Cover Image: Raising Animals for Fiber

Raising Animals for Fiber

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Member Reviews

This book is an introduction to raising sheep and other animals for fiber. There are so many breeds, it can be hard to know what you’re getting yourself into when you decide you’re going to take the plunge into raising your own. Even for the casual reader of interest will learn something from this packed book of fiber knowledge.
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I really liked this book and I learned a lot from ti! Finally it seems like dream of owning sheep isn't so far fetched as I always thought! Perfect for any beginning shepherd or shepherd at heart!
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This is a great introductory guide for those thinking about raising animals, with a focus on what kind of fiber you can obtain (for yarn). If you have lots of questions about potential homesteading/hobby farming but are afraid to ask, read this book.

Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for a digital ARC for the purpose of an unbiased review.
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As a fiber artist, I'm always thinking that I should go straight to the source and raise my own fiber animals. I know it's not nearly as easy as it sounds or looks on paper and of course on instagram, But Raising Animals for Fiber is a an amazing resource for those who are considering doing just that. If you're a crafter or want a side line to supply to  fiber artists and you're trying to decide what really goes into it, this book is for you.. It dives into very detailed information about the four main fiber-producing animals, their care, their special needs and what can be expected with each type. Chris shows in comprehensive details about sheep, alpacas, angora rabbits, and angora goats, which type of animal would work work in different kinds of setting, from backyards to small farms. There are details not only on housing but also important information on health concerns, diseases and injuries to look for as well as basic care for each animal. .Raising Animals for fiber is a great place to start and would be a book you'll want to keep on hand  when considering starting your own flock, I'd recommend it to anyone who is a fiber consumer looking to up their game or a person looking to getting to the business of supplying fiber. Even if you've thought about just starting small with a couple of house angora rabbits or your'e dreaming about a large herd of sheep, I'd suggest you pick up this book before you pick up your first animal!
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I received an electronic ARC of this how-to from Netgalley, Chris McLaughlin, and Companion House Books on January 8, 2020. I have read this work of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest personal opinion of this work. I am pleased to recommend Chris McLaughlin's work to friends and family. She writes it like it is, including the hidden costs of raising fiber animals, all the plus and minus aspects that you need to know before you buy your first critter.

This is a self-help guide to assist you in determining whether or not you want to invest the time, love, and money involved in raising fur-babies. Having spent several years volunteering on a farm in Texas set-up as a wide-ranging petting zoo for hospice patients and their families, and a fiber-for-personal-use sideline, this book brought me to tears or laughter every couple of pages. All of these critters are precious and well worth the trouble involved in their care. That said, they are a LOT of work, better done by a younger back, and the expense is never-ending, so you should only go into it if you intend to actually use/sell the fiber for a profit to help offset the expenses. We had neighbor goats when I was a child and had to run them out of our property, garden, chicken house on an almost daily basis so I have automatically eliminated goats from my want list. Until I read this, anyway. Now I am waffling between sheep and goats. I have the proper room to roam for a couple of either critter, but realistically I am 71 and more physically capable of wrangling rabbits. I will gift it to both of my grown children - it would be nice if I could volunteer at their petting zoo/fiber factory...

Things I learned in Texas that are not covered in this book - llamas, and alpacas cannot thrive in the summer heat and humidity of the Texas Hill Country, nor do they thrive in the desert heat of most of New Mexico, unless they have access to an air-conditioned barn. These special critters have centuries of adaptation to the many mountains of Peru. They need a mountain. If you have one, they are awesome creatures with a lot of love to share. And Bethlehem Donkeys may not be a fiber animal, but they are indispensable in a mixed fiber barnyard. They can sometimes keep the goats in line...
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As a fiber artist, this book was a fantastic introduction to the world of fiber animals.

It’s so easy to get carried away dreaming of the adorable animals and piles of fiber, and while this book definitely doesn’t discourage you, it provides a reality check on many things you might not think of at first.

There is so much information presented here on the qualities of fiber and the animals themselves that I think anyone who loves yarn and fiber will enjoy this book, even if you are not planning on raising animals in the future.

