Over a river and through the woods to Burgis Brook Alpacas we go:
This weekend some of my knitting friends and I ventured out to a local alpaca farm to ooh and aah over the cuteness that is an alpaca. They were in their full fleeces, just a month or so away from getting shorn. This means there were plenty of fluffy faces to fondle and take portraits of!
Some interesting, fun, and sometimes odd facts about alpaca:
They are native to South America and are related to camels and llamas.
They have no top front teeth. Their teeth grow throughout their lives, getting filed down naturally as they eat and forage.
They defecate in a collective area, keeping the rest of their pen/pasture clean.
Gestation is 11.5 months and the mothers don’t eat the afterbirth.
A baby alpaca is called a cria.
Alpaca fiber has a smooth shaft and no lanolin. There are over 20 different colors of alpacas!
At Burgis Brook, the alpacas are clearly well loved and cared for. They all have names, and the owners can tell them apart immediately. Even all the white ones, which for the most part looked the same to me!
I think we were all a little shy at first, stepping around the alpacas, slyly sticking a hand out for them to sniff. They seemed to be just as interested in us, and soon we were two herds of disparate animals curiously checking each other out. By the end of our visit we were completely comingled with the gentle beasties having a great time!
The farm is very open to having visitors, so if you are passing through Connecticut it is definitely worth a stop. They also sell their own alpaca yarn at the farm and at fiber festivals such as Rhinebeck.
If you’d like to see all my photos from the day, visit my flickr set here.