Our sponsorship program is off to a rousing start and proving to be even more popular than we envisioned. We can only thank God for your response to this new program. We truly appreciate our new sponsors for their contributions and their appreciation of our ministry here at Cristo Rey Ranch. We look forward to seeing you at the ranch.
While no new alpacas joined us in August as thought, two new baby alpacas decided September was a better month to join the ranch. Mothers and crias are doing well.
Sponsor Visit Days
Each sponsor is invited to register for their 30 minute time slot. Sole sponsors will have two opportunities over their sponsorship year for individual time with their animal. Partial sponsors will have one opportunity over their sponsorship year to share their 30 minute session with up to 5 other sponsors. All sponsors be provided with ample opportunity to select a date(s) that work best for them.
Meet our friends!
Llamas originated from South America. They can be taught to do simple tasks and are often used for pack animals. Some of our llamas have done some obstacle course activities. Recently, they have been found to be very effective in the protection of cattle and sheep herds. They will kick the predator to death. Llamas are more independent minded and have an easy-going nature. Their fur is called fiber and is warmer than sheep wool. Their fiber is not as readily used as an alpaca’s fiber due to the guard hairs that need to be picked out of it. There is only one llama breed. They typically live 20 years but with good care they have been known to live 25-30 years. They mostly eat grass and lichen. Here on the ranch they like to graze in the pasture and eat hay but also get grain in winter. They range from 290-440 pounds and are about 4 feet tall at the shoulder. When unhappy they will put their ears down as a warning that they may spit.
My name is Darma. I tend to be one of the leaders of the llama herd. I used to have a big long coat of fur around my neck and down my legs but I started hanging out in the swampy water so they had to shear it off because I got pretty matted! Now, I am starting to grow it back. I bet by next spring it will be at least 2” longer. Before I was worked with regularly, I received the nickname ‘Bullseye’ because I liked to spit. I now have better manners.
My name is Yolie. I have no idea where they found that name! The lady who works with me says I am the prettiest llama she has ever worked with. I used to hate wearing a halter but over the last 2 years I have learned that it really is not that bad. I love to walk outside the fence but I prefer to have another llama with me. If you ever see llamas walking in a parade there is a good chance one of them is me. I have heard my trainer talk about dressing me up. I am not sure how I feel about that. We will see how that goes.
I am Shaniah the llama. I have lived on the ranch for a very long time. When I was younger I had a person who loved training me. I even loaded into a van when I needed to be transported! Recently, I have become quite famous because I don’t mind being dressed up. Keep your eyes open for a llama leprechaun. In all likely-hood it will be me! My other favorite outfit is dressing up in a green bridesmaid dress. Yes, my favorite color is green.
My name is Rickie, I am the only male llama on the ranch. I came to live on the ranch last year in fall. I am about 2 years old. I will probably be a smaller male once I am full grown. I have pretty good manners. I like to be walked and I even allow them to lift up my feet. If you know anything about llamas you will know that we are very protective of our feet. I hope that once I get a little bigger I will be able to be a dad. Wait until you pet me. You will be amazed at how soft I am.
Alpacas originated from South America. They typically get sheared once a year in late spring. Their fur is called fiber and is warmer than sheep wool. People are rarely allergic to alpaca fiber because it does not have lanolin in it. It also does not retain water. There are two types of alpacas - Huacaya and Suri. Most of our alpacas are Huacaya. Their fiber is crimpy with shorter fiber. There are 2 Suris on the ranch and their fiber is silky with a bit of a dreadlock appearance. Alpacas are more skittish in nature. They typically live about 20 years. They eat mostly grass but have also been known to eat leaves, wood, bark and lichen. On the ranch they mostly eat hay but also get some grain in winter. They range from 110-190 pounds and are about 3 feet tall at the shoulder. When unhappy they will put their ears down as a warning that they may spit. They may also spit at each other when competing for food.
