ILLOTF: Barn Animals Edition

[I Love Life On The Farm: Barn Animals Edition] [Find the Barn Door Edition here.] [Find a tour of the grounds here.]

This story is from Friday, around lunchtime.  We had just finished a driving tour of the property.  Upon exiting the truck, I decided to wander over to the butterfly plants along the black fence to get some pictures of the butterflies.

I was just minding my business, taking pictures of flowers

and trying to be quiet and still so I could snap some of the butterflies too.

I was crouched pretty low, looking through the lens of the camera and not paying attention to my surroundings, when I felt like someone, or something, was watching me.

"Hey! I'm a llama! Whatcha doin' down there?"

Now, being the city girl that I am, I didn't really know how to react to a llama staring me down. So I froze. But I got the feeling the llama kinda liked me.

"How you doin'?"

She liked me, that is, until someone better came along. Both of us heard a noise down the fence and looked down to see that Christopher had jumped the fence and was now in the pasture with the llama and alpacas.

Everyone was interested in this foreigner that had just jumped the fence.  The alpacas started heading his way.

I have to admit, I was jealous of all the attention he was getting! Chris told me to just hop over the fence and they'd come over to me. So, I jumped the fence.

And nothing happened.

He told me to put on my sunglasses and be real still, so I did that too.

And still, nothing.

Finally, he came over to help me, and we started picking grass to feed them.  And it worked!

I may look sorta calm in that picture, but really, I was scared and thinking, "please don't eat my hand, please don't eat my hand."

And then the llama kissed me!

And an alpaca decided it wanted in on the action, too.

I had to pull away from that one. I'm married for crying out loud!

More alpacas, whose names I can't remember.

This one I can remember - her name is Penny, cause she's copper like a penny.

Anyway, we fed that group of alpacas for a while (we'll revisit that in a different post) and then headed over to another fenced off section.

Guys, meet Emily. She's the newest alpaca on the farm, and is just three weeks old.

Before I could get in the fence with her and her mom, Emma, I had to be checked out by their bodyguard llama.

I passed the initial inspection and was allowed in the fence, but then I had to endure a few more rounds of sniffing.

And then, finally, I was able to try to get close to baby Emily.

None of my efforts worked. She was just too scared of me. 

Meanwhile, Doc was on the other side of the fence making friends with alpacas.

And he got some sugars from a llama, too.

After a good while of Emily still being scared of me, we decided to head towards the barn to get some real food to lure her in.

Here she is with her mama.

Turns out, if you fill your hands with the alpaca food, you may get attention from more than just the baby alpaca you're trying for.

At this point, I still had not gotten to pet Emily. I really wanted to feel her soft fleece! So, after lunch, we were able to put her in a pen by herself so I could get in with her. (I'm pretty sure I may have traumatized her.)

And as far as pictures go, this is the best we could get of the two of us together.

I'm happy to report that her fleece is every bit as soft as I thought it would be.

Here's what I learned while at the farm: alpacas are bred/raised/farmed/popular? for their fleece.  An alpaca sweater can be softer than cashmere.  The two llamas are their protectors.  If a coyote or something were to get on the farm, the alpacas would run away but the llamas would actually run towards the intruder animal to try to trample it.   I think that's it in a nutshell.

The llamas aren't the only protector animals.  When they go to sleep at night with the alpacas, Bonnie and Clyde 2 get to work patrolling the grounds.

These dogs (Great Pyrenees) make sure nothing crazy happens at night.  The sound of their barking is comforting noise for Jack and Jan.   And they're really just the sweetest dogs ever.

They'd sit in your lap if you'd let 'em!

Ok, that's a wrap for the Barn Animals Edition, but there are still several editions to come...