Monday, May 20, 2013

Last Two Boys

Bronson and Buckles, the large two white boys, arrived at the ranch on May 11. Mrs. Cokely delivered them and they made the trip in the back of her van! When we had gone to meet the alpacas on shearing day, I had gotten into that same van with her daughter only to turn around and see a couple of alpacas back there, resting and waiting for their driver to take them back home. People's ingenuity never ceases to amaze me.

Bronson has a small wound on his face that was discovered at shearing, so I have to catch him and keep it clean. I also put on fly ointment so the nasty buggers will leave it alone. It seems to be healing up nicely. Buckles has a vision problem in his left eye. He holds his head to the side (which really makes look inquisitive) and he eats and gets along just fine otherwise. When hand feeding, we help him out by holding his treats right up to his mouth because he has trouble seeing exactly where they are.

The alpacas seem less intimidated by small children, less so by me when I'm seated rather than standing. Pictured above is Farmer G handing out goodies. They like their goat pellets, and are becoming assertive about making sure they get their fair share.

They're always dissapointed when the treats run out for the day. The boys have been letting us touch them, mainly enjoying neck pets. They're still a bit skittish, so we give them plenty of room if they want to move away.

Monday, May 6, 2013


When Doc Mary came out to vaccinate Karma and Cookie, we visited awhile and I mentioned that I was learning to spin wool from Muffy. We chatted about what kinds of animals we enjoyed or might want to take on and I had mentioned I'd like an alpaca--especially to be able to spin the fleece into yarn.

She remembered that.

Our new residents.
A week ago on the last day of fair, I received a call from Doc Mary that there was a lady who needed to rehome some of her alpacas. Knowing literally nothing about the care of this animal, I was leery and had to consult with my husband and do some research. We talked it over and called the lady to ask her more questions. At first I felt comfortable only taking on two. My husband suggested six. I thought, well maybe four...

An alpaca being sheared at Cienega Creek Farm in Benson.

The alpacas were moved from Wilcox to Cienega Creek Farm in Benson to be sheared, vaccinated and have their teeth and toenails done. We arrived there in the morning after the shearing had begun to "help". Of course, we felt quite useless for some time as we watched a very efficient team of people shear and handle these interesting animals. Eventually we figured out places where we could jump in and do menial tasks. It was nearly an all day affair.

Mr. and Mrs. Cokely of Cienega Creek were extremely informative and helpful. They offered all kinds of advice and told us to handle the alpacas daily, talk gently to them, and lead them around on walks as often as possible. They started us off with some very nice timothy hay and instructions on feeding.

Three of the fleeces came home with us that day. Mrs. Cokely offered that I come back and learn to skirt the fleeces which sounds fascinating to me.

Darius's fleece.
We came home to the ranch with our first four boys: Darius, Piper, Dreamcatcher, and Kingsman. The other two will join us later as the Cokelys did not want to place all six animals in our trailer. Tired from a stressful day of being manhandled and sheared, the boys were unloaded into their new pen which features a huge, shady mesquite tree. They have been placed in one of the three pasture areas that were constructed originally for the sheep.

Muffy's is the cream color and Darius's is the brown.

I am already spinning Darius's fleece into yarn!