Tuesday, November 23, 2010

1st Annual Springfield Riverside Alpacafest

Some old friends from IAOBA did the same thing we did - we were all upset that IAOBA cancelled its annual show so we started our own shows! Ours in the spring in Princeton, IL and theirs in the fall in Springfield, IL. For a first year show it was a resounding success - Great Job guys!

Not a bad show for Tiskilwa either. Our newest member of the "Chiefs of Tiskilwa" - MFI Peruvian Right of Way - a son of Cactus Jack - was the Brown Male Color Champion! We were standing with the owners of Jack when ROW was awarded - and they were as happy as we were. To quote Kathi - "Jack just beat Jeremiah!"

Not to be outdone or overlooked - another of our Chiefs - TNT Peruvian Highlander - won the Get of Sire as represented by his offspring - TFA Cahokia, TFA Peruvian Sharon, and Autumn Sky's Peruvian Deucalion.

Springfield was also the debut of the Tiskilwa "Scratch and Win" herdsire promotion - all attendees received "lottery" cards worth up to $1000 off a breeding to select Chiefs.

Show season is now over for the fall and it is back to the barn to decide who will represent us in the spring - we've been pleased with the 2010 crias and will show more fawn than ever in the spring.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Northern Illinois Alpaca Extravaganza

Just a quick post - this was a great show - as always. We did well. Our newest member of the Chiefs of Tiskilwa - MFI Peruvian Right of Way - was the Brown Male Reserve Color Champion - we are very proud of him. Guess he was worth buying at the Magical auction!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Magical Farms Auction

For years we attended the annual auction at Magical Farms and have purchased some of our best animals at this event. The last few years we had scheduling conflicts that didn't allow us to attend. We were anxious to go back this year, but had sworn we were going to sit on our hands and not bid on anything - yeah right, like that was going to happen!! During the auction preview, we evaluated nearly every animal and then cut the list to those who fit into our breeding program. Fortunately we kept to that list... but we still ended up buying 3 1/2 animals - how's that for the guys who weren't going to buy anything.

The auction started for us with a partnership in Our Peruvian Ilena, a Mister Antonio daughter who is bred to 3 time Herdsire of the Year - Majestic Peruvian Jeremiah. We split this girl with our good friends at Willow Bend Alpacas and are hoping for a Jeremiah boy next June.

The very next lot, MFI Peruvian Rewarding, was high on our list - and we were justly Rewarded! She is a Cactus Jack daughter and is bred to Jericho for a 2011 cria. (Interestingly, we can't wait for her second breeding - to our Jericho brother, MFI Peruvian Natural High.) We love the results of crossing the Jeronimo and Dakotia lines!

Early in the morning, when we arrived at Magical, we ran into one of our favorite Magical farm hands, Lee, and he told us the best animal in the auction was Lot 48. We looked at her and agreed we really really liked her for her density and fineness. To top it, she comes with a breeding to 3 time Herdsire of the Year - Majestic Peruvian Jeremiah! When it came to bidding, we had to do it for Lee and purchased MFI Peruvian Ellynora. She is a daughter of Rolex and will join the Tiskilwa show string for the fall shows before returning to Magical to be bred.

When the auction catalog arrived in the mail several weeks ago, we were drawn to one fantastic animal and that was the main reason we cleared our calendars to attend. Many people know of Tiskilwa as a BROWN FARM with our herdsires, Performer, Natural High, and Red Cloud. When we have put Natural on Performer daughters, we have gotten outstanding results - but we needed something for the next generation. We have been quietly looking for the next BROWN MALE to join the Chiefs of Tiskilwa. There he was in the auction catalog - lot 67 - MFI Peruvian Right of Way - a son of Cactus Jack (see Rewarding above). His ARI certificate is a who's who of the alpaca world including grey, rose grey, fawn, beige, brown, and black! We can't wait to put him on our girls - but he'll temporarily join the TFA show string this fall.
Thanks to the Forstners, the Farleys, and the entire Magical staff. They put on a great event and we always feel extremely welcome at their auctions. We were able to catch up with some old alpaca friends and make several new friends. There were several other animals that we had interest in and we wish all of the buyers good luck with their purchases. And we weren't going to bid.......

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fall Cria birthing season

We've had five babies in just a few days - three on Thursday and two more on Sunday. 3 boys / 2 girls. One out of our Natural High, one out of our Performer, one out of Splendour in Grey, and two out of our Highlander. We've been very impressed with all of our H-Man kids this year. He is stamping out fineness and bold crimp. While it is tough to say at the ripe old age of 48 hours, but this week's Natural High baby has potential to be the densest animal we have ever birthed. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Our Newest Stud - Irish Meadows Peruvian Knight Rider

We needed a black stud to fill the gap in our breeding program given the quality black females we have been acquiring. At the AOBA National Show in May we reviewed many of the top black males and confirmed our previous analysis that Knight Rider was really what we needed for our girls. We are excited to add him to "The Chiefs of Tiskilwa" and to be partners with the outstanding program which Irish Meadows has achieved. The fact that the Delaney's are just an hour from our farm certainly added some flexibility to our ability to use him for our girls and those of our customers. We expect Chad will be making many day trips to Iowa to satisfy the demand for breedings that we expect Knight Rider will command. We spent our annual farm chores week creating a special residence for him at our farm where he will Criate with our girls. He is within site of our other boys, and they are not real happy to see him.

