Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Crew from LSU

Last fall, we were asked if we'd like to have a few more fiber boys who were involved in a study at the LSU Veterinary School.  These 12 boys needed somewhere to go after the study was done, as the person who donated them didn't want them back afterwards.  If you're not aware, the alpaca industry is in dire straits.  At one time, breeding animals were going for tens of thousands and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Not so anymore.  Farms are shutting down and animals are selling for pennies on the dollar and sometimes even given away.  It's basically a coming to a point where there will be alpaca rescues, just as there are dog rescues.

I was OK with taking a few more animals and agreed to take no more than 5 of the 12 that were involved in the study.  I enjoy having a personal relationship with each of my animals, whether it's dogs, chickens or alpacas; and the more animals you have, the less one-on-one time you get with each of them.   Somehow over the winter, the 5 turned into 12.  They didn't have anyone else willing to take the rest, I guess.

During the study on the effects of anesthesia, 2 of the animals died, so that left 10 for us to bring home.  Chet had to drive to Baton Rouge to pick them up and got home with them on Tuesday of this week.  There are 5 black, one white, one grey and 3 dark brown.  One of the black boys is over 10 years old and I was worried that the stress of the study along with the 8+ hour drive here would be very hard on him.  He seems to be doing well, though.  He's the only one that would take food from my hand today.

They are all thin underneath the fleece and they haven't been outdoors for 5 months.  They were so happy to be on pasture again once they unloaded from the trailer.  They leapt in the air and rolled on the ground like dogs scratching their backs.  It was very cool to watch.

Here's a picture of them meeting the horse next door for the first time.

And meeting the home boys on the right.  They'll be kept separated for a while.

This is Dude, the grey one, enjoying the dirt on his back - getting nice and dirty just in time for shearing.  Sigh.


  1. You should be doing tours for homeschoolers and scout troops! Let me know when you start.

  2. tkay - I'm not sure who you are! I was trying out initials T and K, but couldn't come up with anyone. We've had some high school kids out who were interested in training animals, but I've never thought about the homeschoolers. Great idea. Drop me an email.