A Tale of Two Alpacas

We’ve had alpaca for two years now. They are the craziest looking creatures (especially when they are running!) Abbye, Andi, and Ayla were the first ones that came to our farm, followed by Aiden, Alaska, Allister, Atticus, Asher, Adrian, Annie, Granny, and Alkesi (are you sensing a theme here?) Poor Granny is old, gray, and slightly arthritic and I just couldn’t find an “A” name that suited her….

From L-R Abbye, Ayla, Andi


We bought the alpacas mostly to help eat down pasture. Their fiber is AMAZING and incredibly soft and dense, but I’m not talented in the knitting department, so we’ve not done much with it after their yearly shearing. I adore looking at them in my backyard, though!
Asher is our only unaltered boy, and I knew as soon as I met him he’d make awesome babies. He’s got quite the personality, and is friendlier than any other alpaca I’ve ever seen. In his former life, he was a therapy alpaca, and went around to local nursing homes. He comes in our house every once in awhile, and Ellasyn thinks it’s hysterical. He seems QUITE at home!

The boys! Daddy Asher is the gray one.

We bred Annie to him in Septmeber of 2015 for an early August 2016 baby (yep, they have a super long gestation period!) Alpacas are very difficult to see pregnancy in, and have little to no changes in their body shape when pregnant. She made it to her due date, and then almost a month past. I figured at that point she just hadn’t taken, and we would just try to rebreed her.
Then came August 28th. I went out to feed that morning, and noticed all the alpacas were hanging around Annie. She was in the process of delivering a tiny baby. So tiny in fact, that she walked off grazing after having him and didn’t look back (or maybe that should’ve been a warning to me.)

Archie just minutes after birth. His poor head was covered in dirt where his mama had him standing.

Starting to warm up. See his funny ears, and soft feet? Totally not normal.

Archer “Archie” weighed in at about 5lbs at birth…less than half of the 12-20lb normal birth weight for a cria. He had funny, folded back ears, soft feet, and many other signs of being premature, even though I knew by the dates he was almost overdue.

He was barely breathing when I got to him, so we rushed him and his very reluctant mama to the barn. We got him under a heat lamp, and got an oxygen tank hooked up (courtesy of my father-in-law.) He wasn’t able to stand to eat, so we gave him milk replacer and hubby tracked down some calf colostrum. Mama was completely uninterested in him, and passed a placenta that was about 20% of the size it should’ve been. She never even had any milk that came in.

Archie on day 1. He had dried off and fluffed up a little!


Archie did pretty well the next two days, taking in life, and hanging with his still reluctant mama in a stall. He was sooo stinking cute, and we loved watching him wobble around. It was exhausting for us though, as we were trying to work, and take care of the farm and Ellasyn.

Archie in his baby pen. This way he could see and interact with mama, but we didn’t have to worry about him getting trampled.

Fast friends.

Of all the things Archie loved in life, food was definitely #1.

Such an adorable face!

That Friday evening, Archie started going downhill very fast. Within just a few hours, he went from playing in his stall and sucking down his bottle to shivering uncontrollably and running a very high temperature. We rushed him back to the vet clinic for more antibiotics and some pain meds, but he passed away very shortly thereafter. 
I was utterly devastated. We had worked so hard with the little guy, and he had so many people praying for him, as I’d been posting regular updates on FB. I wondered if we’d done something wrong, but truthfully I think something went wrong with the placenta and he just didn’t grow like he should. I think Annie knew he wasn’t going to survive from the beginning, and that’s why she was completely disinterested.

That Monday, Labor Day ironically, started off as a beautiful, crisp, early fall day. Once again, I was out feeding when I noticed all the alpacas standing in that too-familiar circle again. I let out a scream so loud that my husband heard it on the second floor of the house, where he was painting a bathroom WITH several fans going. I’ve never been as scared as I was in that moment running down to see what was going on. Abbye had just finished delivering a baby. Except this one was normal sized! And already trying to stand!

Asha minutes after birth.

Asha less than an hour after birth. Quite a difference from her brother

Asha means blessing. And that’s totally what she is. A mending of our broken hearts, and such happiness every time we see her. She weighed in at a whopping 17.2 lbs and was standing and eating within 20 minutes. Her mama was completely, utterly besotted with her from the beginning. We know that Asher got in with the girls for just a minute, and apparently that’s all it took, lol!

We start all our babies off right!

Mama love.

Asha and Abbye out with Annie. Annie was Archie’s mama. She and Asha have always had a special bond.

The most gorgeous color! So difficult to capture with a camera.

Cuddles with mama 💜💜

Growing up so fast! And such personality, lol!


She is almost 4 months old now, and is growing up to be a beautiful girl. She looks to be a light rose gray color, and she has the softest fiber. She is an absolute riot, and enjoys running, jumping on her mama and aunties, and eating. We are so so so grateful to have her in our lives. We miss her tiny brother, but known he is in a better place where he is free of pain and happy. Life is such a funny thing….
Both Annie and Abbye are due to have babies again this fall. I will keep you posted!!