The Chiefs of Tiskilwa starting line up now has the following positions:
Black - Peruvian Knight Rider
White - Peruvian Highlander
Brown - Peruvian Natural High
Brown - MFI Performer
Brown - TFA Red Cloud (Yes, we like brown!)
Grey - Peruvian Maddock
Fawn - Peruvian Argo Navis

We've got a promising bench ready to fill in soon, including our Peruvian Goldleaf, Peruvian Gresham, Komodo Dragon, Cahokia, Magellan..... all of whom have been blue ribbon winners.

Ah.... the joys of alpaca farming.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Shearing Day

May 17 was shearing day at Tiskilwa Farms. By the end of the day we had sheared over 110 animals and 1000 pounds of fleece. The entire crew was tired as we put away the tools. The animals are (generally) happy to have the fleece taken off so they can be cool for summer. The studs, who can be difficult for other handling, come in and almost lay themselves down for their haircut, while the younger crias scream and whine and pee all over the mat. We love to check the fleece quality of the various animals as they are shorn. We did have a few surprises of animals who are much better than we thought - watch for those in the fall show string.

Spring 2010 shows

Well it has been a while since I've posted - we've attended the following shows since Spring Bling:
Indiana Alpaca Invitational
TFA Magellan - 1st Halter in White Juvenile Males (a son of our Peruvian Highlander)
Tiskilwa Tomahawk - 2nd Halter in a class of 9

Great Midwest Alpaca Festival
TFA Prarie Fire - Champion Fleece
Accoyo Galactica - Reserve Champion Fleece

Interstate 80 Alpacafest
TFA Cahokia - Reserve Champion / 1st Halter
TFA Chief Joseph - 2nd Halter
Accoyo Galactica - 1st Halter

AOBA National Show
Accoyo Galactica - Second Halter in a very competitive class. This doesn't match her championship at nationals last year, but we love this girl!! She is now being bred to Accoyo Principe Dorato - we can't wait to see that cria!!!!!
Accoyo Kama Sutra - 7th in a class of 15 - yes the judge left her there for seventh (when placing usually only goes to 6) and no we have never heard of a judge doing something like that, especially at the national show! She was a new purchase for us at the AOBA auction and we think she is better than 7th - watch for her in the fall shows.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Iiiiiitttt's Show Season

We started the year with the Spring Bling in Neenah Wisconsin and what a show for us!
Here's just the highlights:
Accoyo America Galactica - 1st Fleece (Wade Gease)(the highest score in the whole show but no championship because she was in her true class of BEIGE)
Accoyo America Galactica - Reserve Champion Halter ((Jill McCloud) in a white class when she is really BEIGE)
TFA Komodo Dragon - Reserve Champion Halter - man is he dense (a son of our Peruvian Natural High
Tiskilwa Tomahawk - First Halter - in his first show of his career (a son of Peruvian Lethal Weapon)
TFA Peruvian Gresham - First Halter (when he was in the Champion round Judge Jill McCloud whispered "I could just run my hands through him all day long" but then gave the champion and reserve to the well deserving older competitors - we're confident he'll get many purple banners in his career for his "ultra soft fleece" again Jill's words (a Son of Accoyo Pulitzer)
TFA Prairie Fire - First Fleece (a daughter of our Performer)
Tiskilwa Urubamba - Second Halter (a daughter of our Peruvian Natural High)
TFA Peruvian Sergeant Pepper - Second Halter

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Spring Shows

Tiskilwa Farms will be traveling this spring. Our show schedule is as follows:

March 20-21 Spring Bling Alpaca Show - Neenah, WI
Grand Sponsor
Speaking on Tax and Financial topics of Alpaca Ownership

April 2-3 Indiana Alpaca Invitational - Fort Wayne, IN
Grand Sponsor

April 24-25 Great Midwest Alpaca Festival - Madison, WI
Speaking on Tax and Financial topics of Alpaca Ownership

May 1-2 Interstate 80 Alpacafest
Show Host and Grand Sponsor

May 20-23 AOBA Nationals - Fort Wayne, IN

Interstate 80 Alpacafest

When we heard that the Illinois Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association cancelled their show for this coming March we were upset that Illinois would not have a show in the spring. We love the Northern Illinois Alpaca Extravaganza each fall, but Illinois also needs a spring show before these magnificent animals head to shearing. We are convinced that alpaca shows are a great place for breeders to market their farms and learn from each other. We called our dear friends at Apple Tree Acres and asked if they'd put on a smaller show with us. Both Ed and Karen said they had the same idea and were planning to call us. We met on New Year's Day.

We are pleased to announce the Interstate 80 Alpacfest to be held at the Bureau County Fairgrounds May 1-2, 2010. We're working on details and we look forward to a fun Level II show. We hope you'll join us!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Skirting Fleece

So what do you do when there is snow on the ground and its cold outside? Why prepare fleece for spring shows, of course! I admire people who have time to get fleece ready for the fall shows, but summer chores just never seem to allow time for skirting. Thanks to some lessons from our friends at Wineaux Alpacas (home of Tsunami!) we will be entering fleece in a few shows this spring. Here's just a few shots of our Accoyo Galactica's fleece spread on the table. What a beautiful sight!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Sub-Zero Temperatures - but new waterers are great

Yes, this morning the mercury in the thermometer was rather shy and didn't show its face above the -0- mark. Not fun for the animals or the caretakers. Last fall we finalized construction of heated automatic waterers and this morning they water was steaming in the cold but fresh and ready for the animals. And who said farmers have a tough life?????
Keep warm.