Joanne and I were interested in alpacas for a long time, but the cost of them was too high. We always had outdoor animals. Our sons were raised on goats' milk. We had chickens, two different horses, two different cows and rabbits. Joanne always knitted and she bought some hand made yarn and loved it. She then wanted to do her own spinning so the next step was to take spinning lessons. She rented a spinning wheel and learned how to spin.
The next step was to have our own alpacas so she could spin our own fleece. We started out with two fiber males, Scooby and Shaggy. We then bought two females, Koko and Princess, Koko was pregnant. Finally we bought Freya Njord, who was also pregnant.
Koko, Princess, Freya Njord, Scooby, Shaggy
We had some trouble at first, Koko's baby was a stillborn, but Freya had a male cria, a baby alpaca, which we named Alfie. This year we had three crias, two girls named Alexandria and Anna Belle and a male named Artemis. This year Freya died from cancer.
Alpacas don't like to be touched, they run away if you try, but they are very curious. If you stand still one may come up to you and put its nose on you. Here is Koko coming up to me. The second picture has me holding Artemis and Alexandria. They are really wiggly little babies.
In the first picture Koko is with her baby, Alexandria. They are also in the second picture along with Princess with her baby, Artemis.
It is really fun to have babies. This set of pictures is Freya with her baby Anna Belle. In the first picture Anna Belle is only a few minutes old. The next picture has Anna Belle trying to stand, which she is doing in the third picture. The last picture shows Anna Belle laying by her mom, but she isn't even dry yet.
Alpacas are eating machines, they eat all day. Here is Drew feeding them alpaca crumbs and I am feeding them corn silk and husks. They love these.
Alpacas come from the Andes Mountains in South America and they love cold weather because of their fleece. It is 6 to 8 times warmer than wool. Because of this, warm weather bothers them. Here is Shaggy cooling off in his pool.
They love to climb on hills, this is Alfie on top of the manure pile. We call it Alfie's Mountain.
Alpacas get into everything, and with their dense fleece, they seem to collect everything around them. They even roll on the ground to pick up more.
This is shearing day. The alpacas get stressed out in the summer with their long fleece because they get too hot, so they are sheared in the spring. They have to be tied down and stretched out tight so they can't thrash around, they could hurt themselves.
After they are sheared, they will be nice and cool for the summer, but they look very funny. Here are several pictures of naked alpacas.
Greg & Joanne Meyer
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