There is an alpaca farm near our house and this weekend was National Alpaca Farm Days! (Mark your calendar for next year!) We were able to tour the farm and learn about the alpacas and what they do with the wool. Here a lady is felting a hat.
At the beginning of the tour, the owner talked about the breed and the farm and took questions. This family started raising alpacas as a way to save the family farm. Alpacas are from South America and are the cousins of llamas, but they are not nearly as big. An alpaca is only 150-200 pounds (llamas are around 750 pounds) and they are really only raised for their wool. (Except in Peru, where they are also eaten. Hmm.)
The kids were very interested and asked several questions.
This little cutie was not feeling a 100% and snuggled with me. In the 90 degree heat. But I was happy to get the love!
After the Q&A we fed the alpacas carrots. They are a little shy but the carrots were motivation enough to come up to the fence.
They were so sweet! There are two kinds of alpacas-huacaya and suri. The suri are the ones with the long forelocks.
The best way to quit is to not start... smoking is bad for you!
This guy's name is of course, Oreo.
This bag of fleece is from one alpaca. The fleece is worth anywhere from five to seventeen dollars an OUNCE. Which sounds like quite the cash crop... until you find out that a breeding female is around $30,000!
And we couldn't pass the face painting table! Carolyn got the "princess" face (as if she needed it since she believes she really IS a princess.)