Alpaca Facts: From the Farm

If you spend enough time with any group of animals, you come to accept that they can be kinda… funny.

They all do the normal animal type stuff, like running and rolling in the dirt to cool off… but it does seem like all types of animals have their own “things” that are species specific.

So here’s some stuff That feels kind of specific to alpacas… feel free to correct any wrong assumptions in the comments!

1. They have a fierce set of vocalizations – they go from a lulling moo to a xena screech in a flat second under the right circumstances. Now I understand all animals have voices in some way- but alpacas are what I would describe as “chatty” creatures.

2. They chew the wooden shelves to keep their teeth neat – I have video of this but it’s kind of a weird one. Be warned. They don’t have upper teeth, so they’re literally gnawing just the bottom ones. At first I didn’t understand what the worn spots were, but they do this often enough that I figured it out pretty quick.

3. They absolutely head butt you gently in recognition – and it’s the most adorable thing until they start doing it repeatedly for more food. They also come in and huff & sniff right in your hair. And butt. I mean c’mon they are animals.

4. They will kick with their back legs when they want someone to back off, but they also do a kind of a pawing motion with their front feet to get stuff they want- food, usually. Attention sometimes.

5. They actually confused my mom for me once-

6. MrGillis would like to add that they are a labor (of his wife’s love-)- not profit (thanks honey) – I find this a little off. We get a ton of fertilizer every year, and I have beautiful yarn and knits to show for it. Plus, they’re cute as hell. He knows he’d never give them up either.

7. He also points out that they are excellent small to medium predator deterrents- we’ve seen everything from weasels to raccoons to bobcats and foxes run away as fast as they can. The Fisher is TERRIFIED of them. But-

8. Truly – snapping turtles and beavers don’t give a hoot. The snappers get caught in the fence at least once a year and the beavers just sit with their back turned on the alpacas while they xena scream at them for existing.

9. They HATED my parents cat Sharkie. He comes down to the farm most days and it took months of them screaming at him, and him not caring, before they stopped.

10. They also HATED the pigs- took them days to calm down the first year we had them.

11. My herd loves dogs- I think they were all raised with dogs on site, but they do still seem to want to play with them.

12. They also play with and chase the chickens.

13. While they love treats, they’re pretty picky about what they’ll eat. When Stormie first started losing weight, I had to work really hard to get them eating the beet pulp with their pellets.

Anyone out there want to add anything? Feel free to comment!

Until next time, have a wicked good day!


Published by gillisgardensllc

This is the official website for Gillis Gardens, LLC. Gillis Gardens is a farm, run by myself and my wonderful husband. We believe in biodiversity, organic growing methods and doing things ourselves. I knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew. MrGillis builds, doing everything from our plumbing to our mechanical to our renovations. We are both active members of our little community. We both take care of the plants and animals. He weeds, I harvest. He spreads manure, I plant. We raise multiple breeds of chickens for eggs and meat. We have a herd of Alpacas that we shear every year for their beautiful fiber, which we then have milled into ultra luxurious yarn. We make our own maple syrup, preserves and pickles. We raise bees for honey and herbs for medicine. We also raise pigs for meat and fun. We are the parents of two young children, and consider that our most important job. Follow our adventures here and also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

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