Category Archives: Farm Blog

It’s time to retire from alpaca breeding.

A few of the girls and Sylvia!
A few of the girls and Sylvia!

With the passing of my dear husband and alpaca farmer extraordinaire, it is time to find new homes for our herd. We loved the alpaca lifestyle and built a successful agri-tourism and fiber business.

We are no longer able to offer farm tours. However, if you are interested in talking about the purchase of alpacas or you are yearning for some premium alpaca yarn from our herd we can arrange an appointment.

ALPACA YARN STILL AVAILABLE! Beautiful alpaca yarn from our harvest and rugs woven from our own fleece, plus alpaca clothing are still available in our farmstore in a yurt. If you are yearning for alpaca yarn or thinking about holiday gifts  – be sure to give us a call or send an email.

OUR HERD IS FOR SALE and includes breeding males and females ready to start or continue their breeding careers.  The herd includes a rose grey female, rich mahogany browns, lustrous black and white. We have one gelded male and one non-breeding male. And, we have one stunningly elegant guard llama, Sylvia. New alpaca owners are offered mentoring to get you started on your own path to successful alpaca breeding and fiber production.  Our alpacas are halter trained and many have been 4H trained and all are very reasonably priced.

Details about each alpaca is listed on OpenHerd.com

Please feel free to give us a call or email with questions about our alpacas or to schedule a visit to the farm. 206.778.9619

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Shorn before a heat wave.

girlsjustshornAll the alpacas are happy to have had their furry winter coats  shorn off before the temps reached record highs in the Northwest! All 20 alpacas and mama llama Sylvia had haircuts and toenail trims in mid June. They look so skinny without their fluffy fleece.

As always we were left with bags and bags of fleece. Most of it is already sorted by fiber characteristics into different grades and sent off to the mill to be made into premium yarns. We’re grateful to have another fleece harvest done for the year. Thanks to our excellent shearer and all our helpers! We are so appreciative of your hard work and good spirits as the day wore on and on.

CoolSprayBoysThese last couple of weeks have been really hot here on Whidbey and there’s no rain forecast as far out as we can see. On the hottest days the alpacas truly enjoy a bit of spray to cool off. We’re finding they are more interested in greeting visitors in the morning hours. By late afternoon they are all hunkered down in the shade of their shelters and not very willing to come out into the sun.

 

 

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Chinese students enjoy visiting with our alpacas.

chinesegroup2It was beautifully sunny day when several carloads of college students arrived at the farm. We were delighted to welcome 29 members of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at the University of Washington. I think one or two had been to the farm before or had learned about us from postings on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent to twitter!)  So they organized a spring day trip to our farm.

chinese-camerasWith cameras in hand and lots of enthusiasm, our visitors learned all about raising alpacas, their traits and personalities.  They quickly discovered that getting an alpaca to stand still for a selfie is not an easy task. They asked lots of questions, took lots of pictures and thoroughly enjoyed their time with the alpacas. Our alpacas have a good bit of experience with the public through their 4H training so they are not particularly fazed by having a group of friendly people in their pasture. We’ve been told that alpacas are like ‘rock stars’ in China. They are very popular and judging by the number of visitors from China that we have had to the farm over the last couple of years I believe it must be true.

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Spring is in the air.

One day it’s warm and sunny. The next day it’s cold and rainy. It must be spring in the Northwest. The boys pictured above are longingly looking towards the girls’ pasture hoping to get their attention.

Aster-CU_250Here’s Aster, our youngest girl, who is brilliantly bright white on a dry, sunny day.  But today she’s looking a bit gray. The alpacas’ fleece gets wet and muddy this time of year.

The alpacas have two and half more months of fleece growing until shearing day comes in June. Their thick, fluffy coats are keeping them warm on our cold and rainy nights.

 

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Naturally curious.

Alpacas: luxuriously soft and curiously charming.

Look into the eyes of an alpaca and you’ll see an intelligent and curious animal — each one with its own personality. They produce luxurious fleece that rivals cashmere in softness and is warmer and lighter than sheep’s wool. Here are some quick alpaca facts to get you up to speed on camelids.

We’re open most days. 10 am to 4 pm. Call ahead to be sure we are there to welcome you. 206.510.0434.

• Alpacas are native to South America in high altitude regions found in Chile, Bolivia, Peru.
• There are 2 distinct breeds – Huacaya and Suri. Our herd are huacayas.

• Alpacas graze on pasture and eat orchard grass hay.

• Alpacas are found in 22 natural colors – white, various fawns, browns, grays and black.

• Alpaca babies are called cria. [ cree-uh].

• Alpacas are friendly and curious but may keep their distance until they feel comfortable with you.

• Do they spit? Yes, it’s just one form of communication between them. However, they rarely will spit intentionally at you.

• Alpacas and llamas come from the same family – Camelids and they get along fine together in the pasture. Our llamas are guards for the alpaca herd to protect from coyotes.

We welcome visitors all year round. A visit to the farm will give you an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the sweetest alpacas you’ll ever see.

 

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