Our alpacas arrived today!!!
We are soooo excited about these guys! The wonderful friends who came all the way out to bring them to us also brought three huge bags of fiber from this year’s shearing and some of the most wonderful homemade soap (if you’ve never tried goats milk soap before, it’s amazing. Shameless plug: our girls are about to start making it, so you will soon be able to buy some from right here on our farm! I’ll be posting links as soon as it’s available.)
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from alpacas, as I’ve never been around a camelid before, unless you count that camel ride at the fair when I was little, and a run-in with a guard llama a few years back that pretty much terrified me. So here are my first impressions of our new additions:
1. They are very, very calm. They were obviously very nervous, but they weren’t wild and seemed pretty laid back. No kicking or bucking or otherwise acting ridiculous (though I’m told that the boy will kick if he gets too nervous and you happen to be within range, we haven’t seen him do any of that yet.) In fact….
2. They’re slooooowww. I’m sure they can hit top speeds when they want to, but in general all of their movements are sloth-like and with their half-closed eyelids, they look like they’re going to fall asleep at any moment. They really don’t remind me of goats or cows or horses. Ever seen Winnie the Poo? They remind me of Eeore. But with taller necks. And longer legs. And upright ears. And they’re pretty much nothing like Eeore, except that they’re slow, and that is my point.
3. They’re very, very soft! They feel… plush… is the only word I can think to describe them (I don’t think I’ve ever used that word in my entire life, until now.) I’m very sensitive to textures (for instance, I can’t pet course-haired poodles. At all. They give me the heebies) so I didn’t expect to like touching them, but they are soft! Soft like bunny fur, but woolish. Sorry, can’t describe it. But it’s soft.
4. They’re big! They’re small! They’re somehow bigger than I expected them to be AND smaller than I expected them to be. Handling them for checkups and shearing doesn’t seem like it will be too hard, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to catch them in the field if I need to, if I can get the boy used to my presence before we get them out there. Which I must do, because my days of chasing/wrestling creatures are over. We sold those sheep for a reason.
This is “Queenie” (the girl. We’re pretty sure she’s pregnant!):
And this is “Wakefield” (the boy.) Love his hairdo!:
Aren’t they cute?! “Queenie” and “Wakefield” are their registration names, but we’d love to give them new names now that they’re with us, because I can’t possibly not be the one who gets to pick the names of the cutest animals on our farm (sorry, goats, you’re now officially in second place. But you’re still number one in pickiness and stubbornness, and probably always will be, if that’s any consolation.)
I’m drawing a complete blank when it comes to naming them, though, so we’ve decided to hold a contest! As I mentioned before, the girls are almost ready to start making their own soap, so whoever comes up with the best names for our two new additions gets a bar of goats milk soap, a bar of felted goats milk soap (felted with… you guessed it… alpaca fiber!), and some carded alpaca fiber to play with!!! Please note, however, that the milk soap hasn’t been made yet and takes about six weeks to cure. Also note that I don’t actually have any carding brushes (I’ll get some, I promise!) and I’ve never felted soap before. So your prize won’t be ready until next month, at the earliest, and the quality of said prize will be questionable at best. Also, since it always takes me a few months to get anything in the mail, please know that you probably won’t actually have your prize in-hand until sometime late December. At the earliest. So essentially, you’re not going to get anything for winning our contest any time soon except the satisfaction of knowing you helped name two alpacas somewhere in South Central Kentucky, which is totally a prize in itself. So if YOU want to be the person responsible for naming THESE TWO adorable creatures (and you know you do), leave a comment in the comments section, or on facebook!
Winners will be chosen next Saturday!