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Posted 1/10/2011 10:58am by Mona.

The situation regarding the llamas in Montana is dire. Llamas are dying daily.  There are 2 rescue groups working together, Northeast Llama Rescue and Southeast Llama rescue, to get a group of 70 - 90 llamas out and into facilities in Indiana, Missouri, and New York, for assessment, re-hab, and re-homing.  Funds are needed immediately to pay the cost of transportation to these facilities.

Please visit the rescue groups' websites and make a donation via paypal to help the Montana Llama rescue emergency. 



Or if sending a check via snail mail:

167 Llama Lane
Middleburgh, NY 12122

678 Mill Creek Rd
Luray, Virginia 22835

Please keep these animals and the rescue workers in your prayers.

Thank you for reading.

Tags: rescue
Posted 1/2/2011 2:40pm by Mona.

I had a wonderful end to last year / start to the New Year on Friday morning ~ I went to Sallie’s Fen Fibers to pick up another batch of my yarn!   I had this yarn done in a twist.  There’s a ply of white yarn, courtesy of Bo Jangles, and a ply of medium fawn yarn, courtesy of Coty and his mama Alana.  It’s a perfect rag-wool style yarn!  I think I’ll just call it ‘The Twist.’  Funny, Bo and Coty are always wrangling, wrestling, playing ‘Twister’ with each other, so a twist yarn from their fleeces is just perfect.  There was actually more fawn than white (yeah!) so I also have a small cone of just fawn. 

Yummmm........  Yes, yes, pictures will come. 

Wishing you all a joyous, peaceful, healthful, and prosperous New Year!

Posted 12/31/2010 8:41am by Mona.

Stella and Gracie 2010

(most of today’s post is a re-print of last year’s post)

I love New Year’s and the hope for new beginnings that it brings.  On New Year’s Eve Dan and I like to sit back and reflect on our past year and create our goals for the New Year.  Our reflections start with the good, i.e. all the goals we did accomplish or are completing, and then on to the setbacks.  But instead of dwelling on any bad experiences that we may have had, we talk about what we’ve learned from those experiences so that it may help us in the future.  And then we laugh and talk about what we are looking forward to, jot down ideas, and from there our new goals are formed. 

It’s the end of the year.  Every end is a new beginning.

With the alpacas physically here it is much easier for us to visualize the direction our farm is headed.  I’m sure all farms sit back every year and say ‘Hhmmm, what needs to be fixed?  What do we need to buy this year?  What could we improve?’  Necessity and the budget usually dictate what will come first.  If the alpacas could speak, I’m sure they’d like us to keep working on a better pasture, free of rocks and roots, and filled with lush, green grass!

We’ve had a wonderful 2010.  2011 can only be better.

Here’s to wonderful new beginnings!

Wishing you all a joyous, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year!

Bright Blessings,


Posted 12/26/2010 7:15pm by Mona.

Looks like 2010 is going to end with quite the bang up here in New Hampshire.  We usually refer to these huge snowstorms as ‘Nor’easters’ but the weathermen are all calling it a blizzard, probably because of the strong winds.  They keep ‘upping’ the forecast and this evening it now looks like we’ll get 14 – 21 inches of snow by the time the storm is over tomorrow evening.  No matter what you call it, that’s a lot of snow for one storm.

Barn, all ready for the storm

Alpacas cozying up for the storm

Alpacas don’t like to be closed in, and we’d never sleep knowing they didn’t have a way to ‘get out’ should something happen to the barn.  But all this wind will definitely blow snow into our open barn, so this afternoon we spent a few hours with tarps, scraps of plywood, a staple gun, and a cordless screwdriver.  First Dan dragged in their outside hay feeder and then we set out to block the openings of the barn.  We covered over three of them and half of the fourth one, leaving about a 6 foot wide opening.  We wanted it wide enough so that if something startled them, they could all run out pretty much at once.  Their small hay feeder is positioned right in front of this opening, so we moved that against the side of the pen wall.  We spread out a bale of fresh straw in this protected section of 4 pens, put out 2 buckets of hot tap water, filled and fluffed the 3 hay feeders, told them to stay cushed together for warmth, and be nice to each other.  I doubt any of them will venture outside tonight!  It’s awfully dark in there now so we’ve left the back porch light on as a bit of a nightlight for them.

Stay safe, my alpaca friends. 

Tags: alpacas, barn
Posted 12/20/2010 7:29am by Mona.

Henry has now been thinking it’s a fun thing to jump in and out of Val’s van, and yesterday, he and Cowboy came home.  The ‘meet and greet’ went just fine and all is calm and well here.  The best part of all is that he lets me hug him!

