b'NEIGHBORSTop Left: Leanna Stidham leads a herd of alpaca across her Fife farm. She and husband Greg rescue alpacas in need of new homes. Bottom Left: Leanna Stidham keeps a spreadsheet posted in the retail shop of her rescue farm tracking which alpacas have come to the farm and which have been adopted out to new homes. Above: Leanna Stidhams alpacas come to her through alpaca rescue organizations. Some continue to live at her home, others are adopted out to new forever homes.Left: Alpacas typically dont like their heads patted, but a chin scratch is just fine.everything they ever wanted to know about the animals, including that alpacas are animals that prefer stable companionship with a permanent herd. They can be skittish, but thats mostly because theyre defenseless animals (unless you count spitting) and are self-protective as a result. They dont like their head patted, but a chin scratch is just fine. The gestation period for a pregnant female is 11 and a half months. They graze on grass, but love the nutritious pellet snacks that Stidham hand feeds them. They weigh about 150 pounds, and are originally from South America. Theyre revered worldwide for their soft fiber that can be turned into yarn. Thats exactly what Stidham does. She has her alpacas professionally sheered and sends the fiber to a mill to be turned into yarn, which is then available Some alpacas stay for a short time at Firwood Farm toat her retail shop for sale. recuperate and are adopted out to new owners. Others find aShe knows her alpacas so well, she can identify which of permanent home at Stidhams farm. Some, simply put, areher alpacas the yarn came from based on the feel of the fiber. not adoptable because of abuse they suffered or because ofMostly, Stidham just wants others to know how gentle and behavioral issues, so Stidham keeps those. endearing alpacas are. Theyre slow and quiet and are really Bond describes the need for alpaca rescuing asgentle. Theyre wonderful animals, she said.overwhelming. I feel a lot of people got into it thinkingFife residents are welcome to visit the farm to get up they would make a bundle and some people did, but when theclose and view the alpacas or peruse the retail shop where moneys no longer there, then it becomes OK to try and dumpStidhams handmade knitted items can be purchased,them somewhere, said Bond.among many other alpaca related products. Visit the Stidham has become an expert on the subject of alpacas.farm at 8002 48th St. E. or find more information at Ask Stidham a simple question and a visitor will discoverFirwoodFarmAlpacas.com.Fall/Winter 2019 |FifeMagazine | 15'