Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Alpacas, and Pigs, and Chickens, Oh My!

So I'm finally almost not tired enough to put up some pics. (In my defense, I worked late on Monday (first day back), and the garden exploded while I was gone, so some freezing of produce was called for tonight. This is seriously cutting into my spinning time...)
First, the alpacas!This is Apache, aka Patch. He's the Head Alpaca. This means that he has to be first to investigate anyone with a camera. It also means that any and all scritching to be done will be done to him. It's a tough job.
He was soon joined by the black alpaca (who is either Chico or Berto. I'll be damned if I can remember which is which...) and Bob. Bob rooms with the alpacas. They don't seem to mind that he's a pig.
Ace, the white alpaca, and either-Chico-or-Berto the gray alpaca, preferred to watch me from afar. They might have been playing King-of-the-Hill, but only because Apache wasn't over there. (He's automatically the King. Of Everything.)
I've already got some of Ace's and Apache's fleeces left from last year, so I snagged some from Chico and Berto to bring home with me. WGS wants a scarf. I'll be happy to oblige.
There was a huge pack of little piggies to admire. (This picture only shows some of them. I just couldn't get all of them into one picture...)
(I was hoping for some newborns to ogle, but had to settle for looking at some extremely pregnant sows. They napped a lot. I remember how that was...)

I got to go along with my Dad to pick up a new little boar pig. This guy is a MuleFoot, a rare Heritage breed. Instead of the standard cloven hoof that normal pigs have, this breed has one hoof - it looks for all the world like the pig is wearing a ballet slipper. (I'm guessing they thought Mulefoot was a better name for a breed of pigs than Balletfoot. I could be wrong...)

Below is the best picture I was able to get of a foot. Unfortunately, his feet kept sinking into the soft straw bedding in the pen.

Dad is working with another guy to raise more of this rare breed. He's got another older boar, already hard at work. So to speak.

And, as if he doesn't have enough to do, here he's raking concrete, getting ready to build an addition onto the addition on the main barn. Busy busy busy. I'm hoping I'll be going as strong at 77 as he is.

Oh, I promised chickens, didn't I? If you look really close at that last picture, you might be able to spy a chicken or two on the left, behind those white rectangles...


Diane said...

So you have a steady supply of alpaca fleeces, I take it. Does your Dad raise the alpacas for breeding or to sell the fleece or just because he likes to have them around? I assume the piggies go to market eventually.

kmkat said...

Hmmm. So if the pig doesn't have a cloven hoof, does that mean its meat could become kosher? (I am probably displaying my frightful lack of knowledge about Judism here. Please excuse me.)

pacalaga said...

I spy no chickens. I was promised chickens. I feel cheated.

Laurie said...

People are strong like that at 77 because they've been doing that all 77 years. Loved the guided tour. I, too, thought of the kosher aspect. The rabbis probably would debate that for a century, and then decided, naw, still a pig.

Anna M said...

Great pics but I agree. Need more chicken pictures. I've heard various musings that you have chickens. Haven't seen them in a while.... For those of us who are jonesing for chickens I think a chicken photo spread is in order. Just sayin...

Leigh said...

Wow, what a busy guy, and kudos to him for getting into rare breed propagation/preservation with the Mulefoots!
I love alpaca knits. So, when are you gonna get some alpacas?