Henry's Home!

Tags: alpacas
Posted 12/14/2010 11:02am by Mona.

On the twelfth day of Stitch-mas, my true love gave to me:

Twelve knitters knitting

Eleven cones a’ winding

Ten orders shipping

Nine rugs a’ hooking

Eight yarns a’ dyeing

Seven needles felting

Six sample cards

Five spinning wheels!!!

Four pounds of fiber

Three nuno scarves

Two socks on one needle

 And a yarn store that understands me


(I'd love to take credit for this great twist on the popular Christmas song, but I found it on the Halcyon Yarn Store website.)

Posted 12/7/2010 11:10am by Mona.

We’ve been transitioning to our winter routine.  We can’t leave the house until we’re ‘loaded up’:  winter muck boots, heavy coats and gloves, hat/headband, and lots of layers.  Barn chores take much longer this time of year.  We’re trying to remember what we did last year for snow removal around the gates, what worked and didn’t work so well.  We’re so not ready for snow just yet.  We’re lucky that so far it’s just been cold and windy.  What little snow we’ve had is gone within a day or two.

It seems as if the alpacas have grown their own winter coats overnight.  Suddenly they’re all so very fluffy looking.  Those fluffy cheeks are beginning to look like teddy bear faces.  We’ve been putting down straw for them to bed down on but in the morning light we see that they’re all cushed outside!  Apparently they’re a lot warmer than we are. 

There’s hardly anything left to graze on in the pastures so we’re starting to go through more hay.  That’s normal this time of year.  I try to keep all the feeders really full and well fluffed.  We’ve been feeding them a little more pellets in the evenings too.  The boys never say no to extra pellets.

The past several days it hasn’t even reached 32 degrees so the water buckets are frozen over mornings and evenings.  So it’s back to hauling down gallons and gallons of hot tap water!  Arlo used to always greet me last winter but now it’s North.  Once he realized I’m bringing down morning and evening ‘tea,’ he runs right up to me.  I can barely get the buckets down on the floor of the barn and he’s drinking and drinking .......... he’ll drink a whole gallon of warm water at once.  Silly alpaca.

The other thing with cold weather returning is that it’s harder to rake up the alpaca poo.  I wait till mid morning to do this, hoping that with the sun up over the barn, the beans won’t be frozen to the ground so much.  When you try using the rake to scoop frozen-to-the-ground-beans, the beans develop a life of their own and sail across the paddock.  So now it’s ice pick time.  The ice pick breaks up the frozen beans easier, but it also makes it easier for the beans to sail faster and more unpredictably.  Ever have this conversation with a co-worker?  “Well I had to get out the ice pick to shovel manure this morning and whoa!  The beans went straight up!  Only had a half dozen or so in my hair.  Thank god my mouth wasn’t open.”  I don’t recommend it.  Unless they have livestock, they just won’t understand.  They’ll look absolutely horrified, possibly more so than when describing how your favorite alpaca spit in your hair.

Alpacas’ cute personalities and fabulous fiber (!) outweigh all these ..... these ..... winter oddities.

I wouldn’t trade my alpacas for any other livestock in the world!

Posted 12/6/2010 8:04am by Mona.

Hi Everyone ~  What follows is an update on the Llama rescue emergency, with contact information of the folks 'on the ground.'  The immediate need is to be sure the llamas are fed, and a fund for this is being set up.  I will post that as soon as I know.  Thank you again for reading. ~ Mona

I am assuming that most folks are by now aware of the current situation at the Montana Sanctuary. They have lost major funding, are deeply in debt and are struggling to support over 1,000 animals. As of Friday, they had about 4 days of hay left. An organization called Animeals is collecting feed/hay and sending a one time transport to them. That will give them another TWO DAYS.
They housed Peruvian cavies, bison, cattle and a number of other smaller animals including goats and sheep. Most all those have been placed as of tomorrow but if you have an interest, please confirm with the appropriate Team captain. There are also 2 camels and I think placement for those is under motion but again you should check.
Right now the short term initiative is on getting food for the animals and of course that includes how to fund that initiative. There is one full time and two part time staff on the property. The llamas are ranging over 700 acres and the majority of these animals can probably be considered as feral. Equines are housed on a separate property and I really have no info regarding how accessible they are.
Right now (as I understand it) there is no physical infrastructure in place which can be utilized to get the llamas into pens or a series of ever smaller pens like you would do elk and whatnot so they can even be sorted by sex, age or whatever. In order to move them out of state they would need to pass whatever state regulations are in place. The thought is that if we could reduce the herd we obviously reduce the expense of feeding them BUT if you could catch up even 100 this is still a huge manpower issue not to mention expense. Also this place is miles from just about anywhere so getting folks on the ground there is a logistical challenge.
The following teams are now in place and communications should be directed to them. Right now there is a funding mechanism being set up so that any funds collected by other entities can be funneled to a central account which will be used to disperse and account for all funds moving in/out. More will be forthcoming in regards to how to access that channel when it becomes available (probably tomorrow) and I am sure that other organizations which plan to organize fundraising initiatives will make that known. Many are waiting for this central fund to be established so they can get an infrastructure in place.
Here is more detailed info on the infrastructure currently in place regarding support for this endeavor:

