Friday, September 14, 2007

Visiting alpaca farms/ranches

We did a lot of on-line research about alpacas. We had many discussions about how we could make this happen. We decided it was time to do it. One way to get to know more about the business is to visit people who are already doing it, so we did that.

I had read that alpacas owers are some of the nicest people, which was definately our experience. I could write a post on each visit but I'll keep these brief. Our first visit was to Moonstone Ranch, LLC. We had a wonderful visit there. We learned a lot about alpaca care and got ideas on how to set up our own ranch. Then we visited Windspun . We loved the flooring they had in their barn, it really did keep their alpaca's clean. We did both those visits in the same day which proved to be too much for the kids. Although they love animals, two visits where we had many questions that they were not interested in made for a long day for them. Our next visit took place the next weekend and was at South Haven Alpacas On this visit we did not bring the kids which turned out to be a good decision because we ended up spending a good part of the day there. It was great to meet Ken and Linda and talk to them about their alpacas. The next weekend we went to the farm that is closest to our house, They had a litter of puppies that kept the kids pretty busy so we had time to talk about the alpacas. They have done a lot of things in the community with their alpacas, including having school field trips come to their farm. The kids had a chance to walk Storming Norming on a lead - the kids still talk about that!

Through these visits we were trying to figure out how we are going to make this a reality for us. We have a barn that we can use, and land. Fencing will not be that expensive, since we can put it in ourselves. Our big concern is the cost of the alpacas. We tried to get a loan through Greenstone (they give loans for farming specifically), but unfortunately there was some incorrect information on our credit report (a good reminder to check it every so often, which he had not been doing). This may take some time to get straightened out.

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