We “heart” Alpacas

Flash enjoying hay in the barn

Flash enjoying hay in the barn

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February: Valentine’s Day, American Heart Month, American History Month, Black History Month, National Snack Food Month,  International Friendship Month,  Children’s Dental Month,  this list goes on…… (see here: http://familycrafts.about.com/library/spdays/blfebdayslong.htm)

I thought “hearting” alpacas would be appropriate in the title since it is February and Valentine’s Day is around the corner.  Of course, we also “heart” our other critters on the ranch and in the wild.  They all play an important part in our lives. 

Nino, one of the guard llamas, just has a personality all his own. If he doesn’t want to be petted he will raise his head, pause,  flip his ears back, and dash off to the side. He gets such an attitude. But he’s very friendly and curious. If I am carrying anything at all, he has to come up to me and investigate.  He monitors the other boys when they are having a disagreement and gets right in the middle, almost like a mother.  He runs out to the fence along the drive if there is a newcomer driving up.  He is the best “guard” and I have heard him sound a warning if he doesn’t like what he sees and will get everyone inside the barn.  We don’t really want them to be “stranger friendly” as such.  If we are there he will let visitors pet him, but only if he feels like it. 

The guinea fowl are another good warning system.  If they are not familiar with something or someone they will squawk loudly and fly in to the barn if something startles them out in the pasture. The other night a bunny had found his way into the barn and they stood and squawked at the top of their lungs until he found his way out.  I don’t know if it was scared of me or the noise.  I think that is why I have  not yet had (knock on wood)  any poultry loss since we got our poultry last June.  They have coops for the night, although the guineas tend to like being out at night. The rare breed chickens and partridge silkie bantams are shut in by sunset. I have one silkie who stands at my feet wanting to be picked up and petted.  I have named her “Midge”. She is the only one I have named because they really are not here to be pets per se,  but you just have to love their individual personalities.

my Silkies outside

my Silkies outside

We also have some Red Tail Hawks and Mississippi Kites that have a territory around our ranch. They tend to surveil our pastures  from a telephone post for any little thing that moves,  like mice or rabbits. They have left my chickens alone so far. 

We “heart” our alpacas since they were the first on site, but all of our critters are lovable in their own special ways.

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