Our new fuzzy friends

An alpaca (Vicugna pacos) is a domesticated species of South American camelid. It resembles a small llama in appearance but alpacas were not bred to be beasts of burden, rather they’ve been bred for their valuable fiber.  Part of what has always been a dream for us is to have just enough land to grow our own food and to have a few animals as we are all big animal lovers around here.  As spring arrived, it brought with it some unseasonably hot weather and our tall grasses began reaching for the sky.  In lieu of mowing all this unruly grass, we decided instead to fence off a portion of our property for a garden and a larger pasture area for animals to graze.  Jaime – being the genius researcher/animal whisperer that she is – presented alpacas for our consideration and it only took a few minutes to convince us they would be the perfect companions for our property.  In addition to being incredibly fuzzy and cute after a year of fiber growth, Alpacas have a calming disposition and are relatively low maintenance for a small, family farm.  Indigenous to the highland plateaus of South America, they handle cold temperatures well and only need shade from extreme heat to be happy and healthy.  To provide shelter and shade, we built “the fuzzies” a barn and by we, I mean Jaime’s father/builder Don, with me just carefully following his instructions.  It didn’t all happen overnight but we got the property fenced, the Alpacas arrived via Winnebago, we got the barn built, got them sheared, and they seem quite happy in their new home.  Introducing Henry, Jasper, Othella, and Tina (the fuzzy formerly known as Demetria).  Welcome to Cotati! Now we’ll see how you go about raising chicks before returning to more serious photographic subject matter…    

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