A blog about our life on the family farm. Lots of animals, chickens, hair sheep, dexter cows, horses, border collies, alpaca. Read about how the farm life is tackled by a full time working couple.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Alpaca are here!
Alpaca in trailer.
Well we made the plunge and purchased some alpaca. I found a great deal on Craigslist. I borrowed an animal trailer from a coworker and drove up to John Day this morning. I took Zeke with me and he thought he had died and gone to heaven getting to spend three hours each way riding in the back with the wind in his face. We even stopped a couple of times each direction so he could run around by the river. The first time we stopped he took off and I waited 30 seconds before I started calling him. It took him over a minute to come back at a dead run. He must have gotten pretty far away. I kept him in sight after that. The drive was curvy and hilly but very nice. I got lost in Canyon City and had to call for directions. It was up some curvy road and off the beaten path. I never could have gotten there with the first set of instructions. We loaded the first six animals by just pushing them into the trailer. We got them piled up by the opening and no one would go inside. The owner put a bridle on one and we drug it up into the trailer and tied it to the far end. After that we managed to push the other five inside. I then swung the trailer divider over and just kept pushing to try and get it shut. They did not want to go. Plus, they started spitting at each other! It is not really spit, it is regurgitated feed hucked directly up from the stomach. It smells nasty. We had to halter one of the other two and then physically lift the last one into the trailer. I had to reach through and remove the halter on the first one and it was covered in nasty spit. We drove 100 yards down the road and I stopped to take a picture of the alpaca. I got a face full of nastiness! I continued to stink the entire drive home. The alpaca are easy to transport, as soon as the trailer starts moving they just sit down. We got home and I drove into the orchard. The cows were there so Zeke got to work and chased them out. I opened the trailer and let the alpaca out. They are fairly tame. I touched everyone and they just ran out and formed a group. Two hours later and they are still in the same place! Just standing around trying to figure out this land of green. We fed some hay but they did not come up to the feeder. The plan now is just to let them get acclimated. Their wool is only about 4 inches long now. We plan on shearing them sometime in late May. I have that much time to do some more research. We also have to cut their hooves and grind their front teeth and fighting teeth down. This will all be done on the day we shear. It is going to be a long day! The price was amazing as the owner was looking to downsize. 8 males only cost us $200.