Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Shadow Hill Farm Alpacas

On Saturday, we were fortunate enough to do something we've wanted to do for a long time; we visited an alpaca farm. Dave's brother's wife, Kirstin, gets eggs from Shadow Hill Farm, so she was familiar with the farm's owners, Tami and Bob, and knew about their alpacas. She arranged for us visit the farm along with her and the kids, Alex and Haley. 

Tami's father owns the neighboring farm, where he raises cattle. 

It was beautiful, rolling pasture land. 

When we got to the farm, we were first greeted by the donkey, who brayed a wonderfully long welcome to us. 

The farm has a pair of llamas, which help serve as guard animals for the alpacas in lieu of electric fencing or a guard dog. Apparently, if anything tries to get near the alpacas, the llamas and one of the mother alpacas will wake you up out of a sound sleep and let you know about the intruder. Also, the donkeys are great for keeping away coyotes. 

It was such a joy to finally see alpacas up close! 

This baby was just born earlier in the year. The little guy was so sweet and softly fuzzy. 

Haley making a friend. The alpacas enjoy having their necks scratched and petted. 

Shadow Hill farm also has about 40 chickens, mostly laying hens and a few roosters. Because of all the recent rain, this area was very mucky. 

The male alpacas are kept separately and live in this area of pasture with a few sheep and a rooster. 

These alpacas are raised for their high-grade fiber, which makes excellent warm, lightweight clothing. 

Here's a fun fact: Alpacas don't have hoofs. Instead, they have foot pads, like a dog, with two large toenails that require trimming. 

One of the most delightful parts of the day was meeting Imet (pronounced Emmet). 

Imet was the sweetest, most gentle mannered creature. He loved pets and snuggles, and if you stopped paying attention to him, he would come right over and nudge at your legs. 

Alex enjoying Imet's company. 

Some of the alpacas also love to give kisses! 

Bob had a wealth of knowledge to share with us. 

Thanks Bob and Tami! We really appreciate you both showing us around the farm and sharing so much knowledge with us. We had a fantastic time visiting with you and all the animals. 


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