Farm Animals: Review of cats, chickens, horses and alpacas

We moved to our farm in 2012 and had no intention of having any kind of farm animals. In fact, when the previous owners asked if we would take over the care of their 10 laying hens, I have been quoting several times as saying, “10 chickens? That seems like a lot of responsibility to take on.”

Oh, how things change.

Since making that infamous statement, approximately 45 animals have called Pauley Alpaca Company home. That number does not account for the turkeys, deer and other woodland creatures that pass through on a regular basis.

Farm Animals in general

Farm animals are great. Some better than others. Some animals have jobs to do, while other are here just for our pleasure and amusement. When an animal takes up residence on our farm, he/she will become the subject of some sort of online silliness. For example:

We’ve learned a thing or two about the various species that inhabit our farm. I’ll share some of our experiences so you can make the best decision about what kind of craziness you want to unleash at your home.

Barn cats

Ah, the lovable kitten who often goes by names such as Buttercup, Cuddles, Whiskers or even Captain Sparkle. Don’t let the cuddly, fuzzy exterior fool you. Barn cats are mini-tigers. Don’t get me wrong. These cats are lovable and adorable, but they also have a job to do: varmint control.

Farm animals: barn cat
We’ve found that our cats go over and beyond. While their primary role is to police the ground to seek out and destroy mice, they have also quite successfully guarded the garden against chipmunks, gophers, rabbits, and in one unbelievable incident I witnessed with mine own eyes…a duck.

Now, for the love of all that is holy, make sure you get the females spayed. We were going to get our 2 female mousers spayed this past spring. However, the local tom cat was too fast for us and we ended up with 11 unplanned kittens.


Chickens are great! They provide farm-fresh eggs, rid your property of wood ticks, and largely take care of themselves. However, you need to keep an eye on them. Before you know it, they begin posting on their own Facebook page, start their own clothing line…

Pauley Hens t-shirt designs

and begin running slanderous political campaigns against other animals on the farm.

Farm election parody


Remember how I said I was anxious about taking on 10 chickens? Well, I also said “we will never own a horse”.

Since saying that we’ve owned 3.

One even ran a close race for Farm President!

Farm animals election

A word of caution to others: Signing up your daughter for a few days of riding lessons to “get it out of her system” will only fuel the fire inside them to own horses.

That being said, there are far worse things for kids to be involved with than riding and training horses.


Well, yeah, alpacas are pretty cool. They are mild mannered, use a communal dung pile, make luxurious fiber, and travel well. (Note to self: purchase livestock trailer.)

Driving in a car with an alpaca.

These are going to be the critters that significantly change your lifestyle for the better. You will research rotational grazing techniques on YouTube, turn a barn into a gift shop, host public events, and have physical confrontations with your own children over freshly-laundered alpaca socks.

There is a type of animal for any person, farm or even mood. Pick one (or more), learn as much as you can, take good care of them, and be open to your family suggesting more. Your life will never be the same.

4 thoughts on “Farm Animals: Review of cats, chickens, horses and alpacas”

  1. We’ll just get 3 -6 fiber alpaca boys………moved June 2015, Sept ’15……7 alpacas, boys and girls.
    One year later, 29 alpacas, 6 llamas, 2 horses, 5 mini donkeys, 5 goats, 6 dogs. 6 cats. Chickens next year.

  2. Your missing goats! 🙂 We added goats to help with weed control. They are so cute with great personalities. Only downfall is they poo whereever, but not to bad.

    1. We thought long and hard about goats. We have some buckthorn and weeds for them to clean up. However, another farm told us to be careful because goats can carry some nasty parasites that could be deadly to the alpacas. We haven’t done enough research on them yet, but maybe someday.

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