During my husband Rick’s quest for a good old tractor, he found one at a farm that happened to be an alpaca farm. He said, “You must see these animals, come with me to pick up the tractor”. We drove in to the driveway and all of these curious eyes were on us. Tall and small, all sizes, all beautiful colors just watching us as we moved toward the fence. We fell in love with their beauty and felt strongly that someday we would like tohave our own herd. We knew it would be a while as we currently had five very active teens at home and a farm with horses, 4-H Rabbits, Chickens, and Goats. A couple of years later, my sister Debbie, mentioned to us again about a co-worker that had alpacas and it sparked our interest again. We visited over a dozen alpaca farms over the next year. Each of the farms we visited were extremely helpful and provided us more and more information. One farms that we visited was Promised Land Alpacas in Chardin OH, the owners were not only great people, and knowledgable alpaca farmers, they were also veterinarians, we knew that they could mentor us as we began our alpaca farm.
Rick and I both love animals and liked the thought of raising livestock that you did not eat, that produced a product. We currently had horses that we enjoyed but were also ready to make a change. Playing with a 1 month old cria for a few minutes and gazing in to those beautiful eyes will sell anybody on getting into the business. But the key word here is “Business”. Now it was on to finding out if it was financially feasible to accomplish and if our farm would work for these new animals. We sold our horses and began setting up for alpacas with more secure fencing so that predators could not enter. We have found that our old Bank Barn was ideal for alpacas to give them a cool place to go in the hot hot summer. We have a small 36 acre farm, 20 acres are farmed with crops.
So our property was ready, now how about some animals? After visiting the many farms and checking our internet alpaca sales, we had a good idea of the range of prices, we just needed to decide how we wanted to go about running our farm. We decided that smaller was better. So we put our focus on buying the best quality animals with the budget we had set aside. We decided to only purchase animals with full Peruvian bloodlines, strong confirmation and an array of colors. We especially liked the grey alpacas. In October of 2001 our three young females and three gelded males arrived on our farm. This was the start of our herd. The three females came with a breeding with the time was right. We enjoyed taking these girls to alpaca shows and our children were able to take the first alpacas ever to our Shelby County Fair in Sidney Ohio.
Our herd has grown, and now at the end of 2011, we have 21 alpacas. We have loved every minute of our involvement in the alpaca industry so far, and are very excited about what lies ahead. If you’re interested in learn more about our experiences, please send us an email or give us a call.