April is for Alpacas

Most of the year our alpacas are practically invisible. We catch them occasionally to check their coats for mites and to preventatively medicate them against meningeal worms, but otherwise they just hang out in the pastures.  When April rolls around, though, it's a different story!  Especially this spring in particular, actually.  It was still March, but a few weeks ago, while browsing local online classified ads for a tom turkey, Caleb ran across a farm selling their small herd of alpacas for a truly bargain price. We couldn't resist, and quickly became the proud new owners of our first female alpacas, Sweet Annie, Snowball, Reba (MacIntyre), and Dolly (Parton of course) and a stud named Toby Keith. As you may have guessed, these all came pre-named, some from a country-music-themed farm. All 4 girls should be bred, and Reba may be due any time now. The others are due in the fall - 'pacas have an 11.5 month gestation, give or take several weeks, so we'll start watching the girls around September. 

That brings us to 8 alpacas, and of course when we bought the new ones I also picked up 3 of their fleeces from last year, so now I still have some or all of the 4 fleeces I already had from last year, 3 more and of course 8 more coming at shearing time. What to do?  Buy a spinning wheel of course!  So I found a local woman selling her spinning wheel and drum carder for a great price - and also wanting to sell her 4 alpaca boys!  Yes, of course they were too good a deal to pass up, so our most recent additions to the farm are Igor, Geordie, Joey, and Hugh. They are a range of shades of brown which I'm really excited about. Our other 8 'pacas are white, red-brown, gray and black so these boys round out my color range nicely. I'm especially excited about Joey's beautiful fawn fleece!  Annie also has a large fawn area on her back so I'm interested in seeing how her fleece interacts with Joey's. 

Ive been spinning as much as I can justify since I got my wheel, and I've managed to process all of one and almost all of a second fleece from last year. I am hoping to finish with Alabama's within a few weeks, because...

Shearing is on April 9th!  We are hosting the shearing crew for the first time, we are very excited about that!  If you're around the area, don't hesitate to stop by - we never mind gawkers :). Alpaca shearing is really fascinating, I'll have a photographer this year, so I'll get some good pictures up here next week. Until then, that's a look at alpaca life on our farm!

Comments

Love this new website Amy,

Love this new website Amy, and yes, it works!!! Great news love you.

Thanks!

I'm glad you like it! I'm still putting on the finishing touches like the email subscription I got up this morning, but I think it's coming along pretty well. I'm hoping to get a new post up tomorrow or so, after we decompress from our 12 hour drives to and from NC!

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