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  • Now that we have invested in our first alpacas I have some concerns that will affect how things shape up. First is how these animals will adapt to this desert climate.

  •  We've had a few brushes with natural and domestic predators namely large cats, coyotes, dogs and even a badger.  I think proper fencing is going to eat up a lot of our budget in the near future.  We buried the bottom wire on the pens so other animals can't dig under the fence but I still worry about them climbing over. 

   



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Now that the alpaca have proven they could endure the heat of the summer relitivley easy.  We are looking forward to growing our herd these are amazing animals and a welcome addition to 3W Ranch.



Beau and Dusty
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Our first two alpaca at 6 months old.

Hey everyone, in 2006 my daughter and I were looking for an animal for my wife's birthday.  Our intent was  to get an animal to keep her aging horse company. Our other horses had passed (old age) and Annie the only horse left was lonely.  We searched the internet considering camels, llamas, and then we found alpaca.  We thought wow these are perfect.  When we went to see for ourselves it was amazing there were about 20 newborn and young alpaca in a herd of about 50 they all came running up to the fence to check us out.  I made my mind up right then we won't leave without one, and then I asked how much.  I wasn't quite prepared for what we were told (they ain't cheep), on top of that we were told these are herd animals and they need companionship you can't just have one.  I would have taken ten if we could afford it, but one alpaca wasn't even in the budget that day.  We still had a month before my wife's birthday so we went home empty handed and started saving.  A few weeks later I worked out a deal for two young males (Beau & Dusty) luckily the rancher let me make payments.  On my wife's birthday she was surprised, more like shocked but that wore off and soon she was hooked too.  Annie on the other hand would stomp around her corral snorting she was in charge and no newbies were gonna steal her attention.  She would stand at the fence, hang her head over into the alpaca pen and look so inviting till they got close.  It's a good thing their quick little critters, cause when they would go up to see her she'd try to bite them.  This went on for a couple weeks then we noticed a change in Annie, she would always be standing by the alpaca pen just enjoying their company.  It worked she wasn't lonely any more and it got to the point where we could trust her enough to let them all out together,  they would run and play around the lake and if the alpaca would swim out too far Annie would call to them from shore.  It was fun to watch them get along so well.  Then it happened one morning while Beau and Dusty were running around they attracted the attention of a neighbors pit bull.   We heard the commotion from the house and by the time I got to them it was over, Dusty had been killed. It was horrible I'm so mad at that dog!   His owner helped me bury dusty and promised to keep his dog home.  That's not making me feel any better,  I even offered to get him a new dog if he would just find the pit a new home,  that still hasn't happened.  That afternoon we had to buy another alpaca so Beau would have a companion, we now have Beau & Wally.  Now when I let them out I'm with them constantly it's hard worrying all the time but I hate to see an animal just live in a pen.  We're looking into taller fences and even considering a top for their pen so we don't worry at night.  It's not just dogs but we have mountain lions, bobcats, and just last month I saw vultures circling the alpaca pen.  Oh man I ran out to see what happened, on my way I could see Beau & Wally they were OK but the birds were feeding on something just outside their pen.  I went out to investigate and found a full grown badger freshly killed.  What kills a badger? I thought, the only thing I know of is a Cougar or maybe a rattler. It was hard to tell but whatever it could be was too close for me.  Well this last year has been quite an adventure just last week Annie's liver failed and we had to put her down, she was 40 years old and we miss her terribly at least we had lots of good years to spoil her, she had it good.  Now that we've seen the alpaca make it through the heat of the summer (that was a big concern), we are ready to invest in some females and start growing a herd of our own. Even with all the excitement and potential  challenges we may face these are magical critters and we are thrilled to share our ranch with them.

Beau and Wally
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The guys cooling off on a hot day.

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              Come and get us


Yesterday UPS delivered our new halters and nail clippers, so this morning after Beau & Wally got their pedicures I thought we'd go for a walk. They got so excited they pulled the lead rope out of my hand and went running for the water. When I got to the lake they were knee deep drinking. As I came closer they went deeper daring me to come get them. Well this looked like a good photo op so I ran back to the house to grab the camera. When I returned Beau was swimming and Wally was tangled in his rope, I was thinking if he gets it wrapped around his legs I might have to play lifeguard and go swimming too. I sat down on shore and shot a couple dozen pictures while the guys played. After a half hour or so Beau started shivering but Wally hadn't had enough yet. I called out LUNCHTIME and they both came running, when they ran by the house they took a shortcut across the patio. Being soaked Wally lost his footing and slid sprawled out like on ice, it was too funny wish I had the camera out. They beelined for their stall where lunch was served and I couldn't wait to come in and post these pix.

 
 
 It's A boy!   
 
Today started out as a special day (my oldest son's birthday #27) we've been cleaning up around here getting ready for his annual b-day party. Each year we host a camp-out for his friends to help him celebrate. While we were working I heard one of the alpaca squealing when we got to the window I could see a new cria (baby alpaca) hopping around the pen. We've raised a couple young alpaca, but this is the first to be born here and on my son's birthday :)

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I tried to get a shot of his face, he's camera shy.
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Mom's running interference.

 

 

I just went out to see if everybody's doing OK, mom just finished delivering the placenta(I'll spare you that shot :).

 

 

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The birthday boy. Still wobbly :)
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Baby found breakfast - looks like mom's got it handled.