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Posts Tagged ‘Wool’

The arrival of our 5 baby alpacas has been one of the happy highlights! You wouldn’t believe how cute they are, They remind me of Dr Seuss cartoon characters (of course no one here knows what I am talking about); so dainty and elegant and silly (kind of make believe looking), all at the same time. – Thanks to all the friends who helped in deciding on their names ♥

Their names are:

EVANGELINE, AURORA, VALENTINA, CORNELIA & LEONTINA

We had a bit of a scare as they have to be shorn in the summer. As you can tell, their fleeces are exceptionally thick and warm and there were a few scorcher days in May, so hot that I worried they were in real danger of heatstroke. Since then it’s been absolutely freezing and wet: for the 6 weeks up until last week, it’s rained quite a lot nearly everyday. Heh, this week it’s rained only intermittently everyday, but many days have still been like October. It’s our first time with alpacas and we didn’t know to tell the shearers not to come. It’s startling just how lean they are under all that fur (like gangly little foals) and they were all shivering very badly. I felt horrible – and very worried – that I let them be shorn in the cold wet weather. I thought it would be an idea to cover them with blankets or put sweatshirts on them – but they are extremely shy and become quite upset as I’ll mention later, so it wouldn’t have been possible. A few days later their shivering abated, but at least one of them had a poopy bottom.

BEFORE – Here are our little girls several weeks ago. I should have posted a photo sooner, but kept hoping for a better shot. I was disappointed. They are ever-so-curious, yet so painfully shy.

AFTER – here they are a few weeks after their 1st ever haircuts. I wanted to get photos right after, when they were all clean & nice – they LOOOOVE to roll in the dirt – but as usual they were too shy… not that they look any more sociable here.

The noises they make are unbelievable – not like anything I’ve ever heard!

So for their sickness, we had the vet out to give them medicines the other day and of course they did not like that. Now I don’t know any being (animal or human) that enjoys taking medicine, but… Aurora was especially upset and started “protesting”; kind of “squealing”, in a way that it seemed like the next noise she made would be to say “s t o p p p!   i t!”. Maybe their vocal cords are similar to humans(??), because I tell you they really make utterances that sound like they could come from a human child. It was the same thing when they were shorn a few days before. If Leontina would have shouted “You let me go!” I would have been only half amazed.

On Thursday, we had to rub them down with anti parasite treatment for all the horse flies that are attacking them.  They weren’t happy, but relatively easier to handle (and quieter) compared to the past two incidences, so that’s encouraging – hopefully the fly treatment works as well.

Apart from being so beautiful, they have such distinct and individual personalities.

VALENTINA is the calmest and most even tempered (and the most beautiful with her graceful extra long neck & legs,  butterfly eyelashes and long tufted ears), AURORA is the boldest and always takes the lion’s share of their daily treat, yet she is still gentle and even tempered – she is also the most vocal. EVANGELINE (the littlest one) is sulky and unsociable with humans and the herd; I’m sad for her, but when she arrived she used to try and bully the others – she’s the only one who refuses to take food directly from me. CORNELIA is the protector/inspector. She comes right up to you and looks authoritatively, as if to say: “Well then? Explain yourself.”, yet it’s kind of hard to take her seriously since she’s so adorably cute. She’s the only one who puts her tail up – at 90 full degrees no less – and also puts her ears back the most (a somewhat defensive gesture). I wish I could get on camera what “Corny” does. So funny: She comes up to me for her usual inspection and gets very close, smelling me delicately and precisely. So as not to spook her, I will stay perfectly still while she does this, even if the fine hairs on her muzzle tickle me. All of a sudden she will spring up from some imperceptible injury I have caused her and make a huge dramatic “scene”, bolting off hysterically, taking the rest of the herd with her who then also make a big deal of what I did(?)… It’s actually soooo cute and funny – probably another one of those things you have to see or yourself. LEONTINA, I can’t figure out – sometimes she is super frightened and stroppy and sometimes she is easy, confident and sociable. She has the biggest deer eyes of all their big eyes, so much so that it looks like she is wearing eyeliner and mascara. She also has a sort of mustache that none of the others have heehee.

I’m not holding my breath for any cuddles, but they are getting used to me, so that they will come when they see me and feed out of my hand… but I MUST NOT make the slightest movement, or else they will all bolt in unison!

We hope to send their fleeces to a local mill in the coming weeks to produce the super soft yarn (similar to cashmere), which we will use to produce our first SLAUGHTER FREE/ CRUELTY FREE / NEAR-ZERO CARBON… HIGH FASHION garments. 

♥ Tatyana

CORNELIA

Our uber-cute “Corny” (Cornelia). Putting her ears down in suspicion of the camera.

“Corny” (Cornelia) coming for her inspection. Isn’t she so adorably cute?.. I’m not overly happy that the sheerer left her cheek tufts lopsided though – next year her haircut will be perfect.

VALENTINA

I couldn’t get a photo of Valentina to show really how particularly beautiful she is. Valentina is the “princess” of the bunch: graceful, demure and diplomatic – well liked by all the others. You can see she and Cornelia have the same father from their tufted ears and similar facial shape.

AURORA

Aurora… She also has the same father as Valentina and Cornelia, although it is somewhat less apparent in her features – a little cutie all the same. Aurora is probably the alpha female (in a relaxed sort of way) and the most vocal. Her noises sound so much like a toddler before they learn to speak, that I honestly half expect the little darling to start speaking one day. She and Cornelia are the most intelligent.

EVANGELINE

Little Evangeline… She’s usually sulking in the distance the poor thing, but today when I came with the camera, she was uncharacteristically forward & friendly (as she was when they first arrived). Maybe she just gets bullied when food is around by Aurora who takes the lion’s share of their daily treat… She and Aurora did have a power struggle (although I must say that I think it was started by the petite Evangeline – who I saw kicking her larger herd mate more than a few times when they were settling in).

LEONTINA

Enigmatic Leontina with her HUGE dark, doe eyes that look like she always wears mascara & eyeliner and her agitated “grin”. (Look at the moustache Heehee!) You can see her in the background of Aurora’s photo above; she is grinning a very defensive & nervous gesture. Leontina was actually 1st registered as “Beatrice”, because another fawn coloured little “girl” we originally chose turned out to be a boy, when the vet made the handover examination. Leontina/Beatrice was decided upon as a late replacement. She had been retained for our breeders’ show team and has a super soft fleece. She has the same father as Evangeline, but you have to be familiar with their faces to see the physical similarities.

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