Saturday, December 2, 2017

My best tips about Alpaca Husbandry

For the next few posts I will be sharing tools that I find most valuable in caring for my alpacas.
As you care for your herd, having a, "Camelid Medication Drug Dose List", is really import.  Alpacas, are just rare enough that many Veterinarians have had little to no experience treating them. Having this list handy will prove to be extremely valuable, for you and your Veterinarian.  I always recommend that you double check all drug doses that your Veterinarian prescribes, just because alpacas are so rare and drug doses are different in many cases.  I actually made a copy of the list and gave to my Vet. He has told me that he uses it and finds it a valuable resource.  I believe it is very important to be an active partner with your Vet as you care for your herd.  

Camelid Drug Doses Pamela Walker DVM

Dr. Walker is a 1992 graduate of Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After two years in private practice as a Dairy practitioner, she went to the University of Illinois to complete a Food Animal Medicine and Surgery residency, where she also received her Masters of Science degree. During this time, she finished her boards in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, specializing in Large Animals.
She has taught senior veterinary students at University of Illinois, Washington State University, Michigan State University, and The Ohio State University. She loves to teach and has been invited to speak to owner/breeders and veterinarians about camelids in the US and internationally and is on the board of directors for the International Camelid Institute. She worked for 10 years as a full time veterinarian for a large Ohio Alpaca farm -Alpaca Jack's Suri Farm- where she was responsible for the medical, surgical, reproductive and daily health care of the alpacas. She has expanded her practice to include medical and reproductive care of camelids from across the country. Currently she has her own private practice -Camelid Care Veterinary Services- and is based out of Grove City, Ohio. She can be contacted at 419-306-9522 or for non-emergencies at

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Heaven got a New Angel

I am feeling very reflective today. I am so grateful for my relationships and love and appreciate the people in my life. 
Heaven got a new angel yesterday.  I received word that a friend of ours passed away.  He had been fighting a very long battle with cancer.  He was really a friend of my sons, that we had the pleasure of knowing through him.  He was this great big man, with one of the gentlest souls that I have ever known.  He was soft spoken and had this ease about him that was comforting and smooth and gentle.  He was creative and kind and genuine and truly cared about the people in his life.  He was an artist and an animal lover, he had an amazing green thumb and his backyard was truly beautiful, a heaven on earth you might say.  I guess he was an angel even before he left this mortal existence. 

He is a person that I would have liked to spend more time with if it were not for the distance between us.  Isn't it amazing how people can touch your life in small moments, small moments that change you forever.  The power of a kind soul is remarkable to me.  His name was Bob Butler and this High Desert Fram Girl will miss him. 
Rest in peace my friend. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Moved! Heaven in the high desert.

I have been away a long time!  Since my last post, so much has happened and changed in our lives.  The big news I guess is that we have moved.  Uinta Alpacas and this High Desert Farm Girl, now have an amazing new home in Willard, UT.  We purchased an old horse ranch and are in the process of turning it into our idea of a Heaven in the High Desert.  

We now live at the base of Willard Peak and are in AWE of the breathtaking view of this majestic mountain. We are also a 1/2 mile from the shore of Willard bay that is on the east edge of the Great Salt Lake.  The spirit and serenity of this new farm is amazing.  We are located on a strip of land that is unique, because it is the place where the shore of the Great Salt Lake (Willard Bay) and the base of the mountains are less than a mile apart.  This place is like a banana belt.  The environment is slightly warmer in the winter and slightly cooler in the summer.  We are surrounded by orchards and little farms that thrive here and grow amazing food.  I have so many stories and fun things to share with you as I catch up in the next few weeks.  
I am so happy to be back.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

DIY 15' X 30" shed completed in 3 days. Alpaca sunning area is a big hit.

With winter approaching the completion of the DIY Alpaca shed is such a relief.  The beginning of day 3 found me at Metalmart to pick up the metal for the new shed.  The cost of the metal came to around $1200.00. 

 The metal for the shed didn't look like much but it was all there.

It helps to have cheap labor, who will basically work for free.
The one bad thing about cheap labor is that it is sometimes slow and your projects take longer to complete. The shed was completed way past dark. lol

Shed, roof and walls completed way past dark.  Now we need to finish the trim and we are good to go.

Having a farm in our environment can be such a challenge.  Every animal that we own must have good shelter that protects them from the wind and extreme cold.  The result of our location means the expenses of our infrastructure are higher than most farms.  We believe that in the end our farm will be something special that will give back to the community. 

Development of any kind in this economy is an uphill battle.  When you are responsible for the well being of your farm animals, you sometimes have no choice but to spend money.  What makes it hard is that people are not eager to spend their money for your goods.   The economic balance on the farm depends on money coming in and money going out.  Right now it seems that its all going out, with not much coming in. 

My next big challenge is to come up with some really creative ideas to make money.  

I am thinking FIBER.  hummmmmmm.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

DIY three sided shed for our alpacas

This week is crazy!  We have the opportunity to agist (board) 15 alpacas at the farm.  The only catch is, that we need one more shelter.  You cannot get away with weak or thrown together shelters here at the mouth of Weber Canyon.  We only have 4 days to complete this shelter before a big storm is suppose to hit and the new alpacas arrive.  The alpacas love these 3 sided sheds.  They are open to the South and get lots of sun all winter.  Utah has more sunny days than almost anywhere else in the country.  So we like to take advantage of that fact.

Day one 3' holes to set used electric poles into.  And the beginning of framing.  Working with used electric poles saves tons of money.  Recycling or re-purposing poles is a big money saver and makes environmental sense.  All the lumber for framing of this shed came to $403.00.
Smile working under pressure is tons of fun!!!!!

View of one of the completed sheds.  The new shed can be seen in the background.
Day two frame work completed.

The end of day 2 framed shed 15' X 30' plus fill to elevate the floor.
Day three cross you fingers with any luck the next post will have pictures of a completed shed.

Beautiful end to day 2.

Great DIY chicken coop for winter

One of the winter chicken coops is completed.  The roosters seem to love it.  The Chicken coop sun room seems to be a big hit.

First I made the coop with a vinyl floor.  Clean up is a snap.
Second I made the coop easy to move with the bucket of our tractor.  The space under the coop has green house panels and makes a sun room on Utah's many sunny days.

Third I needed to provide wind protection, so the chicken coop sun room is enclosed on three sides open only on the west.  Most of our wind is from the canyon to the east so there is good protect.

The second coop will be roosting space for the chickens and a sun room.  Stay tuned and check it out.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The hustle and bustle of winter prep.

I love fall and the prep for winter.  It seems that during the summer everything on our farm spreads out all over the whole place. Pastures, roaming chickens grazing alpacas.  In the fall we pull everything back in so that winter chores won't be so tough.  Winter here in our high desert farm can be really tough.  But if winter prep is done right it isn't so bad.  My favorite part of winter is when is stays just below freezing.  It is not to cold and it is not to mushy.  The animals puff up and there winter coats keep them toasty warm.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  For now it is organizing, cleaning, moving pens and making sure everything is where I can get to it.  I am just finishing a new chicken coop and have one more to build.  I have 2 sun walls to put up on the south side of my barn and a bunch of fill to bring in to make sure everything drains well.  Everybody needs to be able to be snug as a bug in a rug.   Busy, busy, busy and loving it!