Friday, May 8, 2009
Girl Scout Outing
Well, I'm finally getting around to blogging about this! My good friend, Jill Moore, is a Girl Scout leader. The wonderful girls in her troop needed to earn an "animal badge". So, she called upon Paca D'Lites Ranch to show off our animals and our fiber processing sequence. So, on Thursday, April 16th, the most well mannered, beautiful young ladies and their parents came out to visit our little place. We started off by talking about all of the "rules" about being around alpacas, like no running or chasing the alpacas. Don't come up right behind them (they might kick you!). We talked about how some of the alpacas are pregnant, so we didn't want to yell or act crazy around them. Next, we entered the front paddock with the male alpacas.
We talked all about alpacas and even got Mr. Tim to show us one's teeth! Where are those top teeth? We learned they don't have top teeth in the front of their mouths!
The girls had some fun feeding the alpacas some grain while we talked all about them. Then, we came back to the front yard for a fiber processing demo.
We felt the difference between 1sts, 2nds, and 3rds in the bags of raw fleece.
We pulled some raw fleece out and placed it on the skirting table. We picked a little and talked about what makes a good fleece. Then, they checked out the picker. Ooh! It was a little scary with all of those nails! Everyone knew not to put their hands in that one. Next, we discussed the drum carder and how it was a lot like combing our own hair. It gets all of those fibers going in the same direction. Why do we do that?
Well, we moved over to the spinning wheel to find out! Oh, that was fun!
But not as much fun as seeing a real knitting machine in action! Everyone agreed that would be much faster than knitting by hand. :o)
The girls ate a snack and drank some juice. Next, we headed out to the barn to see all of the chickens, chicks, and their nesting boxes. Mmmm.. there were lots of eggs in there, ready to be collected. Then, we were headed off to our neighbor's house, the Bakers. Oh yeah! It gets even better! The girls got to see all of the Baker's goats and rabbits! Many of them are pregnant, so we had to be careful not to startle them either.
Rachel and Jim collected two of the baby goats and lead the goats mother over to the backyard where a milking stand was positioned. Everyone got to take turns milking the mama goat. What fun that was! Some of the girls learned they had quite the skill of milking goats! :o) Last, but not least, we headed back over to Paca D'Lites to see some of the products made with the alpaca fiber (fleece). We saw teddy bears, shawls, socks, and finger puppets. The event went off without a hitch, thanks to the girls. Wow! I had a great time! I hope they did, too!