A cousin and her husband raise alpacas for themselves and others. Today was shearing and gathering of the fleece.
My old medical courier comrade, “Santa” and his crew came to observe as did DrJim along with SLW and TLG. TLG seemed a bit overwhelmed but did well for a four year old. Santa's pic at the bottom.
Waiting. Alpacas generally don’t bite but have a nasty spit. A sock helps.
The peacocks were penned next to the shearing and they were not pleased. Not pictured is the full sized Llama who acts as a guard. Llamas will take on and beat a coyote or stray dog.
There was a break for lunch which Sisty organized and then rain. One of the shearing crew, an Apache, started praying. Worked, the rain moved on.
That's some serious shearing and a good bit of money hanging in those bags! Glad you got some folks out to see it!
We had a great time, and it turns out TLG was afraid of the thunder, something I didn't know until today.
TLG was even asking if we could go back some time when it wasn't raining!
The "Guard Llama" must have been Bojangles. He was definitely bigger than the Alpacas, and seemed a bit peeved that all those people were on his turf...
Always good to see you and Sisty.
Glad the lad enjoyed himself and it was good to see all of you. They are down to one guard llama. They "retired" one that got mean and attacked them.
The clippings are the economic reason for raising them. What I've been told is alpacas are fairly low maintenance compared to other domestic animals.
Llamas, interesting. There was a craze for Emus here not too long ago, which are fearsomely big birds. Llamas seem to have more value.
But what an uplifting post, thanks for that.
There are a lot of "hobbyist" farmers/ranchers. Small acreages, town jobs, tax write offs, etc. The Emu fad has faded around here but Llamas and alpacas are popular. My cousin and her husband are not hobbyist. They do have other incomes (and that is the extent of my knowledge of their personal affairs).
Llamas make good guard animals with fewer risks than some of the Middle East dog breeds. Coyotes are major problems with livestock growers. Sheep, calves, alpacas, fowl, and domestic pets are all prey for coyotes.
And here, in Texas, the coyote's natural predator, the wolf, has been taken out and so they breed like fury. Some friends of have dogs which keep the threat down, understandably. Others have donkeys, who apparently frighten the coyotes. I've never understood that, curious.
I'm no expert but have rancher friends and relatives. Donkeys and mules have been known to kill mountain lions (very rare). Large guard dogs are a common sight among sheep flocks.
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