Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Llamas, Alpacas and Crias, oh my!

About six months ago (has it really been that long? Pretend I didn't say that), I convinced Dear that we had to go to the Alpaca Festival in Loveland, CO. I wanted to go simply because I think the animals are cute and I knew there would be a bunch of them, and I figured it would be a great place to score some alpaca roving to spin up. I was right on both counts, but what I had not expected was that we would end the afternoon discussing whether or not we would want to keep a small herd of these animals someday.

Ever since then, I've been playing with the idea of finding an alpaca ranch somewhere nearby that I could volunteer and learn a little more about the business and the animals themselves. I finally got around to doing that, and Dear and I drove up this past Sunday to Happy Critter Farms to meet Carolyn and her herd of alpacas and llamas.

Carolyn and I had been emailing in the days leading up to our visit, so I knew that she had been nursing a preemie cria that was not bonding with its mother. She is yet unnamed and is still day-to-day, but what a sweetheart.

We learned a lot from Carolyn in the mere hour and a half we were there, and I'm looking forward to visiting more with her in the future. Besides the new cria, we got to meet Brownie and feed him some treats.

This is Brownie with Flat Stanley, a school project for our nephew. Flat Stanley was squashed flat as a pancake by a bulletin board and is now being mailed around the country and wants photos taken of his adventures. We thought Flat Stanley would like meeting some alpacas, and we weren't wrong!

We also tried to go to a Pygora goat shearing in town, but we missed the shearing by mere moments. However, the goats were cute and obviously quite itchy after being shorn. Can't say I blame her, but it was kind of cute to see her chewing herself and scratching up against anything vaguely textured (the fence, the wood post, their pen).

I have a few other blog posts that are brewing in my little ol' head, so I'll leave those for another day. Happy Alpaca Farming!

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