James and Sarah have been in the alpaca business for quite some time now and are considered experts by most people. However, just like everyone in everything, they were beginners at one point. Cowboy was the first baby alpaca to ever be born into the Alpacas of Montana family. His mother, Snickers, came to their farm pregnant and was quite the feisty lady. Snickers had a nickname at Alpacas of Montana, M16. When alpacas get frightened or startled they tend to chuff and spit lightly. Just little spats. It’s not like they’re pulling up all the bile and gross green sludge that comes with a proper spit. Usually, it’s mostly air and it’s just one little spit here or there. Snickers, however, would spit like a machine gun. If you upset her at all then you were instantly coated in bullets of alpaca spit that were firing off in rounds of an unbelievable rate. Snickers had really beautiful fleece and was actually the Sun City Sizzle Challenge Grand Champion in Arizona (where she lived before coming to Alpacas of Montana). While she was a beautiful alpaca, she had a very bad attitude.
When things were first getting started for Alpacas of Montana, James and Sarah lived in a beautiful spot up Bridger Canyon just outside of Bozeman, Montana called Jackson Creek. Imagine hills covered in wildflowers in the early summer, winding canyon roads through pastures and an exquisite view of the coveted Bridger Mountain Range. Their property sat at the top of a hill in an area that experiences a lot of wind. On a cold and windy day, Snickers (Cowboy’s mom) went into labor. As we’ve mentioned before, alpacas usually give birth between 10am and 2pm, but what would the first alpaca birth for James and Sarah be without a little chaos? Cowboy was born around 8:30 am in some true Montanan weather. Luckily it wasn’t snowing, but it was far from warm or peaceful. The birth was successful, and Cowboy seemed to be doing alright, so James and Sarah went into the house for a bit. When they came back out Cowboy was tucked away in the barn with no mom in sight. Mind you, at the time they had very rudimentary, bare-bones barn and not a lot of knowledge about alpacas or the ways they work.
When James saw Cowboy alone he got worried that the mom had abandoned him and that he wouldn’t get the nutrition that he needed. So, James, being new to the alpaca world and not yet being able to tell his alpacas apart, picked up the baby and carried him around the pasture asking all the lady alpacas if it was their baby--yeah, what a site.
Snickers was minding her own business just out getting a drink of water when she saw James had hijacked her baby and was auctioning him off to other moms. Being her ill-tempered self she charged James spitting her M16 rounds at him with a vengeance. James, being scared to death of the mama alpaca, put the baby down and ran away as Snickers fell in behind him, shooting spit his way. Needless to say, for months James wasn’t allowed near Cowboy.
Cowboy was a very cute baby and had great fiber. If you go to google and type in “cute alpaca” he is still on the first page, and he’s been there for 10 years. Everyone loves him, and other farms even have him on their websites. Cowboy is an old man now living his days out on the farm. All of the younger alpacas treat him like the old statesmen and leave him alone. One time, one of the young alpacas broadsided him on accident and Cowboy tipped over like a fainting goat. He had his feet in the air and was laying on his back (quite a site to see). He was so pissed at the young boys, but has since gotten over it and they all leave him alone for the most part, so he can enjoy the rest of his happy life.
Join the alpaca revolution! Alpaca is a sustainable alternative that is not only good for the earth, but for all of us. Alpaca wool is stronger, softer, more eco-friendly, and offers 85% greater wicking capability than merino wool. It is also hypoallergenic! Learn more about the benefits of alpaca in our Alpaca vs. Wool blog posts, shop our collections and follow us on social media!