Hey guys! Wally here. Did you know there’s an alpaca farm on our island? There is! It’s the Gibraltar Bay Alpaca Farm…a 12 acre farm that’s home to over 50 alpacas!
Alpacas are part of the camelid family which also includes llamas and camels. They’re the smallest ones of the family, and are native to Andes Mountains in South America. Alpacas are gentle animals…and very friendly. Their soft fleece is used to make beautiful articles of clothing like sweaters, hats, gloves, socks as well as warm blankets.
Do you know the mom has lived on the island for almost 15 years and she’s never been to the alpaca farm? Well that all changed about a week or so ago when she invited fellow blogger Miss Vicky from The Eastside Cats to come to our island and visit the farm. You might remember that the mom and Miss Vicky got together for the first time when they went to the CatFe cat café last month. Oh yeah…us Island Cats got to meet Miss Vicky this time. She gives some pretty good head scritches, I must say.
Today I wanna share some pictures from the mom’s visit to the farm.
This is the main building at the farm. In addition to housing all the alpacas and farm equipment, there’s also a small shop inside where clothing and other things made from alpaca fleece are sold. They sell yarn made from the alpacas that live there, too.
The farm is opened during the day Wednesday through Sunday. Its many visitors include school groups, senior citizen groups and, of course, knitting clubs.
This sign is posted on the outside of the building and provides a great summary about alpacas. I bet most people don’t know a lot about alpacas. Do you??
The boy alpacas and the girl alpacas are kept separate from one another at all times. Otherwise, there’d be lots of baby alpacas…or crias as they’re called…running around…if you know what I mean.
These are some of the boy alpacas.
And here are some of the girls.
This friendly girl was the first one to greet the mom and Miss Vicky. Visitors are welcome to hang out with the alpacas in the yard and fields. The alpacas will just walk right up to you..that’s how friendly they are. It’s not really a petting farm. In fact, the mom and Miss Vicky were warned not to touch the alpacas on the top of their heads or on their rear ends. Apparently, alpacas don’t like that…and may kick you if you do.
You can see that the alpaca’s fleece has been shorn. Shearing is done once a year…usually in May.
All the alpacas at the farm have names and distinct personalities. This is Zoey. Out of all the alpacas the mom saw that day, Zoey is the only one whose name she could remember. I wonder why. 😉 Zoey has some very unusual markings, doesn’t she?
This little one with its mom is the newest addition to the farm.
The baby came to check out the visitors. What a cutie!
This pregnant alpaca was thisclose to giving birth. Did you know that an alpaca pregnancy lasts almost a year? 11 months to be exact.
The mom-to-be came over to say hello. Just like camels, alpacas are known to spit when they’re upset. So the mom kept her distance most of the time because she didn’t wanna come home with alpaca spit all over her. Fortunately, there was no spitting done that day.
Yep…it was lunch time at the farm. Alpacas eat a lot of hay…and the leaves off of all the trees.
Some of the over 50 alpacas at the farm are owned by people who board their alpacas there. They visit frequently and often help out by doing chores around the farm. The lady that showed the mom and Miss Vicky around owns one of the girl alpacas.
Oh yeah…we can’t forget about the resident turkey at the farm. He must feel like such an outsider.
I hope you enjoyed this visit to the island alpaca farm and learned something about alpacas. And you know what they say…Every Alpaca wants to be an Island Alpaca!