Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Alpaca Day with HEARTH

Yesterday the girls and I joined the HEARTH (Home Educators - A- R- The Highlands; I can't remember what it stands for, but doggone it, I am a member!!) group for a visit to an Alpaca farm up in Bath County. We enjoyed these beautiful animals up close. Hannah (and I) learned much about them....in anticipation, to be sure, of our future as Alpaca farmers :)

The farm is about 15 miles north of Douthat State Park. We were saturated in reds, yellows, golds and the deep browns of falls on country roads both there and back.
Once we got there, it was into the barn to meet the boys and girls.

The kids were encouraged to feed the animals by hand...did you know that Alpacas don't have upper teeth? Instead they have a tough palate against which they chew with their bottom teeth.

This one reminds me of a Mounds bar. Mmmmmm, chocoooolate and coco-nuts....

Yes, they will spit - especially the males. Just like any other domesticated animal, they each have their own personalities. Some are good-tempered, and some are bad. Tempered.

They like to make eye contact.

There was a llama who lives in the pasture with these guys who is their "watchdog." She was on a visit to the vet to care for a wound she sustained after a fight to the death with a coyote last week. The ranch manager found the flattened coyote in one of the outer fields.

Here the homeschoolers who attended the field trip surround a 3-day-old baby alpaca. Notice that Abigail is ensuring he feels well loved.

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