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Rosetta McHugh

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Member Since: Sep, 2009

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The Ranch at Coyote Springs
by Anita Waggoner

Three women reunite at a Montana guest ranch 20 years after high school graduation. There lives have changed, yet their friendship is strong...  
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Blogs by Rosetta McHugh

Alpacas 101
9/14/2011 10:46:38 AM
Hobbie farms are wonderful. They help people like me that came to the farm later in life, to feel as though I have graduated into a healthier life style. My daughter owns the farm but needs the extra hands to work the farm chores while she works an outside job. We both began learning about alpacas about six years ago when we moved to the country. She purchased her alpacas but needed to board them at their previous farm while we learned how to put up fences. This doesn't sound too hard I thought. A funny thing about fencing, as you roll out a two hundred foot roll of welded wire, you need more than two people to handle it. This quickly became a family affair. I was so glad there is hardly any traffic on our road, I could picture the area farmers selling tickets to watch these "green" newcomers trying to put a fence together. After three days of very hard work we had our first pasture surrounding the nicely built shelter. We were ready for our alpacas to be delivered.
We were very excited to see the truck with the trailer pull into the farm entrance. Out came two mama alpacas and two little baby boys. They were adorable. After the animals were settled in and the truck pulled away, our adventure with the alpaca world began.
There was a calm peaceful time as the animals investigated their surroundings. You could hear the mama's and the babies humming to each other. Such a sweet sound. After a few months had passed, my daughter informed me we needed to give the animals injections. "Are you kidding me?" "How do we do that?" The first thing to do was to corral the alpaca. We chose the animal that seemed to be the mildest one to handle. His name is Elwood. Elwood had other ideas about being restrained. Did you know alpacas spit, and kick? How many people does it take to hold down an alpaca? That sweet little baby Elwood was now a teenage intact male who had his own ideas how to be handled. Call in the family! We're gonna need more than just two people for this. We managed to get Elwood cornered and after grabbing hold of his head so he couldn't spit, and blocking all four legs so he couldn't kick, didn't think about what would happen when he reared up and was taller than all of us. Elwood won this round. After regrouping, and each of us taking our positions again we finally had Elwood standing still, ready for his first shot. My daughter took hold of his fiber and pulled up to insert the needle into the skin only to find out the needle was too small and would not penetrate the thick skin of an alpaca. After bending or breaking at least three needles, we decided to call it a day and take up this project the next day after she purchased bigger needles.
Since then we have learned easier ways to handle alpacas without needing to call in the whole family. Families are great. They are there for you when you need them and you can always count on family in times of need. Funny thing though, they always have something come up when we announce shearing day.

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More Blogs by Rosetta McHugh
• I have the MUNCHIES! - Wednesday, March 06, 2013
• There is a time thief on the loose! - Monday, February 25, 2013
• Peace and Quiet? - Monday, February 18, 2013
• A funny thing happened.... - Sunday, February 17, 2013
• Love and The Newfoundland dog - Sunday, February 03, 2013
• The loss of a four legged friend. - Friday, October 19, 2012
• Baby Watch - Monday, June 25, 2012
• The world with Newfoundlands! - Sunday, June 10, 2012
•  Alpacas 101 - Wednesday, September 14, 2011  
• The meaning of "Hobby" Farms - Thursday, September 08, 2011

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