Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Alpaca

Clive and Stuart

Recently we got two Alpacas, why you might ask? Who gets Alpacas, why wouldn't you just get a horse or a sheep, why an Alpaca? Well, let me tell you the journey we took to getting Alpacas.

When I say we I am referring to Queen Cassowary, author of "A Preppers Wife" (yeah, it's about me), so on the 5 acres we have a lot of native trees (large trees) and other types of natural debris (logs, sticks, shrubs, etc.) so mowing is not really a possibility. So why not clean up, you ask? Well we are trying to make this a natural sanctuary (if you will) and restore it to what it should be like, Australia native bush. But, in trying to do this we don't want to encourage nastiness like snakes that will eat me while I sleep, even though I say I want the natural environment, I don't like to die either. So we need to ensure that grasses are maintained, the chickens, ducks and geese do this also, but they are so cute and little that it would take them a year (if the grass stopped growing) to even think about clearing 1 acre! So, we needed a bigger, faster (and so what cuter) solution. Alpaca. Why not horses or cows? Well, we were looking into horses and cows, and after looking at the land that we have, we have seen the devastation that the horses and cows hoofs make on the ground, we needed a better solution. I know a bit about goats, and I know that they would love to eat all the baby trees and plants before doing what I want them to do (the grass) because they are like that, and we have planted about 50 new trees and shrubs on this land since we have been here, and I didn't want them to be a light snack. 

So, after a search, we found out about Alpaca. They don't have the same feet as horses and cows, they are from the same family as camels (and lama) and they do little when they walk on the ground (they do leave cute little foot prints in the wet soil). 

We set out and talked to some Alpaca breeders and picked out two. We don't like having just one of an animal, because it would be lonely for them, and having 107 Alpaca might just be slightly overwhelming for our little 5 acres, so two was the right number :)

The other really appealing part of getting the Alpacas is their wool, it is nice and soft and durable, and can be used to barter as a raw product, or can be made into a lot of different things, and as mentioned in other posts here, I like to make and do everything myself, so having a source like this on the land is very beneficial. Also the poo, they are relatively clean animals, they will have "piles" where they like to 'go', so for gardening reasons it is really really handy :) My gardens will love it!!

This is Clive, the is the older of our two boys (both de-sexed because we have no interest in breeding at this stage (and to boys can't breed)

And this is Stuart,I think that he is a little more handsome than Clive, Clive is kind of goofy looking, but he does his job :)

Well, I must head off, the day is starting without me and the ducks are yelling at me already, but I will leave by saying that these Alpaca are great, if anyone was considering them, I would recommend them. They make beautiful soft noises when they talk, they defend the area from wild dogs, and when they walk around they act as a snake deterrent because they are big and heavy and noisy, all the things that snakes hate :) 

I hope that you all enjoy your day, and enjoyed reading about our two new babies. I will keep you updated about these Alpaca and the rest of the monsters as our saga unfolds. Enjoy life, be happy :)