Friday, March 13, 2009

The Beginning...

The company that I worked for in 2005 merged with another company and I lost my job in 2006. I got interested in learning how to knit and crochet in 2006. I attended a local yarn festival where a local Alpaca farm had a display. For most of my adult life I wanted to have a farm and own Llama. So I was immediately attracted to Alpaca. They look like small Llamas, but much smaller.

So I ended up visiting that farm to buy more yarn and fell in love with their soft fiber and large dark eyes. They make a soft humming noise to communicate. I fell in love. After this visit a local yarn store had a day trip to a local Alpaca farm, so I went. After I heard the owners of the farm talk about Alpaca I had an Oprah moment. I thought I can do this!

After a couple months of visiting local farms and asking a lot of questions we bought our three girls Morag, Ebony & Boudica in August 2006. All in different colors. It was hard to decide whether to buy maiden or proven females. The difference is you have either had a baby or not. These two choices brought many possibilities, all with different outcomes. We choose girls with excellent backgrounds and fiber that they would pass on to the next generation. Since we are boarding them at a local farm we had to consider the monthly expense too.

Ebony was bred in the Fall of 2006 then Morag and Boudica were bred in the Spring 2007. By buying maiden females this gave us some time to adjust to the business and attend a few shows before the babies came. A females show career ends when she gets pregnant.

After picking out our three girls we made a trip up to the farm to see them again. We weren’t sure which ones were Boudica, Morag and Ebony. After Jen & Fay, the owners of Highland Alpaca, picked them out for us we took a lot of pictures. Morag came right up to me and leaned on me. She loves attention. I gave her a good neck and back rub. The whole time puffs of dirt were coming out of her fiber. She loves to roll in the dirt! All I could think about was Pigpen from Peanuts. Boudica and Ebony just weren’t too sure about us two-leggers. They kept a safe distance.

Now some of the fun began. We picked our farm name, Chocolate River Alpacas. I was watching the Travel Channel and they were talking about the Chocolate Mountain range and it just clicked. What woman wouldn’t like a river of chocolate!

In the next few months after we bought the girls we made many trips to Highland Alpaca along with a trail of friends. Our friends didn’t know what an Alpaca was. Some laughed, but for the most part all were interested to hear more and see the pictures.

The most memorable trip was with my girlfriend Lori and her granddaughter Regan. Regan took to the Alpaca right away and it seemed they realized she was a small two-legger and she was able to move easily around them. They weren’t scared when she approached them. She was able to get really close and pet them.


  1. very cool! sounds like an exciting venture. wish we were closer to see them :)