If you are looking into raising your own fiber animals, or you just like to learn as much as possible about your favorite hobbies, you will enjoy this book.
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"Raising animals for Fiber" is a good introduction to raising sheep, goats, rabbits, and alpacas for fiber crafts. There is a lot of information on each breed, including care and feeding, costs, breeding, and the fiber they produce. It was a pretty detailed book, my only criticism is that I thought there would be more detail on spinning, carding, and producing yarn from fiber animals. It is a very practical guide if you are seriously considering raising fiber animals and I found it interesting learning about these animals in depth. 

Thank you NetGalley for my complimentary copy in return for my honest review.
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Absolutely fabulous in depth book. I spin, dye, weave, felt and knit and this book inspired me so much.

There’s encouraging well researched information about purchasing, choosing animals and fun warnings that this hobby farm can grow and grow.

Detailed information about micron counts of fibres, difference between wool, alpaca, rabbit hair and how to use it. Spinners will especially appreciate this.

Illustrations are good and add to the temptation of rushing off to buy an animal. However great in depth sensible advice about buying, homing, housing makes one aware this is a serious venture and you may well spend nights outside or even by the fireside tending an unwell animal.

For anyone contemplating raising animals for fibre this is a valuable read. I highly recommend it and thank NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read and review it.
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#RaisingAnimalsForFiber #NetGalley

Very informative book about fiber! I really enjoyed McLaughlin's approach to 'talking turkey'. It is very easy to mislead people into thinking things will turn an awesome profit, it is also equally easy to talk them out of it. The goal of having the animals pay for themselves is a great one! Having been around farm animals, this book presents a great mindset to have, tools you want, where and how to get animals, knowledge, and how to care for these animals. It really like how it goes through four basic animals that in this area are the best of the best and why.

I received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
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Superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL

I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  

From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.

NOTE:  in Canada, we use Fibre vs. fiber, so I am using that spelling.

Fibre Animals for the Backyard and Hobby Farm Raising backyard fibre animals is rising in popularity, as more and more people seek traditional textiles for yarn-focused crafts like knitting, crocheting, and weaving, as well as spinning, embroidery, needlepoint, needle felting, wet felting, and fibre,  dying. This book offers an essential reference for anyone who is considering their own production of animal fibres. 

Author and fibre farmer Chris McLaughlin provides a comprehensive introduction to raising livestock for wool. With practical information for the aspiring beginner, Chris helps you to decide which species will best serve your own lifestyle criteria and needs. Inside Raising Animals for Fiber · Comprehensive guide to raising sheep, goats, angora rabbits, and alpacas ·

Practical information on housing, fencing, feed, grooming, shearing, plucking, basic health care, breeding and birthing. · Comparison of popular breeds and how their fibre differs from breed to breed. · Frank discussion of the energy and commitment that it takes to raise livestock, and how much room and land each animal species will need. · Essential biosecurity practices to prevent spreading pests and infectious animal diseases. · Advice on hand spinning and crafts to utilize your homegrown fibre.

This is a decidedly niche kind of farming and craft but I enjoyed learning a lot from this book. I love animals and would love to have these particular ones in my life on a daily basis as my husband is sick of stopping at the alpaca farm to visit them "for a few minutes" on the way to my parent's. The author knows his stuff the information he presents is sound and logical to me the un-average reader who likes to read books like this and dream about what I would have on my farm if I win the lottery and build a house that is 90% porch. 

This is more of a book for a public library vs. our special one, but it is still a wonderful book. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter..get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🐑🐇🐐🐏🦙
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An extremely thorough look at raising livestock for fiber. Chapters on four main types of animals raised for fiber (goats, sheep, rabbits, and alpacas) include how to select the right animals, feed, housing, shearing, etc. Written with winking humor and genuine affection for the animals. Plenty of photos and sidebars with lots of information. A good guide for newbies or anyone wanting a simple reference volume.
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A comprehensive and excellent book on the care, feeding, and breeding of animals raised for fiber production. As a knitter, I found this book very interesting. I had no idea how difficult it is to raise these animals until I read this book, and I now have immense appreciation for those engaged in this kind of animal husbandry.

