18 January 2010


My daughter and her family live in Kansas and visited recently for a few days. We like to do different things when they're here and heard there was an alpaca festival (the 14th Annual Michigan International Alpaca Fest) in town, so we went to it.

It was a very unusual experience. There were 300 alpacas and we arrived when they were being shown for ribbons, trophies etc. Alpacas can be trained to be lead through obstacle courses in some of their performance testing.

They are the cutest animals and each face is very distinctive. The shaving on their heads is also very individual. Alpacas have padded feet, few teeth and an overall curious and friendly personality. The only time they owners wouldn't let you touch them is before they are being prepared for judging. After an animal is exhibited, you could pet them. What a feel to their fur. Fabulously soft. The fiber is a material like wool, but finer, warmer and much stronger.

Often called South American llama alpacas are not llamas but are the smallest members of the 4 South American camelid species which include vicunas, guanacos, llamas and alpacas.