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A Gelding's Work

Today, Easter Sunday, we say goodbye to two of our farm favorites, Thunder Road and Salvation; both gelding males.  As any responsible breeder can attest, many of the males born to our farms are better suited to other roles than that of stud or breeder.  This is just such a story. 


Thunder Road is from the first crop of males of the highly decorated Shaquille. Thunder is a true black giant (200+ lbs).  Unfortunately, Thunder did not possess the fleece of his father.  Conformation-wise, Thunder is a bit long in the body.  These are the factors that led to his gelding status.  But Thunder has served a greater purpose on our farm; protector of those who are afraid, and comforter of those in need. 

Just over a year ago, we received a female on our farm that was having health issues.  The owner was aware that this dam may not live long, but she was pregnant and it was everyone's hope that she would live long enough to give birth.  She delivered in the midst of an ice storm in February 2007, a beautiful rose gray female.  Six weeks later we lost the dam.  That is when Thunder Road found his true calling.


Thunder was living with the females at the time and had been playing the role of male-nanny, rounding up the crias when it was time to come back to the barn, allowing them to "bop" him in the side without retaliation and basically taking care of the group when the moms where more interested in food than pronking.

When our little gray girl lost her mom, she needed a friend and Thunder was there for her.  Every night you could find her cuddled into Thunder's thick dense fleece.  Whenever she was afraid, she would run to Thunder and he would stand in front of her to protect her.  He looked after her like a real family member.  And that he was.  Our little gray girl also hails from the Shaquille line and Thunder is her true uncle. We often wondered, did he know? (That's her in the picture at left with her head in the hay bunk behind Thunder)


Thunder and his white shadow, Salvation leave today for their new mission, assisting their owners, Karen and John Dombeck, with training weanling and llama crias for Highline Trail llama's in Wyoming.  It's a challenge Thunder has shown he can meet, and we wish him and his pal success as they look after their long ear friends.  He will be missed by us and all of his alpaca friends here at Double 8 Alpaca Ranch, but mostly by the little gray female alpaca that loved him.

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    Double 8 Alpaca & Llama Ranch
    13374 SR 671

    Purcellville, Va 20132

    Phone: (571) 577-8579