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Classing Suri Fibre

In 2012 we classed and baled over 2 ton of suri fibre from New Zealand breeders for our suri processing trial. 

We'll be running them again in 2013/14 so if you want to be involved Contact us

Suri Fibre Classing & Baling Days

The first ever NZ suri fibre classing and baling days were held 10th and 11th November 2012 at Surico Alpaca in Rotorua and over a ton of suri fibre was collected and amalgamated into bales for sale and use in various suri processing trials.

The weekend was a fantastic success with great participation from suri breeders. A lot was learnt over the weekend about the impact of both management and breeding on the quality of fleece for processing.

Management Lessons

We acknowledge that these may not be practical in all situations but should be worked on as best we can.

Fleece length; [we used 80-140mm required by processors]

Over long fleeces at first shear were problematic.Show animals left in fleece for longer than a year, only a small number in each herd.Timing of birthing, suri born before late autumn often are more likely to have overlong fleeces.Some suri grow fleece faster than others may need more than annual shearing.

Quality of shearing;

Shearer to have correct technique to avoid cutting into the next blow which creates more second cuts.Skirt out hairy legs and belly at shearing before being rolled up together and stored so it does not get all through the fleece.

Storage of fleece;

Fleeces in plastic bags away from light, heat & moths and vermin if long term.

Shed management/hygiene;

Enough people for sorting and skirting fleece before storage, it is difficult to work out the different sections of the fleece after storage.Order of shearing important to avoid contamination of colours. Shear most important colour first.

Pre shearing herd management;

Clean paddocks.Take micron sample and test before shearing so information is available for sorting.

Breeding Lessons


Of micron for handle.Of micron across the body for more usable fleece.Less hair [strong primaries within the fleece] for handle.


Of micron and uniformity of micron.Of uniformity across the body for more usable fleece.

eg We have 7 year old females who are raising cria and still retain low micron fleeces yielding good weights of usable fleece, this is a trend we want in our breeding program.

We will be writing a full report after the Canterbury Baling Weekend when we have more information available.


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