7 Reasons Alpacas Make Great Pets

Most people know that alpacas can be used as pack animals and that their fleece is valued for its silkiness. Pet lovers often ask if alpacas can make friendly pets. The truth is, these llama cousins are friendly and easy to handle. Besides being inquiring, they are also intelligent and sensitive. Additionally, they are calming to be around and show a quick response to gentle handling. Here are 7 reasons alpacas make great pets.

1. Alpacas Have Super-Soft Hypoallergenic Fleece.

If you have never touched alpaca fleece, you will be delighted at how soft it feels. Besides being fluffy and soft, alpaca fiber is naturally free from lanolin and other allergy-causing agents. Whether you want to hug an alpaca or make a blanket from its fleece, you are not likely to suffer the same redness and itchiness caused by other types of fiber. Additionally, alpaca fiber has been granted a class 1 rating by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission because of its flame resistant nature. This fleece is also water resistant, making it a warmer alternative to cotton, and a lightweight option to sheep’s wool.

2. Given Time, Alpacas Are Typically Receptive to Human Touch.

Every relationship is founded on trust. Once this amazing animal becomes acquainted with you, it will be much more receptive to your contact and touch. In fact, alpacas tend to be more similar to cats in behavior than to dogs. After establishing trust from familiarity, most alpacas will allow you to stroke their backs and necks, and even hug them! What’s more, alpacas are very friendly and even more receptive to children than adults, perhaps because children are small, and therefore less intimidating to be around with than adults.

3. Alpacas Have Different Personalities and Come in Many Shades.

Like people, alpacas are individuals, each one with a different personality. Some are shy and passive, some playful and boisterous, while others are proud and determined. They are not only fun to be around, but also curious about everything happening in their surroundings. Furthermore, alpacas are colorful creatures; their fur has been classified in 16 different shades. This attractive range of colors eliminates the need for artificial dying when their fleece is used in interior design or fashion. Alpacas’ special blend of characters and colors will make you spend most of your time strolling among them, watching, and being entertained by their antics.

4. Alpacas Are Easy to Train Compared to Other Pets.

Alpacas are perfect animals for training and can even be trained by kids using a leash and a halter. It is wonderful to watch children put alpacas through their paces — walking over crinkly obstacles, navigating between hay bales, walking across bridges, and even jumping small fences!

5. Alpacas Are Tidy.

As stated earlier, alpacas are more similar to cats in behavior than to dogs. An example of this is that they tend to love a communal dung heap. This quality is beneficial to you because it relieves you from the stress of collecting randomly scattered droppings. Thus, you can select an ideal spot for your alpacas to deposit their beans. Not only does this make clean-up easier, it provides you with a great source of perfect garden fertilizer. Alpaca dung is not “hot”, so you can take it directly to the garden without the risk of scorching your plants.

6. Alpacas Are Helpful.

Alpacas make great guardians of other herd animals like cows, goats, and sheep. They can co-habitate peacefully with most domestic herd animals, as they are not very intimidating to them. However, even though they are smaller than llamas, they do an excellent job keeping away small predators like possums, coyotes, weasels, and skunks. As a bonus, alpacas can help with your lawn mowing, because they bite off the tops of grass while grazing, rather than pulling it up by the roots like sheep.
And always remember, if the need arises, you can use them to transport your luggage from one place to another!

7. Alpacas Are Easy to Care For.

If you have one acre of land, you can comfortably keep up to ten alpacas. Their day-to-day upkeep and training is easy, but like any animal, alpacas need care and attention. Alpacas require regular feeding and easy access to plenty of clean water, of course, as well as adequate shelter from the elements. Additionally, plan on annual shearing, regularly scheduled vaccinations and de-worming, and routine toenail trimming. The cost of keeping alpacas varies depending on your plans and herd size.

Even though alpacas have some quirky behaviors like spitting when they are unsatisfied, more and more animal lovers are opting to keep them as pets because they are easy to look after, intelligent, and tidy. Time spent with alpacas is stress-relieving — perfect for forgetting about all the troubles of the world!

If you’re in the area and want to see just how friendly alpacas are, you should stop over at our alpaca farm in Md. We think you’ll agree that alpacas make great pets! After a fun visit with the animals, you can visit our store as well to see a beautiful variety of alpaca fiber products.

Join us for our Wearable Art: Silk Scarf Needle Felt Workshop

Breezy Hill Farm’s new fiber workshop is finally setup, electrified and will now offering monthly classes. We start with a felting class this Saturday at 11am. Beverages and snacks will be provided to feed your creative minds as you learn how to make a free-style, needle felted silk scarf. In this 3 hour course you will learn the skills and techniques needed to complete a beautiful, one-of-a kind, wearable piece of art! No prior felting experience – just enthusiasm and a love for creative projects. Hope you can make it.

All felting materials are included with your registration fee and yours to keep, including: Felting needles & foam mat, silk scarf, luxurious and colorful fibers

NOTE: space will be limited to 6, to be sure to register while you can! Click on the meetup link to register!

 

Feel free to call me with any questions.

National Alpaca Farm Days is Here!

Come out to Breezy Hill Farm for Farm Days this Saturday and Sunday, September 26th and 27th.  We are waiving our tour fees so you can see and learn about alpacas as you visit them in the fields.  Say hello to our other farm friends such as our donkey, goats, sheep, chickens, and other animals.  They love visitors! Browse our boutique for that special gift for you or someone else.

