With two “grandmonkeys” in the family, and a growing number of local friends who participate in 4H, we had some long discussions about how we could get the grandmonkeys interested in 4H, and learning about animals and gardening and how everything in the world around us has its place and purpose. We did some digging around and discovered that most kids were showing rabbits and alpacas, and even joked about keeping a couple alpacas at the house.
Our research into rabbits introduced us to angora rabbits. Not only are these beautiful animals, but their fur is used for spinning yarn. We drilled deeper into the world of angora rabbits to discover what is considered the best fiber breed out there: German angora. We found a breeder downstate (who is since retired), and on our way there, we found the French/English angora boys, who have been a staple on our farm’s promotional material.
Soon we added Roger and Molly, our first German angoras, then came Snow Shoe, Miss Attitude, and Cedar, then Robin and Anna Marie (French angoras), then.. then.. then..
So it turns out that rabbits multiply quickly, even if they aren’t bred!
We are fortunate to have a yarn mill right here in The Country: Aroostook Fiberworks. Andy has been a fantastic guy to deal with, and one day, while we were picking up the latest yarn order, he asked us: “Did you guys have any interest in some alpacas? I will make you a hell of a deal…” We were, and he did, and talk about a “trial by fire”; we were pretty clueless going in with alpacas, but it’s been quite some time, and they are thriving, and we really couldn’t be happier. More recently, we added a male cria from RMT Farms, who will be a fine fine flock stud, when we let him, and then had a trio of gorgeous Icelandic sheep somewhat fall into our laps from Kilby Ridge Farm.
So, yes, we do have sheep. And alpacas. And angora rabbits.
Fun fact: Angora wool comes from angora rabbits, but mohair comes from angora goats. Why is that? Because goats have “mo’ hair” than rabbits!