Courtesy of Maple View Farm
Meet alpaca Emma at Maple View Farm Alpacas during National Alpaca Farm Days, Sept. 19-20.
Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 19-20 at 11 a.m. — BRANDON — During the month of September, alpaca breeders from across the United States will invite the public to come to their farms to meet their alpacas and learn more about these inquisitive, unique animals.
On Sept. 19 and 20 from 11 a.m. to p.m., Maple View Farm Alpacas and the Vermont Fiber Mill & Studio will welcome guests at the farm and mill in Brandon. Located on 100 scenic acres, Maple View Farm currently is home to 20 alpacas, including several cria born this summer. The farm and mill are located at 185 Adams Road, off Arnold District Rd north of Brandon.
What is an alpaca?
Alpacas, cousins to the llama, are native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia, and Chile. Alpacas were first imported into the United States in 1984. Since then, the alpaca industry has grown steadily with over 100,000 alpacas are currently registered with the Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI) in the United States.
There are two types of alpacas. The Huacaya (wa-Ki’-ah) is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. The Suri is the rarer of the two and has fiber that is silky and resembles pencil-locks. Maple View Farm has Huacaya alpacas.
Adult alpacas stand approximately 36 inches at the withers and generally weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. They do not have horns, hooves, claws or incisors. Alpacas are alert, intelligent and curious. Social animals that seek companionship, alpacas communicate by softly humming.
Alpacas are shorn, without harm, annually. They produced five to 10 pounds of luxurious fiber. Because of its soft texture, alpaca fiber is sometimes compared to cashmere. Alpaca is just as warm as, yet one-third the weight of, wool. It comes in 22 natural colors, yet can be dyed any desired shade. Vermont Fiber Mill & Studio processes their alpaca fiber into batts, roving, yarn and felt.
Containing no lanolin, alpaca fiber is also naturally hypoallergenic. Most people who are sensitive to wool find that they can wear alpaca without the itching or irritation they feel from wool. Performance characteristics include stretch, water repellency and odor reduction.
During the open house, visitors will be able to visit with the alpacas, observe the mill operations and see fiber demonstrations.
For more info, visit www.mapleviewfarmalpacas.com or call 802-247-5412.