The latest news on the block is this: Evan and I got ourselves a herd of alpacas. They arrived a week and a half ago. Evan and his friend Chris made the journey together to pick them up several hours away, and returned home close to midnight with a box trailer containing 5 furry fluff-balls. The next morning, we introduced them to their new home—a stall Evan constructed for them in half of our garage, with access to much of the yard for roaming and grazing. The five new members of our family include two mothers, two sons who are a little over a year old, and one baby boy who is only a few months old. In the near future, we’ll also be getting two full-grown males from the same farm to add to our herd.
Evan has a long history with the animals—he worked on an alpaca farm in high school, so he knows what he’s doing, and he’s always wanted to raise them himself. I, on the other hand, am learning it all as I go. The biggest question we get is, “What do you do with them?” Lots of things. First and foremost, we have fun with them. They are incredible creatures—smart, funny, cute, curious—and they all have unique personalities. We take them for walks—sometimes in the yard, sometimes on back roads near our house, and in the future, once they’re more used to us and our new home, we plan to take them hiking and backpacking (yes, alpaca backpacks will happen).
But they’ll also be more than just pets. In the spring, we’ll shear and sell the wool or get it spun so that we can knit with it. We’ll also most likely end up breeding them. One of our females is currently pregnant, so come May, we’ll have another baby alpaca. Our yard can only support so many, so we’ll have to sell some of them eventually. I was a little skeptical of the idea of getting a herd of rather large animals at first. I was a little worried we’d be getting in over our heads. But so far, they’ve proven to be a lot easier to take care of than I thought, and a lot more fun and engaging too! Despite my initial reservations, I’m so happy they’re here.