We have had several recent alpaca births on the farm – these little cria are quite playful! Hope you can come and enjoy this truly unique experience! We are open this weekend from 10am to 6pm. Please leave your four legged friends at home so as not to scare our other animals.

November 29th is Shop Small Business Saturday!

Don’t forget this Saturday, November 29th,  is Shop Small Business Saturday! Support local businesses by coming to our Little Boutique at Breezy Hill which is stocked with alpaca fiber made products. We have warm weather wear, accessories and hand made jewelry – all perfect gifts for your holiday shopping! Can’t make it out on Saturday? Visit our online store: http://breezy-hill-boutique1.mybigcommerce.com

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Show Season is Here!

We are very excited to be heading into the 2014 Fall alpaca show season as we have gorgeous entries planned who we believe will be ones to watch out for.  We’ll be putting our best junior alpacas up against some very tough competition and can’t wait to see the results.  Our entries:  name/color/class/sire

Our daughter is extremely excited as well, as she will be participating in her first junior’s obstacle and costume contests with her favorite alpaca, Angeloua.  Their costumes – Cleopatra.  We will be sure to provide updates from each show:  (NY Empire, another I don’t remember, MABA and VAOBA).  Get dates/locations and links for any who want to come watch the MABA or VAOBA.

Breezy Hill Knitting & Crochet Club started

Our visitors requested and we delivered with the start of our very own club for fiber enthusiasts.  This group is open to any and all interested in fiber arts of knit, crochet, spin.  We have held 2 meetings at our farm (September & October) and have been thrilled with the turnout.  It has been wonderful seeing the beautiful projects participants are working, and so nice to see everyone sharing enthusiasm and knowledge with others.  New to yarn art; don’t let that stop you from joining us at our next event – there is always someone willing to help get you started on learning!  Spinners and peg weavers (new or seasoned) are a delight to have in the group also – we had 3 seasoned spinners at our October event.  I was certainly excited about it as I (an extremely novice spinner) learned some tips that resulted in me spinning 5 bobbins of yarn (vs the half bobbin that took me 1.5 years to spin up to then)!  We welcome you to join us for our upcoming club meetups – to register go to our sign up link.

Breezy Hill to attend the Maryland Fleece Festival November 15th & 16th

We will be participating in the Maryland Fleece Festival at the Howard County Fair Grounds on November 15th and 16th from 10 – 4.   Come learn about how fleece becomes a product from shearing to weaving and other fun alpaca facts at the many seminars being offered by the festival.  Bring the little ones for up close and personal interaction with alpacas.  

Are you a fiber enthusiast in need of inspiration?  We will have our beautiful, one-of-a-kind, cottage milled yarn and rug yarn – the fiber for which was generously donated by our very own herd!  We’ll also have cozy socks, gloves, mittens and more! 

For more information on the Fleece Festival click on this link and we hope to see you there! http://www.marylandalpacas.org/pages/festival/seminars.html

Thank you to all who attended Farm Days at Breezy Hill 2014!

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Farm Days on September 27th and 28th was a huge hit!  With over 600 visitors we were certainly busy and the alpacas loved all the attention.  Our visitors enjoyed tours of our farm, snacked on baked goods and became more familiar with our other farm animals throughout the day.  Our boutique was bustling with activity as shoppers chose their favorite items either as a memento or new treasure!  Children (and even adults) enjoyed the craft tables where they decorated and made alpaca and other animal puppets.  We enjoyed our visitors’ excitement and interest in our alpaca and farm.   This is an annual event so if you didn’t make it this year please put it on your calendar for next year!  It is surely a wonderful experience for all!

Farm Days At Breezy Hill Farm September 27 & 28th

Come out to Breezy Hill Farm for Farm Days this Saturday and Sunday, September 27th and 28th.  We are waiving our tour fees so you can see and learn about alpacas as you visit them in the fields.  Say hello to our other farm friends such as our donkey, miniature horses, chickens, goats, sheep and other animals.  They love visitors! Browse our boutique for that special gift for you or someone else.

The weather is supposed to be wonderful so come on up and enjoy a truly unique experience!

Thanks to those of you who braved the cold weather for our Cabin Fever Yarn Party event!

We held our first Cabin Fever Yarn Party event Saturday 1/25 at our barn/store.  We had a number of ladies (and men) who braved the weather to participate.  There were spinners, knitters and yarn enthusiasts as well as local fiber mill owners Mary and Duane Singleton, who delivered our new run of custom yarns and rovings.  Exquisite is truly an understatement for the product.  Alex and I are sure huge fans of Singleton’s artistry – they yield simply beautiful results. In addition to delivering my new product, Mary provided peg loom weaving and yarn spinning demonstrations and Alex provided tours of the alpacas and farm for those undeterred by the frigid wind and cold temperatures.

Our takeaway from this event is that there are many enthusiasts wanting to participate and so we will definitely plan to make this an annual event.  However, we have learned that it will be best suited, toward the END of winter so that participants can be unfettered by the weather!  Thanks again to those of you who joined us and mustered through the cold – we promise our next event will include warmth!!!  We hope to try this again in late March to see if that would be better suited to our plans for this annual event.