SASKAPACA is located South of Lintlaw, Saskatchewan and is the home of Bob and Polly Schindel and over 80 alpacas. Bob works off the farm in the construction industry and Polly, an ex-teacher, now has a showroom, SASKAPACA Yarn and Gift Studio, with an excellent selection of all the handmade alpaca fibre products, yarn, rovings, and batting located at 504 Prouse St in Kelvington, SK. They also carry a wide selection of frozen “La Viande” Alpaca meat cuts, sausage and jerky and a line of amazing Peruvian made products including their brand, Alpacaweave socks.
We proudly offer a curated collection of premium alpaca products produced locally from our very own alpaca fibre as well as some choice products from our "alpaca family" in Peru.
The SASKAPACA Story
We fell in love with alpacas back in 1996 when “diversification” was the buzz word for farmers. We were a mixed grain and cattle farm on our third generation family farm, however, the mix was becoming less profitable thus we began looking for something that would add value to our operation.
While others were opting for elk or bison we wanted something that wouldn’t require a lot of handling equipment and the associated dangers. As Bob was reading through a sales magazine he saw an ad for alpacas--a beautiful new-to-North America creature. Our research led us to the purchase of 2 male and 3 bred female Chilean Alpacas and we adopted the slogan, "Embrace the Lifestyle!" to describe our new venture.
By the time our 5 alpacas arrived on our farm in the middle of a cold Saskatchewan winter featuring -30 degree Celsius temperatures, our females had multiplied and we now had 6 Alpacas with a 7th due any time.
You can imagine the excitement as our three young daughters anticipated the arrival of our first “cria." The due date came but no baby. Through our research, we were amazed to learn that alpacas are ‘induced’ ovulators and that they have the ability to delay labour at will in response to unfavorable conditions. We assumed in this case, it was due to poor weather as the usual 11½ month gestation period was stretching to 13!
Perhaps it was the shock of such cold weather or maybe the breeding records were in error, we weren’t sure, but the cria was finally born in late December of 1996 to the delight of all.
Needless to say, we quickly adjusted our birthing schedule to mid-summer and have since had the joy of many many birthings or “Criations,” as we like to call them, over the years since.
Many of the attractions and benefits we were hoping for when we began our adventure as Alpaca Ranchers have proven true. We have sincerely and whole-heartedly embraced this fulfilling lifestyle.
Alpaca Fibre Products
We soon decided to get out of cattle ranching altogether and moved to organic grain and alpaca fibre production. We joined the Saskatchewan Alpaca Breeders Network (SABN) and The Canadian Llama and Alpaca Association (CLAA) and began our journey with new friends and new skills.
As we never had the gumption for traveling to the alpaca shows and competing as registered breeders, we decided to look in a new and exciting direction: The “commercial” Alpaca fibre industry.
This decision lead us to concentrate on increasing our numbers and the quality of our fibre. With the help of the SABN and CLAA and the events they sponsor, I became more and more educated on alpaca fibre and have completely fallen in love with its beauty, its feel, its practicality, and its diverse value.
From our small beginnings of a few animals and shearing them ourselves, we have experienced growth to the point of hiring a capable shearer, a quality control production line where we sort the fibre according to length, colour, and quality — each intended for a different end product. We then tumble the fibre to pre-clean it and send it to a mill for washing, carding, spinning, and dyeing.
We are proud to have found highly capable knitters, crocheters, weavers, hookers, felters, artists and furriers to work with and create the diverse array of amazing Alpaca products we carry today.
Alpaca ‘La Viande’ Meat Products
We have only recently entered the livestock meat market, first through the pet food industry using our cull animals, but now due to the rising demand, we also provide the grass-fed Specialty Meat Products for families who prefer grassfed all natural meats.
Pet Food: We learned that pet owner loved the noticeable effect that alpaca meat was having on the health of their pets. Once fussy and allergic pets who were hard and expensive to feed were happy and healthy; older less active pets were also becoming livelier. In fact, it was such a success that alpaca culls were not keeping up to the demand and the pet food company we used had to temporarily stop production. We now offer a few frozen choices direct from our farm.
All Natural Grassfed Meat: We are now much better prepared for the demand and offer a wide array of frozen Meats such as Ground, Steaks, and Roasts as well as a selection of mouthwatering Alpaca Sausage: Garlic, Pepperoni, Smokies & Breakfast Sausage as well as jerky.
For our customers who prefer buying in economical bulk quantities, whole or Alpaca Sides are available. Although we no longer grain farm we continue to follow the principles and values of sustainable farming in our alpaca operation.
These products are available at our store or by request.
Our alpacas have been bred for fibre production and health. We have many for sale to those who want to own alpacas. We offer package discounts and after sale support. Please call for prices and information.