My name is Hershey. I am one of the alpacas on the ranch that has had some babies. The one you will see still living there is named Rose. There is a good chance that if you see alpacas in a parade, one of them is me. I have also gotten to go to the Fond du Lac County Fair because the 4-H kids worked with me and took me there. I have never seen so many people looking at me than at the fair!
My name is Rocky and I am one of the male alpacas. I was born on the ranch 3 years ago. Many have commented on how nice my fiber is. It is thick and light brown. When I was being trained, I looked more like a reindeer because I would fly through the air with all four legs off the ground. Now, I will even let you lift my legs. I have come a long way from when I was only a few months old.
My name is Parker. I became famous when I was born at Fond du Lac Lakeside Park petting zoo. Believe it or not, you really cannot tell when an alpaca is pregnant so I was a total surprise. Once I was born they brought be back to the ranch so they could make sure everything was ok. I even made it into the front page of the newspaper. I am now 2 years old so I have some growing up to do yet.
My name is Rose. I was one of the first alpacas that the Ranch used when little kids would come to walk us. When you watch me walk you will see that I tend to prance. I also like to hum when I walk – so keep your ears open. I am one of the few alpacas that was born at the ranch. My mom’s name is Hershey. I have gotten to go to the Fond du Lac County Fair for the last 2 years because the 4-H kids work with me and took me.
Baby alpacas are called cria and weigh between 18-20 pounds at birth. They will stay right by their mother’s side for 6-8 months. It takes about 242-345 days for a baby to be born. The range in days is due to external stresses that the mom may experience. They rarely have more than one baby at a time. It is hard to tell if an alpaca is pregnant without doing an ultrasound. They typically are born in the morning.
My name is Lyle. I am a baby alpaca born to Smores on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. I was the second of two alpacas born this week. Everyone on the ranch was pretty nervous that there were not going to be any baby alpacas since they were expecting us about 3 weeks earlier. Right now, I am a long legged, brown hunk of fuzz. I am timidly curious about the world around me. Four days before I was born another little boy alpaca named Joey was born. We are together in the same pen now. I am so happy to have a playmate to run around with. Sometimes, I am not so sure of him because he likes to play a little rougher than I do. I guess it is because he is bigger than me. Pretty soon I will be learning how to be around people. My trainer will be teaching me to not be afraid to have my face and legs touched. Once I learn that you will get to come to visit me too.
My name is Joey. I am a baby alpaca born to Farrah on Friday, September 4, 2020. Everyone on the ranch was pretty nervous that there were not going to be any baby alpacas since they were expecting us about 3 weeks earlier. Right now, I am a long legged, white hunk of fuzz. I am very curious about the world around me. Four days after I was born another little boy alpaca named Lyle was born. We are together in the same pen now. I am so happy to have a playmate to run around with. Sometimes, he is not so sure of me because I like to play a little rougher than he does. I guess it helps to be bigger too. Pretty soon I will be learning how to be around people. My trainer will be teaching me to not be afraid to have my face and legs touched. Once I learn that you will get to come to visit me too.
Donkeys, also called a burro, belong to the horse family. They originated from Africa. Donkeys are very social animals and develop strong attachments to people and other animals. The donkey will bray loudly, when their friends are removed. Colors are typically white to gray to black with a dark stripe from the mane to the tail. However, you will notice here on the ranch, Elli is white with brown patches. They average 3-5 ft tall at the shoulder. Although slow, they are very sure footed so are ideal for carrying heavy loads on rough terrain. “Stubborn” donkeys don’t mean to be that way. They are either afraid or not motivated. A male is a Jack, female is a Jenny, babies are foals. Typically, they have 1 foal and are pregnant 11-14 months dependent on environment or stressors. Here’s a fun fact - a donkey that is breed with a zebra is called a zonkey! Under good care a donkey can live 30-50 years. Donkeys love to spend their day rolling in the dirt.
