Meet Meadowrock’s Ruby of Aston Martin
Alpaca Registry #32302844
Born July 18, 2012
Ruby, just 10 hours old, is a product of our champion alpacas, Aston Martin and Thulisa. She has Aston’s beautiful head and strong bones. Her fiber is a dark maroon created from crossing Aston’s bay black to Thulisa’s medium brown, simply gorgeous. Her color has become stronger as she matures.
Like her mom, Ruby doesn’t like to be handled … much. Here you can see Jim coaxing her on a lead with her feet firmly planted in resistance. I always like to get our cria trained on the halter and lead so if there is ever a need, they are easier to handle. In this case, we are practicing for the upcoming show.
Ruby is 7 months old here. It’s about a month before Alpacapalooza and a friend has agreed to show her. Although Ruby did well in her very large class, this is our last show.
Ruby has produced some of our finest well-nourished fiber over the years. Each year we send a 4” x 4” sample of fiber to a laboratory to be tested for various statistics. One that is often looked at is the AFD, average fiber diameter. It is this statistic that sorters use to grade the fiber for processing. (Most human hair is around 100 microns.) The following chart shows some of Ruby’s fiber statistics:
|Year Sheared||Average Fiber Diameter Microns||Grade||Weight|
|2015||21.3||2||7.4# yielding 3.6# Blanket|
|2016||19.5||1||5.9# yielding 1.81# Blanket|
ALPACAS ARE ALL ABOUT THE FIBER! Here you can see out of the last five years, Ruby has produced the finest grade of fiber three of those five years. Many things influence the quality of fiber including age, diet, and hormones. Looking at the chart, 2015 AFD jumped to the next grade. This appears to be a direct result of her pregnancy with her daughter, Mysty, born August 14, 2015. And look, her AFD dropped back down the following year. At five, her AFD has jumped to 23.8 which is at the lower end of Grade 3, 23.0 – 25.9 microns. This grade is easily mill-able into beautiful yarn. On the flip side, mills struggle with the fine Grade 1 fiber; hand spinners crave its luxurious handle (how the fiber feels)!