Jolly Rancher Alpacas

Alpacas - Treasure of the Andes

Amy Pomerantz
BlanchardBlanchard, OK 73010

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The First

In life we have many firsts. They can be pleasant, exciting, scary, not-so-nice, but they are all firsts. First steps, first words, first kiss, first bee sting, and the list goes on. It is the same with raising alpacas; first alpaca, first cria, first dealth... Well, the 2nd weekend in May of this year I had a pleasant alpaca first - first halter championship!
On May 9th I loaded up my two alpacas that were born on my farm in the past two years (Lockstar and Aria) and took them to the CABA Classic show in Portland, Or. Not having many animals on the farm to compare them to, I wasn't sure how they were going to place at the show. It is easy to look at your animals in your barn and say, 'Dang, I have produced some nice stock, champions even!' But the rubber meets the road when you get them to a show and compare them with what other breeders have produced.
On Saturday Lockstar was shown. He took 1st in a class of two shorn grey suris. Great start, but class of two doesn't give me as much to be concerned about. Aria was showing 1st thing Sunday morning in a class of nine white juvenile females. Yikes! That means three alpacas are going to leave the ring with no ribbons. What if Aria is one of them?!
Come Sunday morning and I was there bright and early. I haltered up Aria and cleaned off all of that hay to get her looking pretty. Then the announcer says that they will start with the production classes. Whoo hoo, more time to be nervous. An hour later production classes are over and Aria is again covered in hay. I get her cleaned up and a half hour break is announced. Uh oh, here we go again. This time I hovered over Aria so I wouldn't need to pick her clean of hay again. Finally, FINALLY, I get into the ring with Aria. Feelings of sickness washed over me. When the judge came over for a 2nd look at Aria I wasn't sure if he liked her or was trying to figure out if she would be one of the unfortunate few who didn't make the cut.
After 10-15 uncomfortable minutes the judge pulled Aria up to 1st place!!! Thrilled doesn't even begin to describe how I felt! When we went back in for round two, the judge pulled up Aria again, this time for reserve champion! Wow! What a great first!
So, here I am a few weeks later, still grinning like the Cheshire Cat! I am looking forward to more great firsts in the alpaca industry and hopefully more championships!

And good luck to you as you press on towards firsts in your life and your business!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Alpaca Births (from a 9 year old's perspective)

An extra hand

An extra hand

My youngest brother, Zack, has grown up with the alpacas and he adores them! Zack has Down syndrome and is 9 years old. I call him "the alpaca whisperer" because the alpacas feel so comfortable around him and he is so good with them!
Zack has attended an alpaca birth or two and loves (LOVES) the birthing process; being there, photos, videos - he loves it all! His frequent questions when spending time with the alpacas are, "Who is pregnant and has a baby in their belly?" and "Can we get the baby out of her belly!" To a 9 year old, 11.5 months seems like FOREVER!
This past year Kelly (my mentor) and I had to assist getting the shoulders out during a delivery, as the cria was 22 pounds. My mom acted as photographer and got some "great" shots of the action. Zack was very excited to see the photos and refers to them frequently! He had to write a paper for his class at school and he informed me that he was going to write about the alpaca birth. His sentence was 'One Time Amy Helped Pull a Baby alpaca ouT.' Along with a lovely illustration depicting an alpaca giving birth, complete with the head coming out!
I don't know what his teacher gave him for the paper, but in my opinion the paper was an A+! Zack is certainly a little farmer in training and he will be attending as many alpaca births as possible.
The paper

The paper

Zack's first alpaca birth!

Zack's first alpaca birth!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Party Animals

Earlier this month (February 2014) I received an email from a friend. She told me that she was having a farm themed birthday party for her 2 year old and requested that I bring some alpacas to the event. I was intrigued and immediately thought of my very well mannered and laid back female, Crescendo. She told me that the party would be at her house, there would be no other animals, and she would have a fenced off area for the alpacas. After hearing this, I agreed to bring some animals.
The afternoon of the party my sister Sasha and I loaded up Crescendo and her daughter, Aria, in the minivan and set off. We arrived in the neighborhood and found a parking spot 1/2 a block from the house. As we were walking the alpacas along the sidewalk up to the house, two neighbor ladies came out and expressed their delight about seeing their "favorite animal" walking through their neighborhood! We posed for some photos with the ladies before we approached the house.
As we came up the driveway the owner came out and ushered us INSIDE THE HOUSE! I was still assuming we were just going through the house to the back yard but, nope, we stopped at a patch of fake grass and a fence that was about 1 foot tall in the house. My initial thought was "Girls, you had better NOT relieve your bladders in their nice house!" The children fed the alpacas apples and Crescendo cushed and let them pet her! Everyone wanted photos and the alpaca behaved remarkably! Aria was a little freaked out, but she stood there pretty well (aside from kicking the wall two times).
It was a great experience for the people at the party, the alpacas, and for myself! The lady who hosted the party was thrilled with how well it went! Who knew - alpacas are party animals!