March 14, 2024

Group of alpacas in barn staring over fence at camera

Visiting the alpacas

Every year since Zoya was born, we’ve gone to visit the alpacas.

I’m not sure how this became a tradition, but it’s one I look forward to: spending a morning feeding and walking alpacas is deeply delightful. We learn so much about them, of course, but we also have come to form a bond with them over the years—Gibson and Rubin being the ones I have gotten to know the best—and just delight in being able to share a part of the day with them.

The alpaca farm rescues animals from all over the province; no animal is turned away. I’m happy to be supporting a farm that has love and care for animals in its ethos: this isn’t a commercial endeavor for them, but a labor of love.

Brown alpaca in barn looking to the side of the camera

A few things I’ve learned about alpacas over the years:

  • alpacas only have lower teeth in their mouths, which makes feeding them a safe and enjoyable activity; there is no risk in them biting
  • alpacas are social animals that live in groups; they recognize their names and form bonds with their fellow herd mates as well as the humans that care for them
  • alpacas are domesticated animals and have been for thousands of years; there are no known alpacas in the wild
  • the average lifespan of an alpaca is about 15 years; Rubin, my favorite alpaca at the farm we visit, is 17 years old

Brown alpaca in barn staring at camera

Our most recent visit to the farm was just two days ago. The sun was out and the air was warm and it was a glorious day to be outside. The alpacas seemed to be happy we were there, and spending the morning with them brought delight to our day.

I can’t wait for next year’s visit, already.

Two alpacas walking on a country road with leashes

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