On Mother's Day, my daughter and I visited an Alpaca farm. I'd read on Craigslist that they had a pair of females for sale pretty cheap, both for less than a grand. Of course, they are not papered so they cannot be shown, but I'm not very competitive anyway. It's the black one on the left and the red one in the front and center.
Who can resist such silly faces?
I sat in the car while my daughter talked to the herd owner. Fortunately, the pen was right next to our car so I got a pretty good view.
The sale girls are larger than the other girls and not very good conformation (backs are kind of humped) but what can you expect when alpacas normally sell for $4,000 to $10,000 and more, each? I know llamas are used for pack animals on treks and, since these are so big, I'm sure they could carry a light pack on hikes too.Of course, the catch is, these girls aren't halter broke, much less packable...yet.
They need to sell them quick because they are moving the farm to Georgia in a couple of weeks. If we bought them, we would get all their fiber, beginning with this year. Alpacas get sheared every year, so I figured that, regardless of their conformation, they would give me something back. I did quite a bit of research on the fiber and got rather interested in possible new projects. I've never really thought about spinning yarn. And these girls are not going to have prime fiber for wool crafts, I'm sure. But, you can "felt" the coarser raw fiber and make hats, moccasins, and purses. My daughter likes to make braided hemp jewelry and I watched videos on how to make "ropes" out of the raw fiber for jewelry making. And, if they do give some really soft stuff, it can be spun into wool.
So, after much family debate and deep thought, my daughter and I decided to do it. With the help of my daughter's friend, they hooked up my trailer and got them. The black one is "cushed" in the trailer and won't come out, which is the reason my son and daughter are looking in, trying to figure out what to do. They did get her out and set them both up in the round pen at the front of the house. Nice! I can see them!
Yalla! came down for a look. I expected to see the horses much more riled up than they were. For some reason, they won't come to the end of the arena nowadays. They looked and ran a bit but I guess more aliens just don't turn them on anymore. When my neighbor brought in her llamas, the horses were freaked out for weeks.
Here's the black one. She looks reddish from the morning sun.
And here's the red one, names to be decided. I have their registered names but I don't have the actual papers on them. The black one is Katie and the red one is Ellie of Sleepy Hollow. I'm not sure if we're keeping those names. I kind of like Colombia and Magenta.
They are in the round pen by the house for now. My daughter will be moving them to the back, to our old dog run, where they will be safer from predators. Sandy and Buddha ran into the pen with them last night and we watched a kick fest as the alpacas defended themselves. We couldn't call the dogs away so decided to just let them all settle it. Little Buddha, with his big dog syndrome, was antagonizing the animals too, until he got trampled. I watched horrified, but, amazingly the little dog was none the worse for wear and hopefully, learned a good lesson. This morning, he was content to sit on my lap and just watch them. Sandy, ran in and bothered them a couple of minutes but I called her out.
I have yet to touch them. Isn't that crazy? But I'm counting the days to when I can be mobile and start working with all the animals again.
Loving the Alien - song: Loving the Alien, artist: David Bowie, album: Tonight