I admit, I'm not good at changes. In fact, they freak me out.
We are headed into fall which always means some natural changes - seasons change and all. Plus the kids go back to school, it's a new grade with new rules and expectations, a new routine. My day job might be the same, but how I manage my home stuff changes dramatically.
We have some natural changes on the farm. We move from cria birthing season, into fall, when the animals become more active with the cooler temps, and get ready for winter. Our alpacas actually love the cooler temps. Many of them choose to sleep outside, even on those cold winter nights. It's the heat of summer that slows them down and makes them the most ornery.
We have chosen to make some additional changes on our farm. While I'm slow to embrace these things, my husband, J, is the one who pushes me. We make a good team because alone I would never venture out and do anything, and without my offering some helpful hints (I swear they are helpful) who knows what sort of crazy stuff he might do. Together we create a balance so neither of us gets into trouble.
As I have already hinted to, several of our alpacas will be leaving. But some will be coming too.
The reason for doing this is that if we have the same alpacas we are going to be creating the same offspring. We want offspring with incredible fiber. Not today's fiber, but tomorrow's fiber. In order to do this we need new and different genetics: through sales, donations and trades.
Sales are a great way to bring your alpaca genetics to another farm. Especially when that animals is just a continuation of genetics we already have. Selling off a dam after you have a daughter to replace her makes perfect sense. Selling a male when you own his sire and dam makes perfect sense. And really it's a business, so pretty much sales anytime anywhere makes sense :)
The donations are an idea we are working on for animals that can't compete in today's market for superior fiber. This is especially true for males. A male with good fiber isn't worth breeding, when we have males with superior fiber. In the past we have sold these type of boys to fiber farms or as companions for other farms. We are trying to be even more creative, since the most important thing is a good home for these guys. They might only have good fiber but they still deserve good quality care.
And trades are a great way for two farms not to have to worry about cash flow, but to instead trade animals so that we each get new genetics into our herd. Maybe a farm is in a situation where their top male is related to many of their females. By trading, and changing up their genetics on their farm, they can better work out on the farm breedings. Maybe we need a male with great fiber stats, but we are willing to part with a female. Another farm might have extra males that they can't use them all but would love a good breeding female. A good trade is when each party feels they got a good deal. We've had many trades over the years and most of them have worked out really well.
I am going to try not to freak out about all these changes, try that is. I might be a bit sad, as with some of our animals my attachment is emotional rather than logical. Those are the alpacas that are hard to part with, but necessary in order for our business to grow. For this reason a goodbye post will help assist me in my emotional goodbyes.