Off the beaten path… Alpacas and Anatolian Shepherds

I always appreciate days when I can unplug with the world and turn off. My phone doesn’t work in the Jemez Mountains. Yes!

A friend of mine invited me to go up there with her for a day, and who was I to say no. It’s always beautiful in the mountains and I think everyone should disconnect from the pressures of everyday life once in a while- if only for a day. One of the places we stopped at was the Aspen Ridge Alpaca Farm. I was very excited. My friend bought me Alpaca gloves for Christmas and they are fabulous. They are the softest, warmest gloves I have ever worn.

The sheered coat of Alpacas can be woven into clothes, blankets, hats, coats, slippers, and much, much more. They have an upstairs shop above one of their barns containing these items, but what caught my eye was the little feel better teddy bears for kids. The bears are cute, soft and snugly.

Mickie and Evelyn, the owners of the Alpaca Farm also have two Anatolian Shepherds that protect the Alpacas from the wildlife in the mountains. Tinker and Belle. I thought I had a fairly big dog but these two are huge. They range from 125-130 pounds of muscle and mega soft thick dog hair and are the most friendly lovable dogs. I asked Mickie how these dogs could be protectors of the Alpacas when all they wanted to do was lean on me and be rubbed and petted. She said that Coyotes, Mountain Lions, Bears, Cougars and so on can’t stand the smell of the Shepherds, so they stay away. The didn’t smell funny to me:) As you can see in the picture to your right Tinker was acting like a complete ham! Belle wouldn’t stay put long enough for me to get a picture of her.


Mickie and Evelyn also have a barnhaus they rent out. The inside is so nice and cozy. My first thought when I stepped inside was: This is a writers paradise. I could hide away up there for weeks and get soo much writing done… I do have a teen to take care of though, but I’ll take a weekend anytime. I could probable write almost a whole novel in a weekend with no distractions!

Mickie also taught us a little about Sprouting Barley Seed to Feed Livestock, which is looking to be a very promising endeavor on their part. Hay is expensive and needs the right weather conditions to grow. Sometimes the stores run out or get very low on hay and have to jack up the price. I heare a lot about this problem from owners of horses too. Mickie found away around the worry of having enough hay year around by growing her barley seed. She has been able to grow it in her garage within a couple of days. It carries more nutrition than hay and the Alpacas seem to dig the taste.

What a very informative day and lots of fun!!

9 Replies to “Off the beaten path… Alpacas and Anatolian Shepherds”

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