At Kristine's request, let me introduce you to Autumn Heat, our first alpaca.
Technically he's not ours yet, but that's only because money hasn't changed hands. We have notified his current owners of our desire to buy him so they're holding him for us.
Now I know I said we'd be buying females so why are we buying Autumn Heat, a yearling male not even old enough to be a stud? One word: Dana. Back in the fall, the kids and I went to an alpaca show in Santa Ynez, CA. At this particular show, they had obstacle course competition where most of the participants were kids. My dd, who has ZERO livestock experience just like everyone in our family, decided then and there that this was something she wanted to be involved with. At the time, I didn't take her serious figuring it would be yet another item to add to the list of "long forgotten desires" by the beginning of the New Year. Not so. She's still very much interested in showing alpacas. When you travel to shows you typically bring males (because females old enough to work with would be pregnant and you don't want to endanger the pregnancy), so we decided on Autumn Heat. Hopefully when he's old enough in two years, we can use him as our stud. He's got perfect conformation and a shy dispostion, not to mention buttery-soft, ultra-dense fiber. I sure hope he passes on those traits to all of his crias.