Victoria Crooks of Little Orchard Alpacas writes: “As Rich and myself are just about coming to the end of our first year as new alpaca owners – and what a totally out of the ordinary, brilliant, exhausting, emotional at times and generally unforgettable year it has been – it seems like a good time to look back and share some of it.”
Here at Little Orchard Alpacas, in our tucked away corner of East Devon, we have just about reached the foothills of an Andean style learning curve. That is to say, particularly steep, full of fluffy animals and with entirely new languages to learn. This includes plenty of new alpaca husbandry vocabulary in addition to alpaca speak. The latter is actually coming on pretty well, ‘mmhhemm’ translates roughly as ‘would you mind giving me a decent amount of personal space whilst I enjoy this mouthful of Camelibra’.
I always enjoy reading articles about other people’s adventures into the world of alpacas, in amongst the more informative and academic pieces where I try, over-eagerly, to cram and retain as much information as possible. I hope this is one of those that is interesting and a comfort to other newbies and potential owners, as well as a bit of light lunch break reading for the more experienced out there.
The first question people generally ask, besides from ‘do you eat them?’ – the answer to this one being, definitely you can and the meat is lean and full of protein, but personally not – is ‘Why alpacas?’.
Well for me it is because they are full of character, curious, gentle, amusing and infinitely more intelligent than we give them credit for. They keep us on our toes and simultaneously make us extraordinarily content. They give us a reason to watch, learn and not think about anything else at all for that moment of time. They give us a different way of life and an excuse not to spend our days hunched behind a desk.