Alpaca Breeders of Grand County host open house
May 27, 2011
On Memorial Day weekend, May 28 and 29, the Alpaca Breeders of Grand County will host an Open House at the Lonesome Stone Alpaca Farm and Mill, 1 mile from Granby at 946 CR 60.
Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. Come learn about these enchanting animals and the ways their soft, warm fiber is turned into luxurious products, right here in Grand County.
Alpacas are gentle, friendly cousins of the larger Llama, both natives of South America. Alpacas are especially known for their fine fleece. Domesticated over 5,000 years ago by the Andean people, alpacas have been bred since then as a fiber-producing domestic animal, but were unknown in this country until first imported to the USA two decades ago.
Alpacas are admired for their beauty, and also have many endearing and desirable traits, including being easily handled by children, thriving in a cold climate, being comparatively disease free, and are a low-maintenance, high-value livestock.
They are called the “greenest” livestock, since their padded feet, without hooves, are easy on the soil. Alpacas also consume less forage (and create less manure) and need less water for their size than either horses or cattle.
Breeders enjoy keeping their favorite animals for many years, shearing them annually for a return on investment, rather than having them eaten. Alpacas produce one exquisite baby, called a cria, a year, and most dams are devoted mothers.
Besides viewing alpacas close up from several Grand County breeders, the open house will offer tours of the fiber mill to show how raw alpaca fleece is turned into many kinds of yarn. Visitors can watch how the yarn is dyed into various colors and attractive color combinations.
There will be ongoing demonstrations of ways that alpaca fleece can be used: in weaving beautiful fabrics; wet-felted for use in items like hats and slippers; needle-felted as decorations, and in knitting and crocheting.
Information about alpacas’ behavior, health, and care will be available firsthand from experienced Grand County breeders. Participating ranches include: Lonesome Stone Alpacas and Fiber Mill, Alpacas of Silver Creek, Corona Trail Alpacas, 3 Amigos Alpacas, Joyful Criations and Glenmar Alpacas.
Come make the acquaintance of some of the most beautiful Grand County residents you will ever meet, and see many of the practical and luxurious uses of their gift of lovely fiber.
For further directions or information, call 970-887-9591, or go to