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The Back Forty -

Our Homestead Animal Farm Journal


What's the difference between alpacas and llamas?

 Hummer & Diesel

The main differences are size and fiber (fur) quality. Both llamas and alpacas belong to the family Camelidae. Llamas were primarily bred to be pack animals, (conditioned males can carry about 1/4–1/3 of their body weight) and alpacas were bred primarily as fiber producers. An average alpaca stands 34"–36" at the withers (shoulders), whereas a llama stands 42"–48" at the withers. Alpacas weigh 125–175 pounds on average. An adult male llama will reach a weight of between 300–450 lbs. A full size alpaca can produce 5–8 pounds of high-quality fiber each year.

You can meet our two alpacas, Hummer and Diesel, in person when you visit us here at the Homestead Animal Farm.


How the Donkey Came to Have His CrossMany donkeys have across cross shaped mark on their backs.

Many donkeys have a cross-shaped mark across their backs.


Everyone knows that the little gray donkey carries a cross on his back. Most people don't know the legend of the donkey's cross. The story is told that the little donkey that had been Jesus' mount on Palm Sunday came to the hill of Calvary. Seeing the tragic event occurring there, he wished with all his heart that he had been able to carry the cross for Jesus. He was the proper one to carry heavy burdens.

The donkey turned his back on the sight, but he could not leave. He wished to stay until all was over because of his love for Jesus. In reward for the loyal and humble love of the little donkey, the Lord caused the shadow of the cross to fall across his back and left it there for the donkey to carry forevermore as a sign that the love of God, no matter how humble, carries a reward for all to see.


Welcome to our new website!

We are starting to get ready for our 2010 season. The seed is being ordered and the animals are anxiously awaiting green grass in their pasture. The ducks, geese, and turkeys are starting to prepare for spring egg laying. A few of our ducks have already laid eggs. The donkeys and goats are starting to shed and will look forward to being brushed soon. Within the next couple of months Abe, our sheep, and Diesel and Hummer, our alpacas will be sheared. Our 9th corn maze is being designed and will be a fun adventure once again this year. Please come back and visit us soon for another Back 40 update!

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