Thursday, May 10, 2007


Or Critters!
Just out side of the mini mill was a couple of critters. First up was the chicken, who, I was told, produces 2 eggs a day. She will soon have some company as a few more hens and chicks are expected to arrive any day. Who knew that it was so hard to photograph a chicken. Or more accurately, a chickens head. We won't talk about the photos that I have of the less photogenic end of the chick.

Then there are the goats. All boy goats. I missed the part of the discussion of the type they are, but Amy fed them some chow and I loved the way their little lips worked to pick up the grains! Sooooo cute! They were only originally going to stay for a few weeks , but Amy's husband took a shine to them and decided that they could live there a while longer.
Then it was on to the Alpacas! First up are the lovely ladies. There are a lot of white ones in the heard. Amy was very excited about this. So am I, truth be told! They just got the herd in January. They are boarding the herd for an oil fellow in Alberta. He pays the bills, they look after the herd, can keep the fleece, and they also take ownership of the cria, which are the babies. The herd will soon have their first shearing in New Brunswick. Maybe I can get my hands on some local alpaca roving. I was amazed by these critters. I noticed that there was an area where they all went to do their... ahem... business. It was right in the middle of the field, but at least they weren't spreading the joy all over the place.
Next came the boys. Apparently, the females don't have a heat cycle, but ovulate when they get inseminated. So the boys are kept separate from the ladies. The gestation period of an alpaca is about 11.5 months. A lot of the ladies are almost ready to give birth. Summer is a nice time to do that. January... not so much. Oh. And I was looking at the name list. One of these dudes is named Viagra. Yup. Viagra. I HAD to comment on it when I saw it, and Amy said that he was their stud male. Or head dude. Or the big guy. Maybe even the alpha alpaca. He might be the one who is posing so prettily out front, but to be honest with you, I had a hard time telling.
On the way into the farm, we noticed that the alpaca were very curious. So I asked Amy if any were named "George". "Well, yes," she replied "George is in the barn" He is a yearling that is being weaned from his mother. He and the other yearlings are kept separate from their moms for obvious reasons, but they are also kept from the big males because the big dudes will castrate them. Territory issues. Makes me glad that I am not a boy alpaca. But look at those eyes! So sweet.
Remember the slight problem with the navigation due to knitting? Here is the culprit. First sock foot finished (some where after the turnoff was missed) and second sock instep decrease finished and about two inches along the foot. I'm in the home stretch now! It should be done before the snow flies again.


Leigh said...

What a wonderful field trip! I loooove alpacas. Plus, the socks are looking good!

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

What an interest field trip. No sheep or llama tho huh? I love alpacas. They look a lot like llamas. BTW, are they soft to pet like the yarn? Can you tell I've never been around any?