I do get questions from people as to why we raise Alpacas and what do you do with them? Do you eat them? No, we don't eat them. We raise them for their wonderful fiber. We process all of our Alpaca fiber into roving and other finished products. I spin, knit, felt and weave so I make most everything. I have a store that I sell our Alpaca products and other locally produced fiber farm products. I have been recently working on orders for handspun yarn for a couple of ladies that are knitting very special presents for Xmas.
I also like to dye my white alpaca fiber and blend into batts using my drum carder. Here are a couple of examples...
For those that have been following my blog, you will remember that I had a contest last month. One of the winners named Valerie received her prize of the roving pictured below. She has a picture on her blog Fiberewetopia of the yarn that she has spun from the roving. It is beautiful.
So as you can see there is a lot of things that we can do with Alpacas!
One thing about taking care of our Alpacas, is that you have to go outside in all types of weather, no matter how good or bad it is. I enjoy being outdoors, as I love the beauty of nature. We live close to Lake Huron and this past week we had some unseasonably warm days for November. The mornings were cool, so with the Lake Huron waters still being warmer than the air, it created some foggy mornings.
The sun peeking through trying to burn off the fog.
It was very peaceful this morning while doing the morning chores. A wonderful way to start the day.
Daily life on the ranch does not always go as planned. Today is Saturday and my husband will usually do the morning chores alone as I needed to head to town to open our store named the
I saw Gary heading back to our house with both of our two Maremma guard dogs trailing behind him. He came into the house and yelled "I'm going to need your help, Pan has quills in his mouth." I said "No, not again!" Our dogs protect the Alpacas from those critters also. A couple of years ago, there was one that had gotten into the Alpaca girl's pen. All 3 dogs had so many quills, that we ended up having to take them into the vet. The vet tranquillized them in order to get them out of the back of their mouths. Again, this spring we had another very large porcupine hanging around the outside of the pastures which Pan & Meadow decided that they needed to take care of. We were able to pull those quills out ourselves. Here is a picture of Pan this morning with some quills sticking out. Most of the quills are inside of his mouth stuck in his gums and the roof of his mouth.
Needless to say it was not an easy chore, as he does not like us pulling them out of him. He is a large dog (over 120 lbs) and he is hard for us to hold him still. We thought for sure that we would have to take him into the vet again, but after an hour of work, we were finally able to get them all out. Of course I was late getting into town to open the store, but it was worth it, knowing that our fearless Pan was okay. It is just another day on the ranch!