Team captains are:

Jerry Finch, Habitat for Horses has final say on placements, but only interacts with the team captains. Otherwise he will be overwhelmed with emails.

Phyllis Ruana- Llamas
Montana Animal Care Association (M.A.C.A.)
P.O.B. 153
Corvallis, MT 59828
501 C-3 non-profit organization

Dave Pauli –wildlife
Senior Director for Wildlife Response
Humane Society of the United States
HSUS Animal Care Centers
Billings, MT 406-255-7161

Susie Coston- Farm
National Shelter Director
Farm Sanctuary
PO Box 150
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
PH: 607-583-2225 x262
FX: 607-583-4472

Jane Heath- Horses
Jane Heath
Executive Director
Montana Horse Sanctuary
Simms, MT

Patty Finch-Funding and solutions beyond the critical placements of as many animals as possible.
GFAS (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries)
Short term and long term funding
Coordination with Community Foundation, authorization of expenditures in cooperation with Jerry Finch (no relation)

Tags: rescue
Posted 12/4/2010 2:12pm by Mona.

Hello All ~ I have just heard of a large animal rescue that has to close down and is in need of immediate re-homing of 800, yes that is correct ~ 800 ~ llamas, and some other animals.  Linda Lachanski of Alpaca 911 rescue in New York is coordinating this unimaginable event.  Here is the information that I am aware of with contact information for Linda.  She asks to please email as she has been swamped with phone calls.  Thank you for reading and any assistance you can provide, if even in prayer.


This is being passed along for ANYONE looking to adopt or may know of someone looking to adopt other types of animals:
The Montana Large Animal Sanctuary is closing and needs to find homes for the following animals as soon as possible!:
Bison 2
Cattle 35
Goats 25
Sheep 15
PB pigs 7
Llamas 800
Horses at 2 locations total 110
Cavies 15
Emus 12
Camels 2

Please contact me ASAP if you know of anyone interested in helping with this situation.


Linda Lachanski
Pic A Paca Dreams Alpaca Farm
14 Courtney Drive
Delanson, NY
Home of Alpaca911 Rescue



Tags: rescue
Posted 12/2/2010 11:03am by Mona.

I went out to the barn this morning to do my usual morning chores.  It’s sunny today after a day of foggy, wind swept rain, and all the alpacas were out in the pasture.  North and Earth came into the barn while I was scooping alpaca poo.  I pushed the wheelbarrow out to the Big Pile to dump it and when I came back into the paddock the rest of the alpacas ran up too.  I greeted them all by name as I usually do.

Coty was standing near the outside hay bin.  I casually asked him how his wound was doing this morning and walked into the barn to begin refilling the hay bins.   Here I am fluffing hay when Coty sauntered in, bleeding all over again!  Yikes!  Quickly I went into ‘vet’ mode and shut the barn panel, herded Coty and North into the pen, turned on the inside barn lights, and got paper towels to clean him up again.  He must have rubbed his head on something and pulled off the scab.  At least it wasn’t a new wound!  He winced strongly when I first applied pressure against his gash, such tender ears alpacas have, and then stood calmly while I waited there for the blood to stop.  North was a good companion and didn’t leave his side.  Earth fussed from just outside the pen door.

I did a quick couple of wipes down Coty’s neck.  It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the other night and I know that this blood on top of his fleece will eventually wash off on its own.  I let him and North out of the pen and opened up the barn again.  Bo and Arlo came in quickly to check out the new hay.  I finished adding and fluffing hay to the other bins and re-filled water buckets.

And that’s when I realized that Coty had managed to bleed on just about everyone else.

Welcome to our farm!  We have a small herd of red-spotted alpacas!

Quote for Today

Never let the odds keep you from doing
what you know in your heart
you were meant to do. 

Coming soon!
Our new fiber store on Local Harvest!


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