As a veterinarian, I have been working on llamas and alpacas since 1997. I really enjoy the camelids, and in the spring of 2011 we received a couple suri alpacas of our own. Our girls just love them, and they are sweet, gentle animals. We like having them around, and are amazed at how little they eat. This summer we added a third alpaca, this time a huacaya, so each of the girls would have one to work with. It is nice to be able to let kids ages 5, 7, and 9 go out and catch and handle animals on their own without worrying about their safety.
Alpacas at the Delta County Fair
This past August (2011) was the first year there were alpacas shown in the Delta county fair. The groundbreaking group consisted of five kids ranging in age from 8 to 13. In addition to showing their animals they were required to make a project from the shorn fiber of their alpaca as well. Each participant also made a display board to help educate people about these unique animals. It was a successful year and we hope to have a 4-H class as well as an open class at the 2012 Delta County Fair.
The fiber is really fun to work with. The girls like to needle felt, and start with batting that we had a local fiber mill make for us with our raw fiber. We then wet felt the batting to have a thicker material to work with. The girls enjoy the wet felting process... it involves soapy water, gloves, and bubble wrap. The thicker material can then be cut into whatever shape is desired, and decorations needle felted on to it. This picture shows a felted bird house. We have also made little purses, hair ties, and wall hangings.
Two more Alpacas
After shearing May 31st, 2012, we picked up 2 new alpacas from the same farm that "Bunny" came from. "Trinity" and "Harmony" are yearlings and very friendly. One is brown and the other white. The girls are excited about the white fiber, as they can dye it fun colors. The alpacas are enjoying their new home and their guard dog, Buck.