Saturday, September 3, 2011

Alpacas, Alpacas, Alpacas….OH MY!

We give Alpacas & Whirlwind Ranch two thumbs up!

I have traipsed my family to organic farms, horse ranches, zoos, exotic ranches, but when someone said Alpaca Ranch, all I could say was WHERE. 
It was a rare opportunity for us to get this up close and personal with such an unique animal…Alpacas part of the camelid family are much different than I ever imagined.  They are almost shy creatures or as Liz, the owner of Whirlwind Ranch explained they are similar to house cats.  I laughed when she compared them to cats, but soon realized she was right.  Alpacas are skittish, but very intelligent…and they either love you, or just love to gaze at you from a distance.  The most amazing thing about Alpacas are their listening skills; one word and the Alpacas knew just where they were suppose to be and came running....hey Liz can you teach my kids this skill?
Lovin this Hair Style

Our favorite thing about Alpacas are their Punk Rocker hair dos, yep these adorable creatures have some styling hair dos.  As wild as their hair or coats maybe, it is a very luxurious fiber and is used for clothing, rugs, blankets, and even some very neat socks!  I am going to put Alpaca Socks to test this winter on my morning runs…from what I learned during my visit at Whirlwind Ranch is that Alpaca fiber is similar to dri-fit clothing and that is just what I need to keep my feet warm on my morning runs! 
one of the hats for-sale at Whirlwind Ranch
The extra little treat we got on our tour of Whirlwind Ranch was meeting and brushing their great big Great Pyrenees puppies (actually grown dogs)!  Our gang is lovers of GIANT puppies and we fell in love with the guard dogs at Whirlwind Ranch.  While the dogs were actually working, we were enjoying brushing their hair and loving all over them.  Great Pyrenees  are used at many farms and ranches to keep prey away from the livestock, so when you visit the Whirlwind the dogs greet you and stay between you and the Alpacas…pretty smart creatures if you ask me.  As you arrive at the ranch Liz will hand you a brush and tell you to start brushing, since the dogs are going stand by you, she takes this opportunity for them to get their coats brushed….my kids thought this was just WAY TOO COOL! 
We love Big Puppies
Whirlwind Ranch is located in Lebanon Missouri and is available to for tours by appointment only, the tours are very guided tours, and they will even explain you how the Alpaca’s punk rocker hair becomes luxurious fiber.  To contact Whirlwind Ranch you can visit their website or give them a call at 417-533-5280. 
The Alpaca tried to kiss Lesse
To see more of our photos visit Photos of Whirlwind Ranch

*** Our visit to Whirlwind Ranch in Lebanon Missouri was sponsored by the Missouri Division of Tourism, and a big thank you to them for giving us the opportunity to learn about Alpacas ***

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