"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Minky progress

Minky - just after  birth
If you were a follower of my blog back on the 3rd March 2014 you'll remember that Foothills Michael, a.k.a. Minky, was born and we experienced the first ever birth of a farm animal - our precious Minky, the Alpaca cria.
Minky - in all his
Miranda has been an amazing mother and has cared for him beautifully and that is evident in the change that is now visible in Minky.

Minky has certainly grown.  And then some...
This pic is deceptive - his coat has grown...
and even his face is covered with a blanket.
Just as well - it helped to keep him warm
on the coldest nights this winter
He's now just over 5½ months old and is almost as tall as his mother.
Because Minky is so tame, he insists on "smelling"
your face whenever you enter the paddock and has
the gentlest nose that you ever felt :)
Because he has not been left in a paddock with other alpaca's with no human contact expect when they need their inoculations / deworming, he been "humanised" and is extremely friendly - to the point that anytime anyone enters his paddock, he rushes up to give their faces, necks and ears a good sniff LOL

I have read on quite a few alpaca websites that alpaca's don't like to have their heads or necks touched - obviously Minky hasn't been told that alpaca trait!  There's nothing he likes more than a good rub of the fur on his neck or on top of his head.
Minky's not too keen on the water splaching on
his legs or feet - it makes him flick his
feet - maybe it tickles LOL
Initially, Minky wasn't as mad about water as his Mother and Kris.  Now...
"Give us a drink, RMan"!!
With the drought we have been
experiencing, RMan was watering their paddock
with the water from the rain tank.  Minky
rushed up and shoved his mouth in the streaming
...he can't get enough, and will even try and drink it as it flows out of the hosepipe.  And, like Miranda and Kris, has stated cushing in any puddles that form.  Strangely enough though, when it rains he rushes under cover?!
Mother and son - what a difference!!
Minky, although very friendly, can be "difficult".

He is obviously going through the Terrible Two's / Troublesome Three's and the moody teenager phase - out of the blue he has been known to give RMan a welcoming sniff, flatten his ears, and then give him a dose of the contents of his stomach - probably just practising for when he needs to spit as an adult. Thankfully, with his immature spit, it's not as bad as when an adult does it to you LOL
Oh, brother - that fur is going to take time to
get clean again!
There is nothing he loves more than to roll over in the loosest grass he can find - not ideal as he works it right into his fur, and it is an extra chore when it is time to give him a brush.  That fur will have to be sparkling clean before he is sheared in a month or two - otherwise the blades get blunt very quickly.

His playfulness with his mother extends to nibbling the back of her legs, until she gives him the same treatment.  That stops him in his tracks LOL  Then they have a session of neck rubbing -  similar to giraffes - or he tries to walk under her stomach as though he is still a small cria.

He can be a handful - just like all small children.

And, he also is not terribly neat.
The original midden is the circle at the back -
the "skid" mark is the midden as Minky moved it
closer and closer to the stable area.
Due to his laziness (?) the midden that Miranda created near the stable has been stretched from it's original position, and now reaches almost to the stable.
Alpaca's are incredibly agile - it always amazes
us how he can bend down to suckle from Miranda
His body fur is an even mink colour, his face is a slightly lighter shade - almost like coffee with milk, and...
Dark, dark fur round his hooves.  Almost as though he
is wearing dark booties LOL
...the fur round his hooves is dark brown
Who wouldn't love that face? :)
He almost looks like he's smiling for the camera,
doesn't he.
For all his nonsense, we love him.  Life at Foothills Farm wouldn't be the same without Minky - or Miranda or Kris :)


  1. Isn't it amazing how animals, almost regardless of species, develop their own personalities? Looks to me like Minky has personality plus! Thank you for the update. That was fun. The last picture of Minky, full face, is priceless.

    1. Vicki - Minky has personality plus LOL

      Yeah - that pic with his chubby cheeks and all shows him smiling I reckon :)

  2. What a smashing post, they are such gorgeous creatures.

    Jean x

    1. Jean - They really are, and their fleece is so incredibly soft!

  3. Oh! I have always liked llamas and alpacas! I would really like to keep some one day... they are so cute and cuddly :)

    1. Shroom - And spitty if they're in a bad mood, which, thankfully, they are not with us, but can give the other alpaca's a full dose!!

    2. Yeah... I have witnessed this nasty behaviour - green smelly stuff, eek! - good to know that they'll rather discipline each other with it than their keepers! LOL!

    3. Shroom - And it's impossible to remove from horsebox trailer walls and their fur LOL

  4. Thank you for the update! Awesome to see how Minky's growing - too cute! Best wishes ~ B

    1. Barbara - He is even cuter in person - or should that be alpaca LOL

  5. WHAT A FACE!! Any animal can be "humanized" and their ability extends to emotions and all things we attribute to humans alone. Are prerdators a problem in your particular area? My first instinct would be to hug him. My second instinct would be to wear a gas mask and a raincoat.

    1. lotta joy - There are "Rooikat" around apparently, but I think with the dogs (ours and the neighbours) they will keep their distance.

      Hugging him is fine - spitting - very rare :)

  6. He's certainly a handsome guy.
    Love from Mum

    1. Mum - He's adorable - and knows it LOL

  7. They are really beautiful animals. There are some people who raise them up on the Northern end of the county. They have a big pasture by a dirt road. Sometimes I go by and stop and just watch them. You're lucky to have Alpacas of your own.

    1. Harry - We are extremely lucky :)

      They are incredible animals, and their interaction with other alpaca's is wonderful to watch.

  8. gosh they are pretty aren't they. kind of a kangaroo (face wise) mixed with sheep. soft I bet

  9. What a wonderful post. They are such beautiful creatures Dani, with such lovely coats.

    1. Leigh - As far as far animals go, they are incredibly gentle with each other and with us (except when we try and catch them lol) and their fleece is warmer than lambs wool once knitted into a garment.


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