For some time I've been hoping to find an alpaca that could be registered with CLAA http://www.claacanada.com/ with the potential to be shown and possibly bred. Serena is the most wonderful alpaca in my world, but because her background is sketchy (her mom can't be registered, so Serena can't be registered), I can't show her and won't breed her.
I started searching in December and found a farm in Mallorytown, Ontario that was getting out of the alpaca business and selling their herd. They had a little rose-grey coloured girl being offered separately who seemed to fit all of my criteria (age, sex, colour) and I exchanged lots of emails with the owner, Dana.
On Sunday, January 17th Greg and I left Burlington at 7:00 am and headed east on Highway 401. It was a lovely, sunny winter day and we got to Dana's farm around noon. Maggie was pretty upset as the rest of the herd had left the farm the day before and she'd spent the night in a horse stall, but she let me get close and eventually I was able to get her haltered and walked her out into the sun.
She was born on April 10th, 2009 which was Good Friday and also the day that I got Serena. Maggie had lots of burrs and old hay stuck in her pretty fleece, but I knew they could be worked out easily and she would feel more comfortable once she had other alpacas around her. Dana agreed to register her and I agreed to buy her. It was a simple decision once I laid eyes and hands on her.
We popped her in to the van and headed west to "Alpacas From Eighth and Mud" in Stoney Creek. Ninety minutes later we stopped for gas and I took her out of the van for a walk (and hopefully a pee and poo). She walked very well, but decided to take this opportunity to show us how she really felt about what she'd been going through this weekend:
What do you do with an alpaca that decides to play dead? You ask your husband to stop laughing and help you. Between us Greg and I got Maggie back on her feet and in to the van. She was quite interested in watching the traffic, but very tired by the time we arrived at the farm.
John and Sharon were their usual welcoming selves and had set up an isolation pen for Maggie, who has to be separated from the rest of the herd for three weeks. This is the proper health precaution to take with any animal that has been on another farm. We decided to put Serena in with her so that Maggie wouldn't be lonely.
I've been socializing with Maggie every weekend (and almost all the burrs are gone). She is getting more comortable and looks very happy. By the end of this week she will be micro-chipped, BVD tested then released from the isolation pen. She and Serena have been enviously watching the other girls run around the paddock and I can't wait to be there when they are running with them.