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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Cute Alpacas Charm Visitors at Open Farm Weekend

Little visitor feeds herd sire  Mackenzie

Little visitor feeds herd sire Mackenzie

By Barbara Patterson

The alpacas were a hit, as always, coming into the barn to greet each new set of visitors. Such curious animals alpacas are! They don’t want to miss a thing, especially the grain handouts which they seem to know are a big part of the fun – for them and the visitors. We’re usually pretty stingy with the grain so these events are a real treat for the alpacas.

In our neck of the woods in rural Goldendale, alpacas are a rare livestock animal. Sheep, cattle, and goats predominate. So visitors are often just as curious about alpacas as alpacas are about them!

Visitors always ask lots of questions: What’s the difference between an alpaca and a llama? (Short answer: size, temperament, fiber, and purpose.) Do they spit? (Only at each other over food issues.) Do they bite? (No.) Can I pet them? (Some will let you.) Why do you raise them? (Ah – for their beautiful soft fiber!)

Beautiful weather prevailed for our May 2015 Open Farm Weekend event. Many visitors came to enjoy our friendly alpacas as well as the many products produced from their fiber. Baskets with many colors of fleece were set around the barn for guests to sink their hands into. We love the smiles these baskets generate! An information table with handouts, photo albums, a guest book to sign, and door prizes to sign up for is set up for all our events. The door prizes at this event were a skein of Bianca’s yarn and a needle-felted teddy bear from our alpaca fiber.

The very best thing for us about open farm day events is watching the delight on the faces of our guests as they get acquainted with the alpacas. What a joy!




Information Table

Information Table

Grain Treats!

Grain Treats!

Alpaca Products Tables

Alpaca Products Tables

Photo ops!  Get the cell phone handy!

Photo ops! Get the cell phone handy!