My name is Angelo and I am a male donkey. I used to live at a horse farm but once my owners retired I moved here to the ranch. I was a big chicken when I arrived because I was afraid of everything. Now, I am making up for that. I am not afraid of much and love it when people spend time with me and brush me. My girlfriend also lives here. Her name is Cupcake. Isn’t that the sweetest name?
My name is Cupcake and I am a donkey. I am one of two Cupcakes on the ranch – there is also a miniature horse named Cupcake so it gets a little confusing when we are called. Of course, neither of us comes since we always think they mean the other one! I love to walk with people. I also love to play ‘hard to get’ when my people try to catch me to put my halter on. My boyfriend also lives here. His name is Angelo. Wait until you see how good looking he is!
My name is Elli and I am a donkey. I am white with spots. I have lived on the ranch forever. A funny fact about me is that one ear is shorter than the other. Even though I am a small donkey I am in charge of the pen of animals that I live with. Even the big horse Duke! If you come into the pen, I will be the first to come up to greet you. I love people but I don’t like goats. Unfortunately, the goats live right next to me. Actually, it seems like goats are all over the place on the ranch!
Mini horses are true horses, not ponies, and identified by their small height of no taller than 38” at the shoulder, originating in Europe. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Despite their small size, they can pull 4 times their weight. They tend to be friendly and make good pets. Some have been trained to be service animals. Here on the ranch they eat hay and mineral. They can live for 25-30 years. Other special needs of mini horses are hoof care, grooming, tooth care and vaccinations. They typically have one foal, baby horse, at a time. I guess we could call the foal a mini mini – weighing in at 20 pounds. Adults weigh from 150-300 pounds.
My name is Penny and I am a miniature horse. This is as big as I will ever get. There are two of us that are brown but I am the darker colored one and I have a white spot on my neck. Some would refer to me as ‘an old lady’. I am in my retirement years happily living at the ranch. I used to be very feisty… some would call me a stinker! Now I am pretty mellow.
My name is Lance and I am a miniature horse. This is as big as I will ever get. There are two of us that are brown by I am the lighter colored one and I have some red on my muzzle. I was quite a big hit in my younger days when I walked in the parades. I would get all dressed up and pull a cart. I am very sweet but I love to play ‘hard to get’. Often, they will get me to slow down with a big juicy carrot. I just can’t pass up a good carrot!
My name is Cupcake and I am a miniature horse. This is as big as I will ever get. I am one of two Cupcakes on the ranch – there is also a donkey named Cupcake so it gets a little confusing when we are called. Of course, neither of us comes since we always think they mean the other one! Can you believe it, I used to be a treatment horse and went into hospitals and nursing homes to visit with the people there. I love kids and there is nothing better than getting brushed. That is if you can catch me!!
My name is Flambeau and I am a miniature horse. I just returned from summer vacation. I spend my summers at the Oshkosh Zoo at Menominee Park with my best friend Cabrina who is a donkey. I love watching all the people look at me. Everyone talks about how good looking I am. I have to agree, I am pretty flashy! I love to have my long mane brushed.
There are over 300 breeds of goats; fortunately, the ranch does not have that many! Currently the ranch has Alpine, Angora, Boer, Nigerian, La Mancha and Fainting goats. Fainting goats are also known as a ‘wooden leg’ goat. Goats can live about 12+ years. A male goat, also known as a buck or billy, sports a larger beard than the female. A female goat is known as a doe or nanny. Babies are kids. Goats were the first animals tamed by humans and can be taught to come when their name is called. Goats can have no horns, small horns or big curly horns. The nanny goat knows her baby by smell and sound. Contrary to popular opinion, goats do NOT eat everything. They are really very picky eaters. Don’t try to sneak up on a goat – they can see 340 degrees around themselves!
My name is Heineken. I was one of the goats born in the year of beer names. I am a Lamancha goat. You can always tell a Lamancha goat from others because of our ears. Some people think we don’t even have ears but that would make it really hard to hear. Well, we do have ears, they just are not very big. If you paid attention to the news a few years ago you might remember me. I was the goat that was stolen from the ranch. The police officer who rescued me still comes to see me every year. I am so thankful to be back on my ranch with all my friends.
