Alpacas Are My New Therapy

Friends! Friends. How are you?? No, seriously. I just had this conversation with a friend yesterday; my anxiety is at a peak right now. It’s not all the time, but when it strikes, yikes. Apparently, I’m not alone. Just a quick note to say, if you’re out there feeling a little… different than normal… I see you. Find your people, and find your help.

luna sea alpaca farm florida

Anyhow, let’s talk about ways we entertain ourselves (and our families!) during lockdown. This past weekend, we took the kids to an alpaca farm, and it was surprisingly therapeutic!

Fun alpaca facts you didn’t ask for but are getting anyway:

  • Most alpacas are located in South America
  • Female alpacas’ gestation period (the length of time they’re pregnant), is around 11 1/2 months. Our alpaca tour guide told us that female alpacas can begin to mate again as soon as TWO WEEKS (dear God) after giving birth, because instinctively they “know” they have to keep up the population, which would be threatened to dwindle if they didn’t continually reproduce, because they usually only have one baby at a time. (I’ll say the one more time for the folks in the back: They can get pregnant TWO WEEKS AFTER GIVING BIRTH. Thank you, God, for not making me an alpaca.)
  • Alpaca babies are almost always born in the morning or afternoon, and by nighttime they have begun to stand and walk. Our guide told us that there is likely a health complication with the baby alpaca if it’s born at night.
  • Alpacas have just a bottom row full of teeth. On the top, they only have molars. This accounts for why they look like the picture below. And also why I couldn’t stop thinking to myself, Orthodontia!!!!!! the entire time we were at the farm.
  • Alpaca fur is surprisingly soft. Like, much softer than microfleece or any other synthetic fabric. I was surprised at this!
  • Female and male alpacas are usually kept separate when at farms, because the males can get aggressive and the ladies just need a little break from that.
luna sea alpaca farm florida

I posted some more pics on my IG, but may I highly suggest–in the most I’m-not-a-professional-just-a-fan way, of course–that if you are feeling a little on edge lately, go find something fuzzy and wild (something not human that is fuzzy and wild; husbands don’t count), and go snuggle it immediately.

For the record, the little ones may not be so crazy about the alpacas. The older kids loved learning all about alpacas and petting them, but our 3-year-old was not down to snuggle with the alpacas.

Lesson? Go find a petting zoo and get to it! Or maybe just snuggle your dog tonight. And side note: This whole experience is making me want to get a dog, for these exact reasons, although, when my logic weighs in on the debate, I don’t think we’ll be doing that anytime soon.


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