Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When will it start to feel like a "farm"? (Meet Phantom)

That's a silly question because this isn't a farm.  Although crops are growing on our land, we are not the ones growing them, maintaining them, or even caring about them.  We barely know they are there. 

So when does our adventure feel real?  Other than the fact that we now say "we'll have to take care of that the next time we're in town", living on the Edge doesn't feel that much different than living on Sumner (despite my first posts).  Well, today we may, and I emphasize may, have a game-changer. 

Meet Phantom:

Phantom is a 2 year old male alpaca.  What is an alpaca? Alpacas are smaller than a llama and sought after for their wool, which is considered to be high quality.  They are herd animals and can live up to 20 years.  They are generally friendly, and as you can see above, cohabitate well with other livestock.  Their precious wool is sheered once a year, in the spring time.  This male is for sale via craigslist, which is Amy's new playground.

A little background.  Amy has been talking about owning alpacas since I can remember.  When we bought this land she immediately decieded that chickens, horses and alpacas were in our future.  We both agreed that livestock was likely a "spring/summer of 2012 thing"...but craigslist is a temptress, it seems.

Back to today's exciting story: Amy contacts the craigslist poster.  We will call him Craig.  Craig tells us a little more about Phantom but then adds that alpacas are herd animals and die when they live alone.  But...he'd sell us a second male, around age 1.5, no name was shared with us.  I instantly think that it is too bad he didn't offer a female, breeding them would be pretty great!  So why not a female?

I am quickly learning that in the world of livestock, females are highly sought after.  Hens make eggs, she-cows produce milk, all females reproduce.  Every herd just needs one dominant male to keep the reproduction going.  Males are turned into beef, pork, and other meat more often than not.  Thus...

Females are expensive.  Craig explains to us that good breeding females sell for around $2000 if not more.  We're fine with males!  On Monday we are going to visit Phantom and ________.  We are weighing the pros and cons of owning alpacas and visiting could seal the deal.  I will be sure to take pictures and share them with you, our loyal Edgers (is it too soon to start making t-shirts?)  :)  And who knows, if we come home with them...

Maybe it will start to feel like a real "farm".


  1. Good luck with the purchase of Phantom and Mr Anonymous, you won't regret starting your life with alpacas!

  2. I'm sure visiting will seal the deal! Don't rush into anything though.

    Alpacas are a fantastic animals and like Mark says I'm sure you wont regret it.

  3. Your t-shirt design could be "Phantom on the Edge" Hahaha!

  4. Llamas, donkeys and alpacas are very famous for protecting farm animals, especially sheep, from wolves, foxes and coyotes. We have talked about getting a small flock of sheep but I would want to own a pair of one of the 'protector' animals first. You can check out
    Can't wait for the photos!

  5. Good luck on the alpaca purchase(s). We are just beginning to feel like we have a farm... it has only taken about 3 years ;) I think once you get some animals and have your property/gardens established it begins to feel more like 'the dream'

  6. Thanks everyone for the feedback! We're still mulling this over!