My name is Katie. I am 2 years old. I came to the ranch as a baby and had an infection that got into my body from my umbilical cord. It attacked my joints and bones. I ended up with a cast on my leg to help it heal. I got such good care that you would never know I had any issues! I am all grown up now but love to have people come to see me. I am one of the first goats to come to say hi to everyone who comes to visit us. When I was younger, I walked in a parade in Fond du Lac. Oh, there were so many people. Just the sort of thing an extraverted goat loves. I can not wait to meet you.
My name is Joe. I am a black and white Fainter Goat. You will know what I mean when you see it. When I get rushed, my legs will stiffen up. That does not help me go faster! Sometimes, when I get startled, I will actually fall over and not be able to move. I am used to it happening now but new people always get scared thinking something is wrong with me. I love to follow my caretakers around so much that sometimes they say I should have been a dog.
My name is Alfie and I am a Lamancha goat. You can always tell a Lamancha goat from others because of our ears. Some people think we don’t even have ears but that would make it really hard to hear. Well, we do have ears, they just are not very big. I was what is called a bottle baby because my mom did not have enough milk so my caregiver had to feed me with a bottle. I loved to hear her voice since that often meant food was on its way!! I am still pretty small because I was just born in June. I love people and I cannot wait to meet you.
There are more than 60 rabbit breeds. Some days I think the ranch is trying to collect all 60! They originated from Europe and Africa. They can range in weight from less than 1 pound to over 16 pounds. A male is called a buck, female is a doe and babies are kits or kittens. Of course, we just call them all bunnies! They eat grass, clover, wood and seeds. Rabbits are good diggers and in the wild will dig a tunnel for their home. An average litter size is 3-8 babies and they can have 4 litters a year. Wow! That is a lot of rabbits! They are very social animals and love living in large groups called colonies. Here on the ranch there are many colors and sizes of rabbits including Lionhead, Flemish Giant, Holland Lop, Dutch and Mini Rex.
Pictured here are Frizzle Chickens. They are thought to originate from India or China. They get their wild look from their feathers curling up and out from the body instead of lying flat. This is called ‘frizzling’. They can come in any color and tend to be quite social and quiet. They do not mind being handled so make the perfect family pet. Chickens can live 5-10 years, weighing 1.4-8 pounds. They lay the most eggs in the first 2 years. If you visit the ranch you will notice Frizzles are not the only kind of chicken. There are also Cochin, Phoenix, Turken (naked neck), Silkie, Rhode Island Red, Orpinton, Ameraucana, Welsummer, Sebright and Serama.
As mentioned, we have had an rousing response to the program. We were not prepared for the volume of support that we have received. Please bear with us as our volunteers try to catch up with the work involved with getting this new and exciting program rolling.
|Roberto and Linda Alvarez|
|Kay and Kevin Blanck|
|Tim and Monica Coder|
|Fr. Joe Coerber and Betty Coerber|
|John and Joanne Droese|
|Vincent and Rosie Ebertz|
|Mike and Judy Egan|
|Freund Hospitality Group|
|Dan and Christine Gellings|
|Ann and Joe Hameister|
|Ben and Nina Heinzen|
|Anthony K. Julka|
|Tom and Deb Kraus|
|Peg Leonard and Barbara Wilcox|
|Tom and Jan Mack|
|John and Mary Lou Poch|
|Kathy and LeRoy Reiser|
|Terry and Dana Rudolph|
|Sam and Ryan Shaldan-Lamers|
|Carol and Tony Shiller|
|Bob and Kathy Steffen|
|John and Claudia Wagner|
|Raymond and Mary Wagner|
Plus 22 others who have requested that their names not be published.
Many of our sponsorship forms have been received hand written. If we translated the names incorrectly (or any other issues), we apologize and want to get them corrected. Please contact us with the information that needs to be udpated.