Tuscany, as our first cria, holds a special place in all our hearts. Born to Tulip before we’d even brought the alpacas home to the ranch, Tuscany was adorable from the very start.
As the eldest of the two young boys, he’s the boss of the little man herd, but he is a benevolent leader. Bravado and Merlin have joined the boys, and Tuscany treats them well, though he’s clearly in charge. Or he would be, if Merlin weren’t immune to all attempts at leadership.
Tuscany has grown up into our most distinguished alpaca, with features that might even be called delicate. He has standoffish gentleman mannerisms to match his handsome looks. He’s not an enormous fan of people, the exception (as usual) being Dad, and that thing on his head.
Tuscany has a few endearing quirks, despite his reserve. He prefers to eat while standing in his feeder, much to everyone’s dismay. He nearly gave me a stroke on shearing day, when I went into his paddock and found him standing in his water bucket. Just about the only thing an alpaca can’t be is wet on shearing day; it’s kind of like trying to mow wet grass.
I’ve never actually spun Tuscany’s fiber, but it feels very, very nice. My good friend Patty has ordered the first ever Tuscany handspun, and we’re in the washing and carding phases of the yarn at present. This is our first full fleece from Tuscany, so it’s as soft as it will ever be. The fiber quality of a particular alpaca’s fleece tends to decrease as they age.