Fargo's Story

My name is Fargo and I live at Hilltop Farm Alpacas with my Alpaca Family and my owners who I now call my Mama, Dada and Sista's.

I was born on the 18th of June 2020. My mum's name is Bella and my dad's name is Bronson. In alpaca language Bella is my Dam and Bronson is my Sire. Everybody knows my Dad, he is known as Irelands friendliest alpaca. I hope to be just as famous as him some day.

I am a teeny little male Cria. A Cria is the name for a baby alpaca. I was only 4.8 kilograms  when I was born. The normal weight for a baby alpaca should be at least 7 or 8 kg. Nobody really knows why I am so small, I just didn't grow properly inside my mum's tummy. My owners tell me I am unique.

My First Few Days

Like any other baby I don't remember anything about the day I was born, but now, that I am older I can understand what I have been told and how scary it was. I was stuck in the wrong position in my Mum Bella's tummy. An animal doctor who is called a vet had to operate on her so I could be born. After about an hour or two my mum was up and about and I was up running around after drinking from her. We both seemed to be doing well. The animal doctor visited each day to see how we were.

A few days later my mum got really sick. She was getting loads of different medicines to try and make her better but none of them were working. At this time my owners started to feed me from a bottle. I didn't really like it at first because it wasn't as nice as my mum's milk but when I saw how sick she was I knew she couldn't feed me anymore so I had to try and take it or I would get sick too. On the 4th day after I was born my gorgeous mum Bella passed away. We were all heartbroken. 

  

 

My Two Families

Loosing my mum so young was very very sad. But some how it has made me stronger. In the days after she passed I had my Nanny Polly fussing over me. She wouldn't let me out of her sight. All my alpaca family really looked out for me and made sure I was ok . About a week later I don't really know what happened, I began to feel very, very sad, sadder than I had the first day. I just drank my bottle and went back into the shed and sat on my own. My owners saw this and started talking to me, I don't really know what they were saying but after a few minutes they picked me up in their arms and brought me away from the green floor I was on and into the place they live... their house.  That's when everything changed for me, that's when I knew I would be ok, I had two families now ..my alpaca family who teach me everything I need to know to live as an alpaca and my human family who give me my bottle and let me go into their house and give me cuddles when I need them.  I might be small but I am also a very lucky little boy.

New Arrival

I am much happier now . I have my Alpaca family watching over me in the field , and when I feel a bit sad or lonely, I wait at the gate and one of my owners will see me and bring me into the house for a short while and give me cuddles until it is time for my bottle. They always feed me my bottle outside in the field because that want me to know no matter where I am or which field I am in, I don't have to worry that they will forget me, they always know where I am.  It is so cool.....they must have super powers or super hearing or something  because, just as my tummy is starting to rumble, I look up and there is one of them bringing me my bottle....magic.

When I was two weeks old something very exciting happened. I got a new best friend. A big-little, girl was born. My owners brought me up to where it was all going on...but I couldn't look at what was happening---- no way I was too squeamish...imagine, alpacas coming out of alpacas.  Now that I'm a big boy I understand it better and know that this is all normal. This girl was much bigger than me, she was a normal size I think, around 8.8kg. They named her Foxtrot and her mammy is Blanchett. .....I call her Foxie...but don't tell her. For a few weeks I was scared of her because she was always jumping around the place and chasing me but I now know, that she was just looking for me to play with her as all normal babies do. 

 

Me & My Bestie

The arrival of Foxie changed everything for me. Yes, I was scared of her for a while because I thought she was a bit mad,  but I have learned so much from her and couldn't ask for a better friend. She knows that I don't have my mummy here, to look after me, so when she sees me sitting on my own she will  come over and sit beside me.....well to be honest she nearly sits on top of me.....sometimes I actually have to move over a bit to let her sit down. Even though she is two weeks younger and still nearly twice my size, she never teases me or says anything to me about it. It doesn't matter to her what size I am and that's what makes her my real friend.

We spend a lot of our time together. During the day we go off and eat grass, roll in the dust, and sit and rest when we get tired. The best fun we have is in the evening. We sprint all around the field. Foxie has been doing this since she was a few days old but I thought she was just a bit bonkers and didn't join in. Then one evening some of the others starting doing it along with her... Oh my god it looked sooooo funny.....even my two grannies were running...I nearly fell over laughing. Then they started to leap and bounce up and down with their tails in the air. It looked so much fun but I thought, as I was the only boy in that field, maybe it was a girl thing and I might look silly.

