Archive for September, 2009

Today’s Fortune: This week, red is a lucky color for you.

Wow!  Confucious was sure right  about that! Mom made me and Puglet awesome red bandannas yesterday morning! She said she didn’t want us to look “conspicuous” at the alpaca farm. Conspicuous is when you stick out, and people look at you kind of funny. We like to blend in, so we were glad to have farm outfits.  I would have looked out of place as a Kung Fu Pirate.

Our new outfits were for celebrating National Alpaca Farm Days, which happened on Saturday and Sunday.  Dad found out about it, and decided to take us to a real alpaca farm!  We were ready to go first thing yesterday morning, but Dad said the alpacas would not be home from church until noon.  (Mom said it was really because the farm hours were from 12:00 to 5:00, but we liked Dad’s story better.)

We finally got to get in the car and go to the farm.  It was way out in the country.  The farm we went to was J R Alpacas.  It was a nice drive, and I kept watching out the window to see when we were getting close.

We finally saw the sign for the farm!  I was so excited!

We drove up to the farm and got out.  There were alpacas in all different colors of black, brown and white.  We got to get right up close to them.  They are very soft and very nice.  They have pretty eyes and smiley faces.  We liked them a lot!

Alpacas have lots of very warm hair.  Their hair is so warm that they can get too hot in Oklahoma, so they have their very own sprinklers to cool off in.  They also have a nice barn that has fans to blow cool air on them if they get hot.  It must be fun to be an alpaca, because they can play in the sprinkler anytime they want.

We got to watch them eat.  They eat some little hard pellet things that look sort of like cat food, only they are long and skinny.  I did not get to feed them, because the pellets would not stay in my hand.  I found out that they don’t like it much when you pat them on the tops of their heads.  They duck when you do that.

We learned that they also like to eat grass.  A lot.  This is called “grazing”.  We watched them graze, and decided that we really like it out in the country.  Having an alpaca farm would be lots of fun.

We also got to ride on a real John Deere tractor!!  This is another great thing about living in the country!

When the alpacas’ hair gets really long, they get to have a haircut.  This is called “shearing”.  We did not get to see them get a haircut, because that happens in April.  That way, the alpacas have short hair when it starts to get warm here, and they don’t have to be so hot in the summer.  When they cut off the alpaca hair, it makes a big pile of soft fiber that is called a “fleece.”  One alpaca can have five to ten pounds of fleece!!  That is a lot of hair.  I’ll bet they look pretty skinny after they get a haircut.

The alpaca hair gets cleaned and then it is turned into different things.  One of the things it gets made into is called “roving”.  Roving is long, soft, thick ropes that people use to make yarn.  Making yarn is called “spinning”.   Mom really wants to learn to spin, but she does not have room for a spinning wheel.  They had big fluffy balls of roving that I got to pat.  It was very, very soft.

They also had lots of wonderfully soft yarn that was made from the alpacas that live on the farm.  I was not surprised when Mom decided to buy some.  Especially since she can’t spin it herself.

We got all kinds of good stuff at the alpaca farm!  Mom got five skeins of yarn in four different colors, and me and Puglet got a “Meet the Alpaca” pamphlet and an alpaca activity book!  It has fun things to color, lots of interesting facts about alpacas, and recipes and crafts to make.   We learned that there are two different kinds of alpacas.  The “huacaya” kind have wavy hair, and the “suri” kind are the fuzzy ones.  We love them both!

Me and Puglet got up this morning and played alpaca farm for a while.  All we have is sheep, so we had to pretend that they were alpacas.  Maybe Mom will use some of that nice alpaca yarn to knit us some alpacas for our farm.  I think it would be pretty cool to turn that yarn back into alpacas.

I sure hope we can have an alpaca farm of our own someday.  I know Mom would move to the country and get alpacas in a heartbeat.  Now we just have to work on convincing Dad.

Today’s Vocabulary Words: Conspicuous, grazing, shearing, fleece, roving, spinning, huacaya, suri.

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