June 25, 2012 § 2 Comments
We’ve been doing a lot of talking lately about purchasing Alpacas for the farm. We have an agricultural exemption for our property, which means that we receive a reduced tax bill in exchange for agreeing to use the property for agricultural/farm purposes. For most of the local farmers, this means chickens, goats, cattle, and food crops. Our neighbor uses one of our pastures for his Texas Longhorn cattle, so technically our agricultural exemption has been justified. Our plans also include chickens (next spring) and eventually Alpacas. The chickens are just for us, and will be for eggs only (Dave and I tend to become attached to our animals, and can’t imagine eating a pet). The Alpacas will be raised for their wool, which we will sell to weavers.
Alpacas are gentle herd animals. They weigh up to 200 pounds each, and their average size is about the same as our Irish Wolfhound dogs.
We have coyotes at our farm, so we will build a barn to protect the Alpacas at night, and we will also purchase a donkey to help protect the Alpacas during the day. Donkeys are enormously protective animals…I’ve had two in the past, and have been very pleased with their ability to defend…not to mention their sense of humor. Donkeys are so much fun to have around.
Although I have never had Alpacas in the past, I’m very familiar with them from my visits to Australia.
Nearby my family’s Australian residence is an Alpaca farm, and my aunt and uncle and I have made several trips there to purchase Alpaca wool items. The owners of the farm are very open to allowing us to feed and pet the Alpacas. By the way, that’s me on the left. Look how fuzzy this Alpaca is! Alpacas are shaved in the spring. Their wool can be spun, and then used for crafting hats, sweaters, scarves, blankets, and other handcrafted items.