Yes, Alpacas Have Best Friends

I am writing about a topic that not many people think about – Alpacas having best friends.  I spend a lot of time working with and hanging out with my alpacas.  I know who they like and who they would rather not have in their field.  Just like people and dogs, alpacas have wide variations in their personalities.  Mardi Gras and Mercy are my party girls –  Angel, Mercys daughter,  is too.  Glinda likes to be impish whereas her daughter Lilah likes to do everything perfectly.  Lilah would never even think about behaving in a silly manor like her mom.  That is just beneath her.  Sometimes it is very easy to see why two alpacas have become such good friends, such as similar personality.  Other times, you are left scratching your head as to why they hang out.

Gabriel and Perkins are best friends

If you watch the alpacas, it is easy to spot the best friends.  Just look at how closely Gabriel and Perkins stand next to one another in this photo.  They literally are touching.  It’s similar to humans; best friends are always together and feel comfortable being in very close proximity with one another.  With both people and animals, non-verbal communication always tells you what is going on. This makes it really easy to spot the friendships.

Bella and Tessa have been best friends for a long time now.  It was a really easy friendship to spot, they are almost always together.  They both love to roll in the mud and get completely dirty.   They seem to enjoy it more than the other alpacas.  They also enjoy being sprayed by the water hose in the summer – although Tessa definitely enjoys it more than Bella.  Both are very smart girls who easily communicate with me what is going on in the field.  Tessa is in charge of the field and Bella is in charge of who is walking with customers for the day.  They both take their jobs very seriously.  That doesn’t mean that they don’t like to have fun when the work day is done.

Just as they have alpacas that they prefer, they have alpacas that they would prefer not to be near.  I have had Oorah walk out of the field as I open the gate because he was mad at someone in his field.  (For the record, he is one of the few alpaca allowed to do that on the farm.)  He had enough and wanted to be in another field.  I let him.  I have had a few occasions when I needed a little space of my own from people – I knew how he felt.

Even you might have picked up on friendships when you come to the farm or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.  When I take pictures the “besties” are usually standing near one another.   Think about  how many pictures that I post contain both Lilah and Angel?  They have been best friends since birth.  Though I will say that Lilah sometimes questions her choice as best friend.  Straight laced Lilah with party girl Angel, they are a very funny combo.  I do believe it is a friendship that will last a lifetime however.Angel and Lilah best alpaca friends

Next time you are at the farm, especially if it is a quiet day, watch how the alpacas interact with one another.  You will notice new things every time.  Forest kisses his children when they walk by, Mercy is friends with Gizmo the pig, Bella and Lily are good friends and like to stop to see one another when they are out of their fields.  Most of all you will see who is hanging out with their best friend enjoying life.

Natural Fibers – How They Benefit Both You and The Environment

Quality matters.   If you state that something is of high quality you expect a degree of excellence, something superior.  In most cases, quality items are made to last or have some other redeeming benefit.  Natural fibers provide you with quality, help the environment, and help local farmers.

There has been a growing concern lately over synthetic clothing such as polyester and spandex.  Consider what synthetics are made of: polyester’s base is oil and spandex is a synthetic polymer.  Evidence is mounting that synthetic clothing releases plastic into the water supply through waste from the washing machine.  Not only does this plastic potentially harm marine life, it is theorized that it is also working its way up the food chain to humans.  No one wants to accidentally digest chemicals.  And let’s face it – no one boasts that their shirt is made of acrylic.

A natural fiber is derived from plants or animals.  Some common natural fibers are cotton (preferably organic), wool, silk, alpaca, mohair and jute.  They are what our ancestors wore (some fibers that we commonly wear today were reserved for royalty ).  Natural fibers tend to breathe more than synthetics.  While natural fibers may sometimes cost more than synthetic fibers, in the long run they are well worth the extra money. 

If you are environmentally conscientious, natural fibers are a great way to make both an investment in your wardrobe and your lifestyle.  The materials you purchase as a consumer help determine whether businesses are more environmentally friendly.  As more and more consumers see the benefits of sustainable products, more companies choose to produce them. 

There are many natural fibers, like alpaca, that are long lasting.  I have had customers relay to me that they have owned alpaca sweaters for 40 years.  Natural fibers are also very fashionable.  Long gone are the days of grandma patterns for natural fibers.  Many top designers are using them.

As an alpaca farmer at Lilymoore Farm, I see first-hand the benefits of natural fibers.  For instance alpaca is warmer than wool, hypo-allergenic, naturally water resistant, odor resistant, flame resistant and it is a renewable fiber.  Alpacas are shorn only one time per year.  Our alpacas are currently creating your next sock, or scarf or sweater.  Alpacas easily adapt to a large variety of climates, are gentle to the grass, and are lovely to look at.  They are a sustainable crop

For thousands of years, mankind has worn natural fibers.  Synthetics are relatively new in the clothing arena and  can take decades to break down.   Natural fibers, on the other hand, biodegrade relatively quickly when they reach the landfill.  If you are considering becoming environmentally friendly, natural fibers are a great way to start.  When you purchase natural fibers not only are you cutting down on carbon emissions, you are also helping support farmers that grow or raise these sources of fiber.  When you purchase them locally, you help farms in your area while supporting local agriculture. This creates sustainability in local area farms. Make a difference in your world, switch to natural fibers.