Today, I have become someone that I swore I would never be, a bitter old lady. Let me tell you
my story and I hope you will forgive me for spilling my anger here. My 13 year old Granddaughter says that when she
is angry at her parents she writes it all down and then she feels better. She recently shared just such an incident
with me and I was really impressed. She is very wise beyond her youthful years. So I am going to give it a try.
For the past two months both Joe and I have been sick for most of the time. For me it was a sinus infection
that I just could not shake. For Joe it was a mild case of the flu, then bronchitis, and continuing a UTI so he feels
bad a lot of the time. Both of the grandchildren have been to the MD a few times also. Add
to that the need to replace the heating system. Now the "best part", one of our alpacas was sick we
thought with colic so we were treating her with the usual protocol of oral meds. Then she began to bite, trying to bite
me and another pasture mate. Called the vet and she suspected rabies, so the sample was submitted for testing. Tested
positive, off the scale positive and so began the parade of agencies getting involved. What a nightmare, I spent
the better part of 3 days on the phone getting orders of what to do and answering questions. I must say that every person
was very polite, kind, patient with me and answered my many questions. In fact they were wonderful with a stupid old
lady. But the regulations are huge. Both Joe and I had to have the series of 4 rabies shots (not as bad as I thought).
We had to have all the alpacas in the pasture vaccinated for rabies, and the goats in the nearby pasture as well. Our
barn cat, and the alpaca and her cria bitten, vaccinated and quartined for 6 months. The other upper pastures quartined
for 4 months after vaccinations. I am so grateful to our young vet who knew what to look for and do, Emily was
wonderful. We have no idea what bit her and will probably never know. We also did not know rabies was so prevelant
in this area. So basically we are out of the agritourism business until the first of May for most of the farm. This
has been a big hit fiancially as I have to turn down people calling for tours. I also did not accept any off farm festivals
or activities for that time as I feel I need to be here. I am really trying to recoup some financies, strength and faith.
I still love the animals and it seems they define who I am. As farmers we always say it will get better next year
and I hope that is true. Right now my focus is to keep everyone healthy, warm and fed. I need to get back to basics
one day at a time, the best I can.
We are small but we are growing
Lucky Acres Farm is the home of the Gloria and Joe Williams. Our son and his family Stephen,
Niki, Lily and our new surprise Lyla Schaffer live close by. We are a small alpaca farm located in the upstate of South Carolina.
Please come for a visit, we love sharing our country life style with others. Located half way between Charlotte, NC and Atlanta,
GA in Townville SC.
We are just 3 miles from I-85 at exit 11. Take route 243, go 1.5 miles. Turn
left onto Milford Road (the second left), go 1.5 miles. At the stop sign, go straight. This is our shared driveway. We are
the log cabin on the right. Our garage apartment is the next building, parking along the fence.
Miss Scarlett and Miss Mammie are members of the security team on our farm. We had learned about
a fellow alpaca breeder who had lost six of her alpacas to a neighbor's dog attack. We also knew that several other
alpaca farms had donkeys to protect their herd, so we brought home two. They are a wonderful addition to the pasture.
Miss Scarlett is very friendly and Lily can feed and pet her anytime. Miss Mammie is not as hands on, but loves to "sing"
to us whenever she sees us outside. The donkeys and Gracie, a very large horse, are in the far pasture from the
house. Then the next pasture is our group of our breeding males.. Our two oldest males are in another
pasture not as far away. Our beloved Mr Pebbles and our last pygmy goat Noel passed away on New Year's eve. We
are sadened by this but both had a good long life. Now we ae ready to obtain another llama to protect our alpaca herd
from predtors .We just purchased two female minature silky fainting goats, and in late March
and became members of the MSFG association. We had a set of twin goats and a single birth in April, two billies and
one nannie. They are so cute to watch play in the pasture.
Often we celebrate Joe's birthday on shearing day. Not this year, our shearing date is scheduled for
Wednesday, May 7th. All are invited to attend. You need to wear old clothes and plan to get dirty. We will
have lunch, cold drinks and snacks for all. Please call ahead to make sure there has been no change in plans - 864-903-1856. One
year we were rained out and had to reschedule. The alpacas have to be dry to shear. Alpacas are on the mat
less than ten minutes with all their needs taken care of such as hair cuts, toe nails trimmed, annual shots given, and dental
work when needed. They are so funny to watch after when they see each other without their fleece and the first time
it rains on them.
This is the best time to purchase fleece straight off the alpaca of your choice.
For anyone intrested whole fleeces or any part can be available.
We then clean, or skirt the fleece as it
is called and send it off to the mill to be made into roving and yarn. It is kept as the individual animal's product
all the way to selling it in skeins with their picture on it. The leftover fleece is then made into a farm blend so
as to get the most use of the fleece as possible.
Joe took this picutre in early April showing most of our alpacas, girls in one pasture and the boys across the fence.
We really liked how it shows so many of them. If you look close you can see the equines in the lower pasture.
All that is missing is the goats and they are not in the picture. Spring time is a wonderful time on the farm with new
grass growing nad new crias pronking. Time for flowers to bloom and to plant the vegetable garden.
little ones are so playful that they get the older ones to going with them. We were blessed with the last 2 of our
little ones being female. It is a pleasure to watch them grow into beautiful healthy strong alpacas.
These are Tabby's daughters Tessie Snowhite with her new cria Thunder and Tabby's new daughter Tulip.These two little ones
were born 3 days apart and are always together. It is very hard to tell them apart but Thunder has a very small brown
spot on his back. This is Tessie's first cria and she had no problem and is an excellent mother. Tulip is a very
nice alpaca, both were sired by Patton from Carrell Farms.
Both of these births were in the afternoon, very unusual
for our farm. We were concerned about the late hour, but both seem to be doing very well. I think perhaps it was
because of all the rain showers and wanting to give birth when the sun was shinning. It is a great joy to watch them
all playing in the pasture.
We were asked to participate in the first time upstate SC farm tour for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.
We were very happy to do so and Joe made this picnic area for guests to enjoy. We had a wonderful day and our guests
said they did as well.
It is a pleasure to try to bring a positive experience for anyone who is interested in learning
more about our farming way of life. Many families were taking advantage of this experience and visiting the farms on
the tour. This has become an annual event and we find it to be our best "open house" weekend.
The SC National Heritage Corridor sponsored a bus tour that visited our farm as part of the "Apples and Alpacas"
tour. We have been fortunate this year to have several bus tours make a visit to our farm. We love having people
come to see the alpacas and educating them about our lifestyle. We serve refreshments and give them a visit with the
animals. Everyone said they had a good time and were extremely complementary in their comments. I hope they all
enjoyed the experience and will come back to visit again.
We often have school groups visit the farm.
We enjoying taking them on a walking tour of the pastures and gardens. They enjoy touching a cria and tasting what ever
food is in season at the time. It is amazing to me that some children do not know that fruits and vegetables are grown
from the ground. One child said that her Mother gets peaches in a can. It is wonderful to see their smiles when
we give them cookies and lemonaid. We are often told that it is the best they ever had. These visits give us great