How It All Started
We found out about Huacaya alpacas while looking to invest in rental property. We started looking at buildings in our area and had selected around four to visit. Before visiting any of the buildings, we went to the bank to prequalify for a loan. The further we got down the rental property road and the thought of tenants and building maintenance the more DREADFUL it became!
Right about that time someone at work was advertising some alpaca for sale. This peaked my interest because I had always had a fascination with these unique creatures but had never actually seen one in person. I started doing research and the more I did the more the passion built.
When I approached my wife, Melissa, I wasn't sure if she would want to become alpaca farmers. She listened to me as I explained the funds we were going to invest in a building could be applied to starting an alpaca farm and we could actually make money doing something that would bring us pleasure. The next day Melissa started doing her own research online and called me during the day. She was excited about the prospect of owning alpaca and we started researching more vigorously by talking to people and visiting farms!
Our farm is located in Biddeford, Maine.
Biddeford, Maine is a beautiful, scenic southern Maine city! Maine is known for its blueberries, lobsters, & scenic coast.
Our paddocks are made from washed stonedust. The washed stone dust serves two purposes. First is to keep our fiber cleaner vs. an alpaca in a field or woods. The second purpose is to control our alpaca’s diet and prevent disease from snails (meningeal worms will kill an alpaca).
We also have free range chickens inside and outside our paddocks to eat and keep the snails away. This is part of an “eco-friendly” system we are working towards to reduce cost in vaccines and medicines in our animals.
We have automatic heated waterers that make lugging water not needed on our farm. Melissa insisted we buy them when we were originally designing our first paddocks and I’m so happy she did!
Our fence is made of driven wooden posts, woven wire, 12 gauge steel, and an electric wire on the top and bottom (electric on outside of fence)! The reason for this is to keep predators away from our animals. An alpaca generally will not challenge their environment like horses or cows so the real danger is from the outside. We are trying to keep coyote’s and the random roaming domesticated dogs from getting into our paddocks. We do have black bears and if they try to hop over the fence there’s a nice “gigawatt” of electricity waiting for them! We have never have seen a bear but better safe than sorry!
One of our barns is made from an old shed with two lean-2’s built on either side which served us well in the beginning. As we grew we upsized into a 38’ x 60’ airplane hanger style barn made for livestock which will serve us for many years to come!
Raising Huacaya Alpaca is something we decided to do as a family.
We have our kids along side us while doing all of the daily chores from feeding and tending the animals to birthing and halter training the new cria (baby alpaca). Having something we all do together has been something that has brought our family closer together!