It was eighteen years ago that I saw a huggable white baby alpaca in the Living Section of the local newspaper. There was an alpaca show at the Portland Expo Center that weekend… I wanted to go, my husband joined me. He really didn’t understand why, but he went. Once we got there, we asked questions and learned that some people made a living breeding and selling these cute animals.
On our drive home we talked about my interest in these critters and my husband just listened. He suggested that I read more about them if I was that interested. Well, my reading turned into more discussions and my husband, Bill (is a CPA by trade) started calculating….the initial investment to the sale of the animals. Over the next year with our researching off the internet, reading books, going to classes, visiting many different farms and ranches, we decided to purchase a group of five girls. Since our family lived in a neighborhood, these animals needed to be taken care of by someone else. Over the next three years, we agisted at two different locations. My job was working with the animals, taking part in Monday morning veterinary checks, and whatever else needed to be done. If was full-time from the beginning, but so much fun.
Since our first investment of 5 girls 11 years ago, we now have an 18+ acre property. The property came with a mobile home on it and rows and rows of cane berries in Molalla, Oregon. We have taken out all but six long rows of berries, built a barn and home, turned the cane rows into green pastures, and now have a total of 80+ alpacas. We have we come a long way… we’ve learned and done so much! Our family life has changed from city to country. Bill has resigned from the corporate world and is now a retired AOA Judge for Alpaca Fleece and Performance….. I’m still just as excited about scooping poop and taking care of our herd, and the four kids have reconfirmed their thoughts… we really are nuts! After all of this… if you asked us now… would we do this again and we’d answer, “In a heartbeat!”