O U R F A V O R I T E L I N K S
One thing we follow is if you find a good or
great product, tell people about it. Let the free market system do its job
and promote good products so everyone can benefit. It is with this idea in
mind we have provided links below to products we use and from which our
family and farm has benefitted. We hope these links may prove useful to
others as well.
This site is somewhat of the classifieds section of the alpaca industry. It is a marketplace for promoting ones alpaca wares.
Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (AOBA)
An alpaca owner group that focuses on spreading information about the industry and answering questions on alpacas in general.
Alpaca Registry Incorporated (ARI)
The national registry for alpaca breeders. This site is where alpaca breeders can research the background genealogy on potential herd sires or dams.
Alpaca Research Foundation (ARF)
A scientific research body dedicated to studying alpaca health, husbandry, genetics and fiber. ARF studies are used to further the knowledge of the North American alpaca industry.
We are using this learning technology to teach our son how to learn - anything. They produce books covering the different barriers to learning, and how to overcome them. It is enabling him with the knowledge of how to approach a problem (barrier) and get around it by using the right tools (dictionaries, demonstrations, drawings, etc.) so he conceptually grasps the subject.
Arbor Day Foundation
We have planted trees from the Arbor Day Foundation to get some more shade for our alpacas in the summer. The Arbor Day Foundation has decent prices on bare root varieties of multiple trees. Keeping them from being eaten by the fuzzy crew is a chore, to say the least, but will hopefully prove to be good for them in the end. (Note from Dean: only five out of 20 - both first and second year trials - have survived "the crew" so far.... I think I've got 'em protected enough, now.)
This is a chicken forum we glean some of our chicken information off. This forum has been helpful with ideas on care, coop construction, incubation, etc.
When we first saw the videos of this blender blending everything from broom handles to ping pong balls, an iPod to marbles and other various oddities, we thought it was just hilarious. Then, we actually went and looked at the blender and what it can do. From all the product information and design we fell in love with it. Then, one day in Costco, there was a display.... one went home with us. :)
If you've ever had a blender that choked on ice, you MUST try a Blendtec Total Blender. This thing will take anything you put in it and pulverize it to mush - or whatever lighter consistency you need, if that is necessary. It is a very good blender for breaking up foods into easily digestible parts.
Since we have guinea pigs for the kids to learn about early responsibility and animal husbandry, this forum has been helpful with information on the little vegetarians of mystery. They're fast little buggers, too!
The Dirt Doctor
We use organic techniques to garden and care for our animals as much as we can to maintain a healthy natural balance on our farm. Howard Garrett (the Dirt Doctor, as he is known around these parts) is an arborist by trade and a radio show host that espouses organic techniques and natural ways of gardening, landscaping, farming and living.
Being do-it-yourselfers (DIYers), we like to try and find the good stuff at decent prices along with helpful information in one spot. While not always the lowest price, eTrailer does have pretty much all the parts ever needed for many trailers and trailer applications and very helpful videos on trailer maintenance. They have great shipping speed as well.
The Goat Spot
Here is where we get some extra data on our goats. They have been really helpful during our three births (two birthings, three babies) this year. So, of course we posted pictures. :)
Muenster Milling Company
We only want the best quality of life for our animals, so we do our best to find the best quality feeds for our furry family members. Muenster uses all natural ingredients and no chemical preservatives. Plus, they use diatomaceous earth (DE) in their blends - not the version used in swimming pools - as a natural parasite preventative. When we found out about Muenster, originally it was the dog food that got us interested. Our older cocker-lab mix was kind of feeling his middle ages (he was getting around six at the time), so we tried Muenster. He has been more energetic since then and has had very few fleas and ticks despite spending half the day out in the pasture with the horses and donkeys. We also get their cat food, horse feed and alpaca/llama feed.
North Texas Power Stroke Association (NTxPSA)
A Power Stroke diesel enthusiast club. Since we own and maintain our two 1997 Ford pickups with 7.3 liter Power Stroke diesels, naturally we are partial to Ford diesels. This is the local club to which we belong. Even though it is "local" there are members from all over the U.S. to date. With advice on where to get parts and materials, help diagnosing problems, tips on maintenance and an overall friendly place on the web, it is a great club. They've probably saved us nearly $5000 - $10000 or more (so far) in service work and incorrect diagnosis than if we were to have gone to a shop with less knowledge, ingenuity and helpfulness.
Schaeffer Manufacturing Company
After starting into doing our own maintenance on our vehicles (diesel pickups) we tried to find the best available parts and materials to put into them to keep them running as close to forever as humanly possible. During the search for engine oil, Schaeffer oil was recommended as a good quality synthetic to keep the engine going strong and increase oil drain intervals. We tried it. Not only did it clean up the engine on Dean's 1997 7.3L Power Stroke (that had 230000 miles on it), but it also increased the oil change interval to every 10000 miles - about twice the factory recommendation. We now plan to use their oils in our tractor and Zero Turning Radius (ZTR) lawnmower to extend their life as well.
This is the place where we got our 1958 Farmall 340 restored. They are very good at restoring any make and model of American made tractor. They are also the only tractor repair shop that is completely built using "green" technologies. The whole shop is powered off of three wind generators, they used low emission paint, specially coated windows, recycled glass and plastics, rainwater catching for the bathrooms as well as a geothermal heat pump to keep things cool in the summer.
Useful Lama Items, Inc.
Good place to get alpaca and llama specific items and information that you may not find on other web sites.
The Way To Happiness
This little booklet is helping our oldest son learn ethics and morals as part of his social studies compliment of his homeschool curriculum. The booklet contains 21 precepts in a non-religious wording that can be used by any one. They also have a video for each of the 21 precepts that can be used as an education aid. He loves those videos.
Mitchell's Feed Store
Mitchell's is our local feed store of choice mainly since they carry the natural cat, dog and horse feeds produced by Muenster Milling.
Located in Royse City along our route into Dallas, they are a very friendly shop and they carry the majority of our feed, hay, supplement and accessory needs. Michelle actually bought her purse (gun carrier) there - to everyone's (in the family) surprise.
BENT RIVER ALPACAS