The book is aimed at those interested in getting into the raising of sheep, goats, rabbits, and alpacas. For anyone interested in this topic, this would be a "must read" book. Lots and lots of resources are included. The author speaks from personal experience. She covers all the nitty gritty details you need to know, but she also conveys the joy and satisfaction of raising these animals. 

Highly recommended if you have any interest at all of raising animals for fiber production. Also recommended for craftspeople who want to know where their fiber comes from and what farmers go through to get it to you.
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A selection on a few animals where one could raise the animals and their finer. Not totally in depth but a really great start and reference. Also talks about what can be done with the fiber after it is off the animal.
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This is an amazing resource for those who are fiber artists and wanting to learn more about raising fiber animals in their backyard. The book goes through great detail about four fiber-producing animals and how to care for them in your backyard. McLaughlin gives comparison charts between the different animals (sheep, alpacas, angora rabbits, and angora goats) to show which ones might be easier to care for and pros and cons of each. Each animal then has their own section which includes caring for the animals, basic medical info, special terms and diseases to watch for. McLaughlin also includes details about types of shelter and pastures and fences for each animal. If you are wondering about raising backyard fiber-producing animals, this book will answer all of your questions and more! I highly recommend this to my fiber artist friends.
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I must own this book!!  I am very interested in fiber animals and there is so much information in this book involving purchasing and raising costs that I do not usually see in other books.  Pictures and writing are beautiful and this would be a great book to give as a gift.
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This is a very helpful book for anyone who wants to take their fibre crafting a step farther. I have a merino wether which I use the fleece to spin/felt with, so I concur with all the things that are spoken about in this book regarding the keeping stock.
It is a very good new entry book for the new hobby farmer/crafter. A very helpful book in many ways from breeds, animals, caring and cost in having your own.
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This is a nice introduction to raising animals for fiber and it has lots of information. It's a good starting point for inspiration and basic knowledge, but I think people would probably need to dig a bit deeper once they figure out which animal(s) they want to raise.
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Raising Animals for Fiber is a tutorial guide for suburban and rural landowners who want to raise their own animals for fiber. The book is aimed at the hobbyist/smallholder and emphasizes the keeping of fewer animals rather than large production type setups.

Released 10th Sept. 2019 by Fox Chapel on their CompanionHouse imprint, it's 176 pages and available in paperback format.

The book concentrates primarily on 4 different species of fibre animals: sheep, angora goats, alpacas, and angora rabbits. There certainly are (as the author states) other animals (highland cattle, llamas, dogs, cats, musk oxen, etc) which are kept for fibre in addition to their other uses, but they're not primarily fibre animals and aren't kept primarily for their fibre production, so they're somewhat beyond the scope of this book.

The book is split into an introduction which covers the basics of sourcing and acquiring good quality animals as well as deciding which animals to keep based on space limitations, practicalities, desired outcome and more. I liked that the author includes some cold hard facts about time and money realities along with the appealing pictures of happy healthy fibre animals. The introduction contains about 10% of the book's content. The following 4 sections (one for each animal: sheep, angora goats, alpacas, angora rabbits) contain an introduction, followed by subchapters covering some of the jargon for each type of animal, a discussion of the fibre they produce, breeds, collecting and processing the fibres, housing/fencing/feeding, breeding, and other important considerations and some troubleshooting.

The chapters obviously aren't as comprehensive as a species specific book, but they give a good solid basic general overview and enough information to get started on the quest to acquire basic stock (and hopefully not get taken advantage of).

I can honestly say that this is a book I -wish- I had had access to when I started owning sheep (and to a lesser degree rabbits).

The photography is mostly stock, but well presented and clear and supports the text well. The author's style is very informal, accessible, and friendly. I enjoyed reading the book, it's one I could see readers keeping as a home resource. This would make a superlative gift for smallholders or fibercrafters wanting/dreaming of expanding into producing their own fibres.

Four stars.
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