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Jun 8, 2015 9:59 PM

Baby alpacas born at Sallie's Fen in Barrington

BARRINGTON - Flame burst onto the scene Friday at Sallie's Fen Alpacas in Barrington.

The furry little guy, born to an alpaca named Flare, was a healthy 17.2 pounds. He tried to stand up within ten minutes of his birth, according to owner Jack Dibb.

Lucky for him, he has a built in best friend, Gina, who was born to an alpaca named Nevada the weekend before. She was 24 pounds.

Dibb said the mothers have been taking turns with the playful babies, who already have a lot of personality.

Dibb said that is natural.

"They're all very individual. They have really distinct personalities," Dibb said of the 36 alpacas he has on his farm. "Some of them just really like people from the day they are babies."

Dibb said co-owner Sallie Whitlow uses the fiber from their alpacas to make yarn, clothing and blankets. Alpaca fiber is hypoallergenic, and even naturally fire resistant.

She has a shop that is open by appointment. On the walls hang ribbons for all of the awards she has won over the years.

Whitlow became interested in alpacas in 1994.

"We have a mini-mill that Sallie runs, so we process our fiber and a lot of other fiber," Dibb said. "We can make roving or batts, or the end product we can make with our equipment is yarn."

Dibb said alpacas, who are social herd animals, have been domesticated by humans for 6,000 years for their fiber.

Flame and Gina will produce fiber for the farm next spring. Right now, they are just busy having fun.

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