As I was looking for information on Musk Ox, I found a very interesting program. Some wonderful people are domesticating a small portion of these awesome animals. The Musk Ox Farm in Palmer Alaska is wonderful 1930′s farm where they raise, socialize, and breed these beautiful animals. There mission states that ”The Musk Ox Development Corporation, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to the domestication of the musk ox and to the promotion of qiviut production as a gentle and sustainable agricultural practice in the far north.” I think it’s a beautiful idea.
I had the opportunity to speak with Mark Austin who is the Executive Director of the the Musk Ox Development Corporation. He explained to me that they are basically a breeding toward more domesticated animals and socialization is a huge part of this domestication. The people at The Musk Ox Farm are very hands on and and it seemed almost like they were imprinting with the animals to a point. Mark was telling me about a PR Cow that brings her babies right up to fences to show them off. I asked about husbandry and how old musk ox cows should be and found out it’s acutally a few years (3-4). This is not a fast growing animal. There is also a certain weight that cows need to attain before breeding. I asked what they did with the more “wild” animals. They allow these ”rangier” (as Mark put it) animals to live out their lives on the farm. I’m so glad they weren’t culling or tossing out those with unwanted traits.
The Musk Ox Farm has a program. I would love to share with you!
Spring Membership Drive & Great qiviut Give-Away
For the first time ever the Musk Ox Farm in Palmer, Alaska has a limited amount of the world’s finest gently combed raw qiviut available exclusively for our members.
Here’s how it works:
While supplies, last every new “Friends of the Musk Ox” member that signs up at the adoption level ($100), or above, will receive one free ounce of luxurious qiviut.
We want you to be able to finish your project, so if you wish, you may purchase up to an additional two ounces for $75/ounce.
To become a new member and receive your qiviut “thank you” print this flyer off and send it with your name, address, phone number, email address and check to the Musk Ox Farm at:
Musk Ox Farm
P.O. Box 587
Palmer, AK 99645
For more information call (907)745-4151 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that I’ve brought of Quiviut. I have to ramble on about how soft it is:) The musk ox coat is a mix of black Grey and brown with long guard hairs. Occasionally white muskoxen have been found.
There is also a great variety within the actual coat of the musk ox. According to The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook by Deborah Robinson and Carol Ekarius there are 4 types of “hair” in Musk Oxen coats.
The skirt hairs which are up to 24 inches long. The guard hairs which are 3/4 -6 inches long. Intermediate striaght hairs length not determined similar to down.
And then of course (drumroll please) the down, the quiviut, creme de la creme. The down is usually in the range of 10-20 microns placing it right up there with cashmere. There are no locks really to speak of it comes off the the animal in a cloud mass all at one time.
I was able to get my hands on some of this amazing stuff. I do think there are some straight hairs in mine. It is a crazy soft, buttery, chocolate cloud of fluff.
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