Absolutely awesome agriculture and alpacas amber o neill
CranebrookHigh School 2010
Hi, I am Amber . I am a Yr 9Agriculture studentat Cranebrook High School. Hi, my name Welcome to our is farm! Dolce. Hi, my name is Louis.
Mrs Saxon and Mr Hi Murray are my Hi agricultureI’m Mr I’m Mrs teachers.Murray. Saxon. They are two in a million. They make school and learning so much fun. They encourage, inspire and motivate us and we now share their passion and dedication to the school farm and I’m Dolce and our animals. these are the They deserve a best teachers huge thanks! ever!!
Our school has many animals,including a steer, named Moss. We also have sheep, chickens, ducks and alpacas.
We have hens and pullets on our farm. Each year the school buys a new clutch of chicks foryear 9 students to study during the year. We study the growth of the chicks, weigh them and observe them.Wow they grow fast. They now have fully grown feathers and all lay eggs .The abundance of eggs they lay means a special treat for thestudents who can take the eggs home. I often take home a carton of eggs each week. Our chickensare free range, get lots of green grass and are very healthy. I think they taste a lot betterthan commercially grown eggs.
I love studying agriculture, it’s so much fun and learning about topics like sustainability, alpacas and sheep, is great! Of course I adore the animals! We learn to care for them and understand the responsibility we have to ensure they are happy and healthy. Each animal has their own personality and needs, just like humans. We are offered so many fantastic opportunities in agriculture! A highlight is taking part in the Penrith Show, where everyone can help out and understand the preparation and techniques required to show animals at a high level .
This year Cranebrook showed their sheep, steer and alpacas at the show. I love showing the animals. It’s great experience for taking our Alpaca team to the Sydney Royal Easter Show! We also create fantastic, “out-of- the-box” displays, called ‘District Exhibits’.
In 2010 Cranebrook created a display for the Penrith Show, using two life- size fibreglass steers. We painted them and dressed them up to look like a couple at a cafe. One of our steers wore black pants, glasses and a bow tie. The other wore a beautiful, pink skirt, frills and bow on head.
At the show the steers ate a huge chicken-burger and slurped a strawberry milkshake, which we also created for the display. We were very excited when our display received third place. At the show our alpacas and sheep also received third prize.
I’m a Jersey dairy cow and it’s milking time!This year we visited Hurlstone Agricultural College and Leppington Pastoral Company.Here we learnt hands on about the production of food and how to manage a farm. We watched cows being milked, bulls being weighed, sheep being drenched and animals being fed. A day full of fun!!!!
We have had many people visit our school in the past, and this year we were lucky to have industry experts come to visit. Wendy Taylor and Lynne Strong came to talk to us about the Archibull journey. Lynne told us about her farm and their journey to be sustainable. Wendy is an architect she opened our eyes to the endless ways we can share our love of agriculture with the widerWendy Lynne community through art and design.
I producedCranebrook’s first everstud alpaca! Cranebrook High School has recently become an alpaca stud farm. We were very proud of this achievement and these animals have become a major part of the school agricultural program.
I’m Cranebrook’s first ever stud alpaca to be born at We visit the Easter school! Show annually to get a feel of what it is like to own, prepare and show a good quality animal. Now that Cranebrook High is officially an alpaca stud, we areI’m hismum! hoping to participate in the Sydney Royal Easter Show in 2011.
Mum Dad When we talk about an alpaca stud farm, we are talking about the fact that all our Stud alpacas are bred for Cria quality and are purebred with complete pedigrees A pedigree is having documented proof of Warralinga the generation toChachani Intis Celtic Lad generation ancestralAmber Dawn blood line of the (Dolce) (Lives at animal, as proof of Warralinga Alpaca (Lives at Stud) being a pure-bred.Cranebrook High) Crane Brook Louis “image-Warralinga Stud Alpacas”
Why not? Look how cute and cuddly I am Our alpacas are very well tempered, beautiful creatures. Not only that their wool is amazing quality and they are very intriguing animals to watch. Their behaviour is different to that of other animals, they stay together and act like a family. Alpacas produce wool in many different colours so bleaching is rarely necessary. It has no lanolin so no cleaning is required and their hooves are padded.
During class I have learnt about the wool quality of alpacas and I was very privileged to talk to Warralinga Alpaca Stud Farm owners, Lyn and Graeme.The crimp, density, staple length, lustre, micron, contamination and handle of the wool were the main focus in our class.
(Soo-ri) (Wuh-kai-ya) Aragon Alpacas Peaceful Pasture Alpacas There are two kinds of alpacas.Huacaya alpacas have short, sheep like wool. Their fleece grows in bundles of staples, has crimp and grows out from the body so the animal has a well rounded full look when in full fleece. Cranebrook High owns Huacaya’s.Suri alpacas have long, dread-lock like wool. Their fleece grows in pencil-lock staples, has no crimp and falls straight down from the body, giving the animal a more slender appearance when in full fleece than a Huacaya.
During National Alpaca Week (1st-9th May 2010) our teachers encouraged us to visit alpaca stud farms. I visited a few, including Warralinga, Codan and Gunnamatta, and it was a great experience. I listened to talks and got to see theday-to-day running of quality alpaca studs. The quality of the alpacas was of a high standard and our school has set a standard to breed quality stud animals.
The following information tells youThe quality of Alpaca just a little about wool is what what the studentsdetermines it’s price, learnt about my wool.enhances it’s chances Please note that it is of winning at shows cria (baby) fleeceand improves overall though, and hasnt appearance. reached its peak.
