ALL ABOUT BALLARD CREEK RANCH
In 1990 we purchased our home and property on Ballard Road in northern Spokane, Washington. It already had two barns and was partially fenced, as the previous owners had horses. The "pasture" was quite overgrown and it was immediately obvious to us that we either had to get "something that would eat it down" or plan on doing a lot of mowing! The thought of having to mow acres of grass and weeds was not our idea of fun, so we soon began to think about getting some type of grazing livestock. But what kind??
We knew that we didn't want horses due to their size and the time and expense involved in keeping them. We considered miniature donkeys for a little while until we realized they had FULL SIZE voices!!
Then, just when we were about to settle on a couple of calves to raise for meat, the idea of llamas came up. Neither of us had actually seen a llama close up and personal and where the idea came from we are not really sure. (we know now that it was DESTINY)
But they sounded like a possibility to be looked into. So.....we started to research llamas. Not such an easy task at that time (this was before the internet!). The library had a total of about 4 books that had any information about llamas. But we checked them all out and began our "llama study."
The more we learned about them, the more we liked the idea of llamas......easy to care for and cheap to feed; very hardy and an easy to handle size; gentle, friendly, intelligent, quiet, daylight births, community poop piles......HEY, these definitely sounded like our kind of animal!
Now we just had to find some! We started watching the papers for ads. Surely, there must be some llamas around here someplace! Finally we saw an ad for two young male llamas-FOR SALE! We called immediately and made an appointment to go see them.
The moment we saw them being led from the barn we were in love! Those beautiful eyes, long lashes, cute faces and fluffy bodies. And they were so gentle and friendly too. We decided very quickly to purchase them both before anyone else could buy "our llamas" --we already knew that we had to have at least two, to keep each other company.
We were soon overcome by the "llama fever." We couldn't get enough of llamas! They really were easy to care for, gentle, friendly, etc, etc.--in fact, they were wonderful and magical and had changed our lives forever. So of course we wanted more. :-) We had to have some babies. And as they say, the rest is history........
At one point we maintained a herd of 50-60 llamas, including the babies. We bred for well conformed animals with good dispositions and long, silky wool. Conformation and disposition were first and foremost above all else. What good is beautiful fiber on an ill tempered, structurally unsound animal?
The llama fiber is wonderfully soft and spins up into beautiful yarn. I have felted some amazing hats with it and crocheted garments that are so nice and warm. I sometimes have fiber items available, like raw fiber, handspun yarns, crocheted items, needle felted critters and more. (check out the fibers & stuff page)
In 2004 my health forced some major restrictions on my physical activities. Sadly,that was the last year we had llama babies born on our ranch. But, we did have some very rare TWINS that year! (more on that story on the llamas page)
Even though we are no longer breeding llamas, we still have quite a few that reside here at Ballard Creek Ranch. Some will be here until they die, and some are available as breeding stock, goat/sheep guards, pasture mowers,etc. (if interested, check out the llamas for sale/adoption page)
Unable to exist without SOME kind of animal babies.....I decided to try to find some Nigerian Dwarf goats to raise! I had seen them in an exotic livestock magazine back in the late '90's and thought at that time....someday....
So....I guess you can figure out what came next. Yep, now we are raising Nigerian Dwarf goats! The small size of these miniature dairy goats make them easy for me to take care of even with my physical limitations. They are fun, friendly and of course the babies are.... JUST TOO CUTE!! (check out the goat pages to learn more)
Winter of 2008-09, before the fence (four rails) was almost completely
buried by the record snows, and the quail still had a place to sit!