If you have never worn a pair of Alpaca socks then you do not know what you are missing. Yes, I own alpacas but I wear the socks all year. In the summer, I prefer to wear the short Micro or micro crew. My feet stay nice and dry no matter how hot it is outside. My husband has very sweaty feet and used to struggle with horrible foot odor caused. The alpaca fiber is superior in wicking moisture away from your skin and keeping your feet nice and dry. Alpaca fiber is 10 times stronger and insulated 30% better than Merino Wool in both warm and cold conditions. In the winter, we both prefer to wear the Prevails over the calf to care for our herd in Black Forest Colorado. If you would like to try the Altera socks check out our product page.
The Altera Sock company purchases alpaca fiber from American producers. The fiber is sent to Maine to be dyed and spun into yarn. The yarn is sent to the hosiery to be made into the socks. This product is employing Americans and helping to create a New American Agricultural Product.
Most people do not believe us when we tell them the Alpacas broke the golf cart. It was one of those strange accidents. If we had caught it on video we could have made some money. Chris had taken the golf cart full of hay and the grain bucket on the seat to the upper pen to feed, as he does every day. He got out, grabbed the hay off the back of the cart to stuff the feeders. All he saw was a grey streak going very fast out of the corner of his eye. Of course Chris left the key on and Alpacas can’t drive……..or can they??? The golf cart went shooting through our double door barn and hit the 10 inch fence pole causing the frame to break as you can see in the picture. The frame is aluminum and not easy to repair. The cart has been broken for about a year and a half. A good friend of ours helped us get the golf cart up and running again just a couple months ago. We are truly blessed to have such good friends.
Well, “Happy Hour” did a great job today. He is truly an awesome Llama. His Mama Llama has done an outstanding job with him! He allowed us to dress him with all kinds of decorations including a pack, posters of our farm, feathers, flowers, ribbons and a big sign with my name is Happy Hour. He let us put all of it on him with no complaint after a couple handfuls of treats. We had to wait from 11:15 to 1:10 to start the parade. He was very good about standing still to have his picture taken, neck rubs were plentiful by many strangers and he was very patient for everyone, but he does not like bag pipes. Once we started the parade he did a great job until the pack slipped under his belly. He did a little jumping around until we re-adjusted the pack and everything was good. As soon as we finished the end of the parade and started toward the trailer you could see him fading. He was so glad to have all the decorations removed and hopped into the trailer. He was done for the day. I have to commend him for an awesome job. He has never been exposed to so much stimulation yet he took it in and did not react. People do not understand how wonderful and rewarding llamas and alpacas can be if they are not teased, abused and tormented. If people respect the animal they are very respectful of people.
Mother Nature has brought many challenges in 2013 for Colorado. The much needed March and April snow storms did not arrive, leaving our forest in a continued drought condition. This year we had the hot dry wind in June that fueled the Black Forest Fire in our backyard. Our little ranch escaped with nothing more than a little smoke damage. The Alpaca community was wonderful and provided 12 trailers to evacuate out 75 Alpacas, 7 llamas, 2 goats, 5 dogs, 3 cats and 3 rabbits. It took us 6 hours to evacuate our animals to 6 host ranches in 4 different surrounding counties. We evacuated on Tuesday and we were not able to return until the following Tuesday. It took us 6 weeks to round everyone up and get them home. As we started to recover from the fire the rain started and just did not stop. Again we escaped major damage from the flooding. Colorado had more moisture in one week than we get in an entire year. The year ended with record cold temperatures during the first week of Dec. My husband and I are Native Coloradoans and we have never seen anything this extreme for such an extended period of time and so early in the year!
Overall, we have been blessed. Chris and I have opened our ranch most week-ends with a pledge to support our community once a month with a special event to raise money for a local charities. We have been successful in raising $453 dollars for the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary. The Black Forest Sanctuary evacuated 1000 animals out of the Black forest including the Sanctuary itself. C2 Alpacas raised $221 for the Gries Family Charities during the month of October and November. Gries Family Charity raises money for single parents that cannot afford a Christmas for their children. December has been dedicated to the Black Forest Animal Sanctuary which is in need of feed and supplies to take care of many of the animals that reside at the Sanctuary.
C2 Alpacas is looking to a bright future in 2014. We will continue our Special Charity Events which will be posted on the Special Events page.
We both hope that 2014 is a great year for everybody!
It is almost April and I have been getting Spring fever. At 7000+ feet in Colorado it is too early to plant flowers. So I decided to fill my planters with a few colorful faux flowers. Emilio is my livestock guardian dog that kept from the last litter of pups (aka grizzly bear). Emilio decided that the flowers were not what he wanted to leave in the pot. Understand, he is not 2 years old yet so we are in the teenage years of a dog. I caught this cute picture of Emilio playing keep away with my faux daisies. I did finally get the flowers back, but I am not sure if he will leave them in the planter or not. LOL!!
I have been using processed Alpaca compost since I began raising these wonderful animals 8 years ago. I have always had faith in the compost since I was the one that processed it. When I say “processed” I mean that it was properly aerated, hydrated and turned. This process allows the manure to correctly and completely compost. If you just let it pile up and do not process it, it is nothing more than a pile of manure (crap)! Properly processing the manure allows it to heat up sufficiently to kill off pathogens and to properly decompose, making it safe to use.
This year, I decided to conduct a little experiment. I started several pots of various seeds for my own aqua-ponics garden. More about aqua/hydro-ponics later. I started by placing seeds, per package instructions, in different pots. The first group of seeds were placed in a seed-starter mix. For the second group of seeds I used a 50% compost and 50% seed mix for the soils. I planted both groups on March 2, 2011. I kept the soil mixes damp and placed the pots in front of a south facing window in the kitchen. During the day I would open the curtains and at night I would close the curtains. I chose not to use “grow lights” due to the added expense of electricity.
I was so excited to see lettuce sprouts on March 8, 2011! To no real surprise, it was the 50% compost mix that sprouted first. The package says “seedlings in 7-10 days”. The seedlings in the 50% compost mix emerged in 6 days!! I now have documented proof of how good Alpaca compost, not manure, really is.
I was looking for an organic compost that I could find right here in Colorado. I wanted one that I could use for my new plantings when I landscaped my yard last year. Organic composting was important to me especially with my vegetable plants. I wanted to be sure there were no chemicals added.
I realized that the perfect compost for me to use was Alpaca Compost. The results were amazing. Here is the mixing guide I used:
Potting Mix- 3 parts soil /1 part Alpaca Compost mixed thoroughly
Gardens/Flower Beds- 2 inches Alpaca Compost turned into 5-6 inches of soil
This year I will be using this method for my bushes and trees:
Top Dressing over existing gardens- spread Alpaca Compost lightly 1/4” over area
for information on the Lab test results for Alpaca Compost using U.S. Composting Councils Approved Methods.