Longbranch Ranch is located in the beautiful Appalachian Mountain Range of Eastern Tennessee.
We are a family run farm, small enough for exceptional personal service and large enough to offer some of the best breeding genetics.
We have been raising alpacas since 2006. These elegant and docile animals are a true blessing in our lives. Our love of alpacas opened a whole new world to us with the uses for their exquisite fiber. Alpaca fiber / wool is soft like cashmere, not itchy like the traditional wool socks many of us remember growing up with and much warmer than traditional sheep wool products.
Alpacas are members of the camelid family, originating from the South American Countries of Peru, Boliva and Chile. There are two breeds of alpacas; the Huacaya (wah-KI-ya) and the Suri (surrey). South American camelids date back millions of years. The alpaca is thought to be the descendent of the vicuna, domesticated some six to seven thousand years ago. Alpaca breeding and husbandry reached a peak in the 11th and 12th centuries AD under the Inca Empire. Alpaca was the fiber of royalty. After the Spanish conquest alpacas were nearly wiped out. In the 19th century alpacas were rediscovered by Europeans, playing a role in the Industrial Revolution. Alpaca maintained it's desirability until development of the synthetic fiber in the mid 20th Century, at which time public awareness faded again. The alpaca fiber industry is currently in a rebirth of sorts. Alpaca products of today are appreciated for the same reasons the Incan Royalty also prized. There is nothing quite like fine alpaca fiber against the bare skin. Outdoorsmen and hunters are also great admirers of the warm and wicking qualities of alpacas.
Accoyo Alpaca History
Accoyo is an Indian word meaning "sandy ground". Accoyo is the Peruvian farm of Don Julio Barreda. Don Julio Barreda is said to be the most important alpaca breeder of Peru with a legacy unmatched. Barreda grew up with these animals. In the late 1940's Barreda began to track animals sheared fiber weight and production. Almost 50 years later in the 1990's Barreda classified his herd into different categories based on the denseness of fleece. The most productive animals were called "Accoyo" named after his farm. Barreda believed that the animals with the best characteristics should be used to father the herd and only animals born of the herd were used for future selection. In other words he used the best fathers and used the best offspring to carry on the best characteristics genetically. It was his belief that the fathers lineage would be used to increase characteristics of the herds genetics. Until the 1980's alpacas were few in North America, scattered among zoo's and private owners. During the brief lifting of importation restrictions in 1983 & 1984 alpacas from Chile were brought to North America. Another group of alpacas arrived from Chile in 1988. In the 1990's alpacas came to North America from Australia, Bolivia, Chile, Peru and New Zealand. Importation came to a halt with the closure of the Alpaca Registry (ARI) in 1999. Prior to 1994 the laws of Peru prohibited the import of Barreda's "Accoyo" alpacas. Once Peruvian law was changed Barreda hand selected the best from his herd and shipped them to the US. When asked why he sent his best to America, Barreda answered, "They were my business card". To this day, Accoyo alpaca are still considered to carry the same traits of denseness of fleece that Barreda bred for.
This is why, here at the Longbranch Ranch, our herd sires are full Accoyo offspring.
The fathers lineage must be the very best.
We have sold our flock of Olde English Southdown Babydoll Sheep.
We have so enjoyed them and will miss them terribly.
We will be adding Shetland Sheep to our farm this year. The Shetland will give
us a diversity of color and staple length, stay tuned for lamb pictures.
We are also very excited about the upcoming breeding of our Miniature American Shepherds (aka: Mini Aussie's)