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VIDEO: Aldergrove farm gives alpacas haircuts for spring

More than $9,000 raised to support rescue program

Dee Milton hadn’t planned on being a farmer, in fact she tried everything she could to stay away – even pursuing a law degree – but her heart kept bringing her back to the Kensington Prairie Farm.

Her grandparents started the Aldergrove farm about 24 years ago with only 10 alpacas, and currently has 85 today. Ever since, the farm has continued to grow each year either by taking in rescues or through the farm’s own breeding program.

“One of the reasons we rescue alpacas is that they don’t get shorn, it’s one of the most common mistreatment’s of alpacas,” explained Milton.

Alpacas can grow up to 10 pounds of wool over a winter, which can easily cause the animals to overheat if not shorn before the warmer months.

“We shear specifically in spring so by the time summer comes, they don’t have too much fiber, and by the time winter months have come they have grown almost all of it back,” Milton said.

Saturday, May 4, was the 20th annual shearing day where Kensington invites other farmers to bring their alpacas to be shorn. The event featured live viewing of the shearing, a vendor market, food trucks, and visits with the bunnies and chickens.

“We have about eight other alpaca farms that bring their animals to be shorn,” she noted.

The rescue program started in 2020 with Daisy, a llama who had a tennis ball-sized growth that caused so much pressure on her eye socket that the orbital bone broke. The vet bill was more than $7,000, which was partially covered through community donations, but the experience showed the need to fund the farm’s own rescue efforts, Milton said.

Only two years after Daisy was rescued, Kensington farm took in a herd of 26 females and nine males that hadn’t been shorn for years and were very malnourished – some were also pregnant.

“Taking in and rehabilitating this herd is a project that has taken years. I would say now they’re all healthy disposition and finally settled and happy, but it’s taken years, many vet calls, hours upon hours of halter training and socialization,” Milton shared.

This year’s shearing day event raised $9,202.50 in total, which will be divvied between the farm’s rescue program and a children’s charity in Peru called Quechua Benefit.

In addition to the 1,227 tickets sold, 271 tickets were donated to members of Mamas for Mamas who could not afford one.

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Kyler Emerson

About the Author: Kyler Emerson

I'm honoured to focus my career in the growing community of Aldergrove and work with our many local organizations.
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