Alpacas From Eighth and Mud 232 Eighth Road East

It’s about time I include some animals in my local travels! I’ve been wanting to explore more nature sites, particularly involving some critters. I first spotted an alpaca farm in Stoney Creek in a local Hamilton guide quite a while ago, and made a mental note of it ever since.

Things have a way of coming around full circle for me on my tour of the city. Sometimes opportunities present themselves right as I’m thinking of them. With the warmer weather approaching, I was thinking about a trip to see the Alpacas From Eighth and Mud, and bam – I received a Facebook event invite from my friend Annie to attend their annual open house.

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The site was further out than I thought, but the drive passing through some farmlands was really nice. I love seeing how these beautiful landscapes are just a short jaunt away from the city. I sometimes forget this, with so much focus on the city. It was a lovely scenic drive, and a gorgeous, sunny day.

The open house took place over two days and it was a great opportunity to see those alpacas in action. Alpaction! (Credit to Grant for the pun.) There was a different food truck on site each day, and plenty of staff members about to answer questions.

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It was also an opportunity to see the alpacas getting sheared. We watched some of the alpacas milling about outside, and a bunch were also in the barn, awaiting their turn for a shear. It took several staff members to hoist each alpaca up onto the table. Some of the alpacas seemed unsure, but it must have been such a weight off once they could strut around without their heavy fluff!

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It worked out perfectly that my friend Annie works at the farm. She’s a seamstress who uses the alpaca fibre. It was fascinating to learn all that can be done with the material. The fibre is hypoallergenic and five times warmer and stronger than sheep’s wool, according to a sign on display. We were able to view the work station and the farm also has a shop filled with all kinds of creative gifts made with the alpaca fleece. Adorable hand-crafted stuffed animals, clothing, even soap covered in alpaca felt.

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There were even more alpacas scattered in a field area, including one that was just a few days old, baby May, named after her mother Maggie May (and also fitting that she was born in the month of May).

We got such a kick out of looking at the website beforehand – under “The Herd” you can see some of their names. A favourite, Safari Spence, who we managed to spot in person. It was so neat observing them; they all exude their own personalities. They were fascinating to watch.

Best photo I've ever taken
Best photo I’ve ever taken

Some more alpaca facts learned – they are quiet, peaceful animals that make a humming sound to communicate. Watching them interact, they really were gentle creatures. I was expecting them to bleat like sheep but they were much quieter. I just loved the little guys!

Now, take note of the photo above – officially the best photo I’ve ever blogged! Someone turn this into an internet meme for me, please.

It’s so cool to know we have something like this close by and I would love to return again to visit my alpaca pals.

– Kristin

kristin
ihearthamiltontour@gmail.com
Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (www.ihearthamilton.ca), where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing an influential social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

2 thoughts on “PACK OF ALPACAS”

  1. This was a great read. I’ve driven by the farm several times but was not aware of the open house. Very disappointing I didn’t hear about it in advance. My daughter would have loved it!!

    Can you recommend any nearby farms or petting zoos for a 3 year old that absolutely loves animals? I’ve been looking but haven’t found anything.

    1. Thanks Noda! The open house was in May and I just happened upon it myself, but the farm does offer times to go and visit. They give hours of operation on their website – http://www.alpacasfromeighthandmud.com but maybe contact them first to see what would be suitable – it says to call ahead for appointments/tours.

      I don’t know of any others farms like this offhand – I want to find more as well! It would be awesome to be able to visit more animals. If I find more I’ll be sure to report back! – Kristin

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