadamia nuts, fantastic Kervella goats cheese, local wine and olive oil displays and samples we set up a display of fleeces, alpaca clothing (thanks Pitwillow Alpacas) and Association material. The life size alpaca poster and free literature were of great interest to the many locals looking for information about alpacas.


Black's Back - Digger's big win at the Perth Royal Show - 24 September 2005
For the first time this century (at least since 2000) a black alpaca was been awarded a "broad" ribbon at the Perth Royal Show. Mossvale Digger was awarded the Reserve Champion Adult Male at the 2005 Perth Royal Show by judge Allan Jinks. Allan described Digger's fleece as a true Huacaya fleece that would do well anywhere.
Clearly pleased with the result, Mark and Helen see this as a vindication of the effort being put into improving the quality of black alpacas. The Perth Royal shows some of the best alpacas in Australia and to win against a line up of excellent animals is always tough, but very pleasing when you do.
Digger was born early on the 24th of April 2003 - which is how he came by his name. Digger is now working as a certified male and is available for stud services.

Quality Brown Male 22 August 2005
Mossvale Felix was awarded first place in the brown Adult Male class at the 2005 Fairbridge Alpaca Show. Felix has just entered our breeding program and his rich brown, dense cutting, soft fine fleece will add to our coloured breeding program.

Winners at Whiteman Park Alpaca Show - 23 April 2005

Out of the seven coloured animals taken to the Whiteman Park Alpaca Show all came home with a ribbon. An added twist was that three of the black females on show were grandmother, mother and daughter. Mirlo (grandmother) is no stranger to the ring and is reported to be the last black alpaca to win an Intermediate Female Champion ribbon in Western Australia (Albany 2000). Demelza (her granddaughter) won a first in the Junior Female Black class and the judge described her as having "he sort of crimp and staple definition we're looking for [in black animals]".

The results were:
1st Mossvale Demelza Junior Female Black
3rd Mossvale Zamira Junior Female Black
3rd Mossvale Felix Intermediate Male Brown
3rd Mossvale Meke Intermediate Male Black
1st Mossvale Digger Adult Male Black
2nd Rosedene Ebony Senior Female Black
2nd Rosedene Mirlo Mature Female Black

The photograph shows our winning black girls - Mirlo, Ebony, Demelza and Zamira.
Winning Alpacas (plus owners)

 

Successful information day - 2 April 2005
Over twenty families learnt a little more about alpacas when they attended Mossvale's information and sales day. There was the opportunity for people interested in alpacas to see how a commercial alpaca farm operates and also inspect a range of animals that are for sale. A number of buyers went home with a new member to their families.

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