Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Second Job

People sometimes ask, "what do alpacas DO, what are they FOR?" and we politely explain that they are raised for their fine and luxurious fiber which is shorn once per year. We also discuss how they are gentle and interesting animals to have around, easy on the land, etc. We mention that they are routinely eating in S. America, but not routinely here.
Another job that they can and do perform is to act as guardian animals for smaller herd animals. We recently sold a male, Friday, to watch over 4 miniature babydoll sheep. Awwww, they are so adorable!
The owner was thrilled with him, but reported that Friday and the sheep were petrified of each other! She was concerned that he was unhappy without another alpaca, and opted to purchase Jack as well. (Alpacas will bond with other herd animals, but are always happiest with another of their own kind!)
I was glad when I returned to the farm to deliver Jack to see that Friday and the sheep were hanging out closely together. Jack and Friday were happy to be reacquainted but quickly went back to grazing!
Mirian was, of course, more infatuated by the owner's cats though she did think the sheep were pretty cute, too!

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