Friday, October 22, 2010
Posted by Victoria Strauser | |
As of 5:00pm yesterday, we officially became alpaca farmers. Justin of Kinney Valley Alpacas rolled into my driveway around 5:00pm last night and unloaded these two handsome fellows from his alpaca trailer. The gorgeous guy on the left is Honeywiese, half-brother to KV Valiant, who sired Brigid's baby Grace. So, I guess that would make this guy some sort of uncle to Grace. If alpacas had uncles. Do they? Anyway, that's not important. What's important is he now resides in my pastures, along with his little white buddy, KV10. KV10? What kind of a name is that? Well, it's not really a name, it's his ear tag number. Justin had kind of knick-named him 10-er (tenor?). But we're still looking for a name for him. Feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions. When they arrived, we loaded them into a catch pen (a small enclosure about 9'x9' made with lightweight corral panels) so I could get a look at them, while I pumped Justin for information about them. A little while later, I opened the gate and let them explore the pasture. They immediately headed for the worst corner of the entire acre - the brushy/weedy corner behind the gigantic manure pile. Hmm... Murphy's Law? I had considered cordoning off that section entirely until we could disk and harrow it. But we didn't have enough t-posts to get it done before their arrival, and we have to wait until it rains to go buy some from our neighbors who are busy harvesting corn while the sun shines. Kind of like "Make hay while the sun shines." But cornier. They have used posts to sell us. But not until it rains. Justin walked through the pasture with me and assured me his boys had been in far worse pastures and were none the worse for wear. I felt a little relieved, kind of like the mom who gives her kids sugar but justifies it that they don't get it very often. We pretty much let them be the rest of the night. We did walk out there after dark to see where they were bedded down (we call it "cushed" in alpaca-slang). They were in the far corner of the back pasture, over by the neighbor's yard. As far away from the barn as alpacaly possible. Honeywiese was invisible but we caught KV10 (Blanco? Marshmallow? White Rascal?) in the beam of our flashlight. They seemed pretty content. At first light (which really isn't that early anymore, like 7:30am) I peeked out the curtains on the second floor window to see if I could see them. I couldn't, but the barn obscures part of my view. I had a sudden fear that their water buckets would be frozen. Not frozen solid probably, but just a skim of ice - enough to keep them from drinking any. And I was pretty sure I had forgotten to plug in the heated one by the barn. So I had fears of dehydrating alpacas on my brain. Which makes for very odd dreams, let me just say. So just in case the bucket was frozen over, I heated a pot of water in my electric kettle and toted it out there in my vintage thermos. I needn't have worried, the big bucket by the barn that I had forgotten to plug in wasn't even frosty. But the morning before, the garden hose attached to the water spigot/hydrant had been frozen, thus my concern. I hung around the pair for awhile. They regarded me with curiosity but not enough to approach within arm's distance. KV10 is definitely more skittish than Honeywiese. He pulls his ears back every time I'm near (just like Brigid used to do). He also hums a lot, even while he's grazing. But he's so darn cute - I hope he acclimates to his new place OK. I'll start working with them in a few days. Don't want to overly stress them out after just moving them here by starting too soon. Several times throughout the day today I headed outside to go and say "hi." They always approached the fence as I came close, but stayed their distance. Honeywiese did give me one nose greeting however - which happens when I lean in and he leans forward and sniffs my forehead. It was cool. I felt relieved that he trusted me even that little bit. Progress?! This evening I was in the pasture cleaning up a little. Pulling some weeds, raking a bunch of corn leaves that had blown in from the neighboring field. Again they regarded me with curiosity but not too closely. The sun was setting over the vacant cornfield. The temperature was quite warm still, in the 60's. After watching the sun go down I turned towards the east and saw a beautiful full moon rising over the trees. My heart, along with my pastures, was now completely full.