Texas farmer's camels king during busy Christmas season

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by Teresa Woodard / WFAA.com

kvue.com

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 9:56 PM

WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- It was a sunny day at HiView farm. A perfect day to roundup the animals, and take them to a show.

"They're exceptionally friendly, as you can see," said 82-year-old Lorne McMillan, looking out on his herd.

"Come on girl, come on girl," McMillan's workers said, ushering the beasts into a trailer.

Roundups are certainly nothing new in Texas. But at McMillan's farm, just outside of Waxahachie, they were loading up goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, donkeys, alpacas and camels.

McMillan raises exotic animals, and his busy season is here.

"This is our first appearance tonight," he said. "From now until Christmas Eve, it's a merry-go-round around here, with two or three trailers on the road every night."

In addition to the average farm animals, McMillan raises zebras, kangaroos, tortoises, and lemurs, plus his 22 camels. And during the Christmas season, those camels are the kings.

Each afternoon, they and the other animals used for nativity scenes, get cleaned and loaded up. Then they are trucked to any number of North Texas churches.

Thursday night, they were at The Church at the Cross in Grapevine, for the Journey to Bethlehem, a live depiction of the Christmas story. They'll be back to Grapevine each night through December 3.

After that, it's on to churches in Duncanville, Dallas, Fairfield, and Lake Worth, just to name a few. Their appearances will be almost non-stop until Christmas.

"You can't ignore the economics of it," McMillan said. "It does pay. It's a good income. But it's been such a blessing and we just enjoy every minute of it."

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