Feature Friday! Debbie and Richard Brandt from Circle B alpacas

It’s Friday! YAYYYY! I have Debbie and Richard over today! Alpaca breeder extraordinary!

My wife Debbie and I live on a farm in Alhambra Township, Madison County Illinois. We are about 45
minutes outside of St Louis, Mo. In addition to our day jobs at the phone company in St Louis, we work
on our farm at Circle B Alpacas. After raising 2 kids we were looking for a new project so we purchased
our first alpaca in 2009. We now have 11 alpacas with 2 babies due in the fall. Alpacas are from South
America and were bred by the ancient Inca’s as fiber animals. Only Inca royalty were allowed to wear
alpaca so it is sometimes referred to as “Fiber of the Gods”.

Our main goal is to provide the highest quality fiber on the planet and to accomplish this we have a
breeding program with 3 different aspects, genetics, science and nutrition.

Genetics: A lot of research is done before we purchase a breeding female. We only buy alpacas
listed in the national database of alpacas called the Alpaca Registry. We research previous
generations all the way back to the 1980s when the importation of alpacas was halted.
At this time we are breeding our females to a herdsire that we own but sometimes we
purchase breedings from other farms. Alpaca Veterinarians are telling us we should only be
using the top 2% of male alpacas in the country in our breeding program.
Science: We use skin biopsies to get a glimpse of the fiber producing capabilities of an alpaca.
We send this skin sample to an alpaca veterinarian and he sends back a report with metrics on
many different aspects of the fiber characteristics.
Nutrition: A lot of alpaca farms tend to skimp here and buy less expensive hay and feed. I
have found this to be important enough that you can see the difference in a fleece when you
compare one that has been fed Mazuri Ultimate to a fleece off an animal that has been fed
cheap feed. I call it “ Well Nourished Fleece”, you will see me using this phrase a lot.

In the past we have been sending fleece to small fiber mills in the Midwest but we have decided to start
processing our fiber by hand on “cottage industry” milling equipment we have recently purchased. After
this years shearing all of our fiber will be grown and processed locally.

Thank you for this opportunity to get to know us a little better. Please feel free to contact us with your
questions or if you would like a custom fiber order.

Rich Brandt 618-401-3398
o http://twitter.com/circlebalpacas
Debbie Brandt 618-401-3398
o http://twitter.com/circlebdeb
http://circlebalpacas.com/
http://etsy.com/shop/circlebalpacas

If you are an artists, or know of an artist you think deserves to be featured, please do let me know with an email, or a comment here. (You can also send me a message on FB if you like, or that is easier for you)

My featured artists will go on to be featured on three more blogs this month. First on  Louise’s blog, then on  Karen’s blog, and then on the Indie Mosaic blog! So you get maximum exposure! Since we all do different things you will reach different readers on each of our blogs and you really get your name out there! It’s really great. And best of all: It’s free! If you enjoyed reading this and want to be featured yourself, or know of someone that you think should be featured, please let me know through an email, or a comment on this post, or send me a message on FB.

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2 thoughts on “Feature Friday! Debbie and Richard Brandt from Circle B alpacas

  1. So interesting to learn how they started and how far they have come and that they will be doing everything on a local level makes me smile. I totally support local artists, farmers, breeders, everything local always.
    Thank you for featuring such a wonderful couple.
    ~Louise

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