Crimp• Crimp: is the natural wave formation of the wool. The more waves in a fibre, the easier the wool holds together when being spun, therefore better quality.
• Lustre: the shine of the wool. The morelustrous the wool the better the appearance, the better the quality. Look at my wool shine!! Isn’t it gorgeous?
I only have cria fleece, but just you wait until I’m a big boy... I’ll be dense and handsome!!• Density: the quantity of wool fibres. The higher the density on an alpaca determinesthe amount the wool on the body. Obviously the more wool the better.
Can you see the wool fibres? There are several of them and look how thin they are!! Does the black line help?• Micron: the diameter of wool fibres. The finer the wool, the softer it feels and the more products it can be used for. Good fleece is between 16-25 microns.
• Staple Length: the length in which the wool fibres grow between shearing. The longer the wool fibres the easier it can be spun, therefore the better the quality. Wool should grow approximately 10mm a month and should be 120mm after one year.
Sorry you can’t feel his wool, but I’ll tell you that’s it’s so soft and just like silk!!• Handle: The softness and feel of the wool. If the wool feels softer it is more likely to be less contaminated with dirt, contain less grease and have more use. The softer the wool the better.
Any material that is not wool is said to be a contaminant and must be removed before the wool is spun.• Contamination: the foreign materials in the wool. If the wool is contaminated the quality is reduced. It takes time and money to remove it and the wool is less valuable. So the lower the contamination the more money our wool can bring.
When showing an alpaca it’s wool should not brushed or washed as the wool fibres can be damaged. Nails should be clipped so they do not curl over the hoof. The confirmation of an The correct alpaca is important. confirmation will The length of it’s neck ensure correct posture, joint should be two-thirds of movement and it’s back, while the same breeding. length as it’s legs.
In agriculture I learnt how to halter, walk, I can judge and halter an work withalpaca! alpacas. I have also been lucky to show the alpacas at the Penrith Show and see the alpacas being shorn.
Caring for our alpacas is very important. We look after them by feeding them and providing them with water and shelter.We also drench them to prevent internal parasites, vaccinate them for diseases, clip their nails and shear their fleece.
I enjoyed the experience of drenching the alpacas. It was a difficult task but I learnt how to safely handle them. Shearing was exciting too. It is done completely different than sheep and other wool animals. I was asked to hold the alpacas head during shearing and talk to them and comfort them. It was lots of fun. We learnt that husbandry practices are important to keep animals safe and healthy, not just alpacas but our steer, chickens, ducks and sheep as well.
Yves (female cria) Currently Cranebrook owns six alpacas, two of which are pregnant, two of which are male cria’s (baby alpacas) and a female cria. Our alpacas are are all named after designer brands.Gianni Dolce Zannetti Calvin (male) Louis (male)
This is Yves, our newestBorn on the 12th arrival December 2010
Look I am onlyan hour old and I can run!! Where is my mummy?
This is my mum. She looks just like me dont This is my mum. you think?You’ve got yourdad in you too! Look at that white neck!!
While learning about the animals and plants on our farm, we also learnt about the environmental impacts they have on agriculture. I learnt about erosion, water availability, pests, soil compaction, weeds, disease and infection, pollution and much more. We learnt what each impact was, how it occurred, how it could be prevented and how to ensure the environment was sustainable.Image- Landlearn NSW - Flickr
Unfortunately our much loved alpaca, Prada, died recently, from a neurological bacteria infection. Although this was a heartbreaking event for the school the experiences learnt from her death are important .Students now appreciate the role of a vet (which I wish to become) and learnt the steps needed to take care of a sick or injured animal.
No worries! At Cranebrook Agriculture Farm we don’t do just animals.We own a greenhouse, where we grow bonsais, native plants and vegetables. Near our chicken shed we have an orchard with lemon trees. We also have a huge garden area, where students can plant any fruit, vegetable or flower they wish. This allows students to grow their own plants, learn about agriculture and take home the finished product. It is always heaps of fun!
During the year I was able to participate in fundraising activities. These activities enabled the school to raise money to maintain our school farm. Our main school fundraiser for agriculture is the Farm Services day, where students and teachers went to Farm Services and cooked a BBQ for breakfast and lunch. The team at Farm Services gave an informative talk on fencing. We learnt how to set up electric fences safely. http://www.farmservices.com.au/
The ag team at Cranebrook have held many BBQ’s and events at school to help support agriculture. These events are always great fun and help me realise the importance of teacher and community support for our farm.
Agriculture is an elective in year 9 and the first subject I chose. Some people think I am wasting my time studying agriculture. To them I say “ By studying agriculture I am playing an active role in creating a better future for Australians.”
I believe all young Australians like me should be provided with the education and opportunities to build their knowledge on the Learning about production of the food they consume, me shows how clothing they wear and products they use. fibre is I know that issues such as climate change, produced and population, land use and water availability are how I impact all on the rise and are becoming increasingly environments important to Australians. Only by teaching students the skills and knowledge of production, marketing and consumption can they be equipped, motivated and ready to make decisions about the challenges facing modern Agriculture. Not only is it one of the most important subjects to study it’s so much fun, the animals are great and our teachers are supportive, motivating and inspiring.
I wish to become a vet when I leave school. Studying Agriculture has given me great insights into working with animals and motivated me to work hard to achieve my goal. We thinkAmber willbe the best vet ever
Working with alpacas is amazing. They are so intriguing. We learnt things that are fun, interesting and will help us in Our incredible Everything the future. teachers are is hands encouraging, on. motivating and passionate.Cranebrookloves their animals. The students are taught about animals and plants, which is great!
Hey mummy, look!! They’re takingpictures of me.. Does my nose look big?