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Why Raise Alpacas?

It is very important to understand what an alpaca is, how to care for them and the impact of their environmental friendly “footprint”. There is so much information available on the internet, in books and from experienced farmers that talking about that here seems redundant.

Instead, I would rather tell you how ALPACAS have affected our lives.

Working in the city of Ithaca, about 20 miles away, putting in long hours, our lives at home was complacent and rather boring. It was easy to come home from work, have a quick, mostly unhealthy dinner, turn on the TV and become couch potatoes.

One day at work, during a water cooler type conversation, the subject of alpacas came up. Always admiring them from afar, I quickly looked up some general information. That evening on a whim, I said to David – “Let’s raise alpacas.” He simply said “OKAY”. We started doing research, reading any information we could find and visiting nearby farms. During National Alpaca Farm Days in 2009, we visited more farms and chatted with experienced alpaca owners. That was it – we were hooked!

After years of running our own businesses, this was a venture we were going to do together. Before long we were arguing about where to put the fence and gates, how to convert the storage area we were using for cars/trucks/tractors to a barn, when to purchase and bring home our first foundation females, etc., etc., etc. Little by little things started to take shape and in March of 2010 we were ready to welcome our first alpaca to CABIN VIEW ALPACAS.

The arrival of alpaca to Congress Street Ext. in Trumansburg has had an amazing influence on our lives and the neighborhood. Neighbors who have lived on our street for years, but we were too busy with our corporate lives to meet, have stopped by to see and learn about the alpaca.

David’s brother Dick and his wife Sandy, always willing to help with our new project, have given true meaning to the phrase “neighborhood watch”. Still working 20 miles away, we became apprehensive and worried when the due dates for our cria got close. As they traveled up and down the road on the way to their customers, Dick and Sandy would take a few minutes to check on our girls. At the same time their daughter was pregnant and overdue. Sandy found herself coming to talk with the alpaca and letting their quiet demeanor and gentle humming comfort her and lessen the worries – at least for the moment. Nieces and nephews would also stop by, sit by the pasture and be mesmerized by the exquisite creatures.

Watching the alpaca in the pastures has made us appreciate – once again – the land we are fortunate to have, along with the glorious view of Cayuga Lake. Somewhere along the line we’d forgotten to even look across the horizon. Friends and co-workers have commented on how inspiring it is to see our eyes light up when we start talking about our alpaca.

What will the future bring?  Will the magic still be there when it’s 10 degrees outside, snowy and the North wind is whipping across our faces?  GOSH, I HOPE SO!!!

By the way, we are still arguing about a couple of gates!

Updated June 25, 2015