Totes Mah Goats

I just adore our little herd. We bought our first goats last spring from an awesome local breeder after toddlerpants went crazy for them one day at the zoo. I’m SO glad we got them because they have made the best pets and addition to our farm.We started off with two baby Fainting Goats aka “Myotonic Goats.” 

Cattle Kate, Calamity Jane, and herder Ellasyn. Aren’t they so cute?

The Fainting Goat can be traced back to the 1880s. A farm worker named John Tinsley who traveled from place to place (perhaps looking for work) came to central Tennessee to the farm of Dr. Mayberry with four unusual goats that got stiff and fell down. It is believed that John Tinsley came from Ireland by way of Nova Scotia. After a year, John Tinsley moved on and left his goats (one buck and three does) on Dr. Mayberry’s farm. Dr. Mayberry began to breed the unusual goats and found that their babies got stiff and fell down, too. 

These guys are my total favorites! I can’t get them to faint much by scaring them (that just makes me feel bad, too) but they faint twice a day, every day when they see us coming with their food.

Soon after we got Calamity Jane and Cattle Kate, we brought two boy fainters home. Brigham Young and Doc Holiday seemed liked the perfect continuation of our Wild West theme. Besides, with the addition of boys meant the possibility of BABY goats one day. Nothing on Earth is cuter than a baby goat.

Doc Holiday. No one could possibly say no to that face!

Brigham Young as a baby.


A few months later a friend had a Nigerian Dwarf for sale that we couldn’t resist. I love love love the idea of making goat soap in a few years when our daughter is a little older. “Nala” didn’t really fit our WWW theme, but fit her too perfectly to change. Nala *should* be due around the middle of March. She’s an absolute doll.

Nala and the Magnolia Creek Farm welcoming committee

Nala and the shorter welcoming committee

 

Not long after we got Nala, Gizmo (another Nigerian) came into our lives. He was a bottle baby and believes he is mostly human, haha. He comes in the house quite frequently and loves watching movies and eating fruit snack. He is Nala’s baby daddy, and we cannot wait to see their kids!

Gizmo the house goat

I just love these two!

 

I really love these two breeds, and doubt we will incorporate anything else into our herd. Both are small, and very friendly. They love attention from our daughter and stand to be petted and brushed. They require very little attention, too! Shots, worming, the occasional hoof trim, shelter, and some hay and grain. I’m SUPER excited at the thought of babies and having milk for cheese and soap. 

I’ll leave you with a few more pics of our cuties 😀

Ellasyn, #1 goat herder

💜💜💜💜

The world’s most comfortable heel (no lie!)

The shoes that go with everything!
I’m SO obsessed with my Toms Desert Wedges. I’ve been wearing them with everything lately. As a pharmacist, I’m on my feet a lot throughout the day, and this is the only heel I can truly work a 10 hour day and still be comfortable. They also make your feet look tiny (which is wonderful when you’re 5’8″.) The heel is on a cork base and is around 2 3/4″ tall.

Rocking these with my Anita skinny pants from StitchFix


They are listed at $88.95 over at Zappos, but I found them at Amazon for around $60. Truly, they are a fabulous investment piece, and will go with absolutely everything in your closet.

See how cute? Your feet will love you forever.

Babies in the snow

We recently had some cold weather. Like COLD weather. The kind we don’t see much in Tennessee. 4+ inches of snow and sub zero temperatures. Naturally, I was freaked out about how everyone would handle it, but a constant supply of hay and water (thank God for water tank heaters) kept everyone looking a-ok. These temperatures were no joke, though. On the way to the barn today I saw 3 deer that had frozen to death in the neighbors pasture. Is it spring yet?

This stock tank heater is awesome, if anyone is in the market. We’ve been using it for several years!

Water Heater

Fontine and Cash

Cattle Kate and Calamity Jane

Ariel and Aurora

Faith and 8 month baby bump. Apparently baby keeps her quite warm, as she wanted no part of her blanket

Ponies and ‘pacas

King and Taz. Taz is humiliated by his peace sign blanket.

It’s a wonderful life, indeed….

Welcome to my blog!

I’m mom to an absolutely beautiful little girl. Wife to a man who supports all my dreams and loves our crazy life. Pharmacist at a job I love. Hobby farmer (pharmer) on our dream 20 acre farm in NE Tennessee. Sporthorse breeder, and obsessed with anything horse related since I took my first breath. “Mom” to 6 full sized horses (with one on the way!) 5 miniature horses, 6 goats, 10 alpacas, a pig, 3 dogs, and 4 cats.
I love anything fashion or makeup related. I’m passionate about being a mom, babywearing, breastfeeding, warmblood breeding, and animal welfare.
I still have to pinch myself most mornings when I walk outside and see our beautiful farm. I’m living the life I always wanted.

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