Polly noticed I was just watching and she came over. She explained that all alpacas even boys sprint around the field sometimes and the leaping and bouncing is called "Pronking". By sprinting and then pronking we bring our body temperature up before dark to help keep us warm on a cold night. I thought this was soooo cool and began to join in. I now sprint around the field with Foxie a hundred miles an hour and we have great fun. 

Foxie... really is my BFF and I love her so much.

Four Months On

It has been four months since I was born and I am getting bigger ever day. I am never going to be massive because my bones and frame are very small. I don't mind that because even though I am a bit different I am still treated the same as my family, other than the fact that I drink milk from a bottle. Normally bottle fed cria are being weaned at this stage but as my body is much smaller, so too is my stomach and I wasn't able to drink large amounts daily. It is only in the last few weeks that I has changed and my body is now able to have more less often.

I am eating grass and love the hay we have in the shed. Last week my owners mixed something else in with the hay and we loved it...it was called Haylage. Oooooh.....it smelled so sweet and tasted delicious. At first some of my family didn't bother with it  .... but not Foxie and I.... No way, we tucked right in and had a feast. It wasn't long before the others joined in and we were all happily munching away for hours.

We also gets alpaca feed as well but I don't really like it yet. My granny Polly told me that when my mum Bella came to live here she wasn't eating this feed either and she was 10 months old. But she became best friends with Blanchett and when she saw her eating the feed then my mum did too. It's funny the way things turn out, Foxie and I are best friends too just like our mums were.  

Halter Training

I am now seven months old and Foxtrot is just two weeks younger. We are both growing very well but as expected I am still a very small boy form my age. A few weeks ago Foxie & I began haltering training. My owners were a bit doubtful about starting me because of my size but they got an extra small halter and tried it on me and it fitted perfectly. For us alpacas to be easy handled and disciplined it is very important that we are halter trained. We need to be handled for vaccinating, nail trimming, worming, teeth trimming and shearing.

As well as that when we are halter trained we also get to do exciting things like go to National Shows where we are judged a long side other alpacas.

At Hilltop Farm we have a lot of visitors who come to see me.....sorry I mean us. We love our visitors and because we have been trained and they get to come into the field and rub us down. The older boys which include my Dad Bronson & Brother Elijah  go for walks

Shearing Day

It is the end of April now and I am nearly 10 months old.  I am still in the field with Foxie and all the girls because I am way too small to go in with the big boys.You might not recognise me now as all my lovely curly fleece is gone, but my owners keep telling I look so petite and cute.

Oh Lord, I didn't know what was going on at all that day... the day of the haircuts.  Eureka who is the same colour as me was first to go off on the lead and come back looking totally different. I didn't recognise her at first.. now, she was half the size she was before she got a hair cut which I found out later was called "Shearing". Then..... it was my turn. Eureka told me not to worry that the men were very gentle and that it was for my own health that I had to say goodbye to my beautiful curls. So I walked up to a table and a big material belt was gently placed around my tummy to hold me in place until the table was turned on its side. Then my front and back legs were tied so I couldn't move. I hated this, but I was told after,  that this was to stop me from jumping around the places and injuring myself and the men who were cutting my fleece...or sorry... I mean shearing me.

I have to be honest and tell you I was a bit naughty....Oh, Ok...... I was very naughty and spat all over the place and screamed as loud as I could. Looking back now I don't know why I did all that because the men were very kind and caring and one man kept talking to me while the other was shearing me.  Before I knew it, it was all over and I was brought back to the others. Foxie didn't know who I was at first but then I said..." Hey Foxie...It's me, Fargo.... your little BFF. She was shocked at first but got used to me in a few minutes.

All of us except my granny Fudge got sheared that day. She is the oldest and has a very short thin fleece so my owners decided not to shear her so she won't be cold or get sick in the winter. She will wait until next year. We are all glad now to be without our heavy fleece. We can run around and roll much better now and the weather is getting warmer so we won't feel like passing out with the heat. It was the first time for Foxie & I so we look so much different now,  but we like it.

Shearing is something we have to get done for our own health & welfare, I can't promise I won't scream and spit again next year but I will try my best.