By Deb Everts
On Saturday and Sunday, alpaca farms across the country will participate in National Alpaca Farm Days. During this weekend, families will have the opportunity to visit the farms where they can get up-close to alpacas for a hands-on experience.
Visitors can learn about the animals and their history, how to raise them, their fleece and the products made from it.
Alpaca farm owners will be happy to offer tips and suggestions to visitors who might be interested in beginning their own small alpaca operation. People will also learn the cost of having an alpaca and the tax benefits.
Mager Mountain Alpacas at 69 Mountain View Drive, in Little Valley, will be open both days this year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Paul and Sue Mager have enjoyed sharing their alpacas and llamas with visitors for over 15 years and promise this year’s event will be better than ever.
As always, visitors can expect to experience an “alpaca adventure” learning about alpaca history while enjoying watching the crias (baby alpacas) pronk and play. Paul said there may even be a brand new cria to join the four already born this spring.
Visitors can pose for pictures and get up-close and personal with Magers’ very people-friendly alpacas. They may even get an alpaca kiss.
On Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lynn Tellak will offer an alpaca obstacle course demonstration and teach visitors the proper way to handle alpacas. She teaches an animal science class at BOCES and is a long time alpaca enthusiast who has won many ribbons showing alpacas.
Also featured will be Nancy Blessing demonstrating the art of spinning raw fleece into yarn. She is an award-winning fiber artist whose exquisite handmade items are available in the So Soft Gift Shop on the premises. The shop will be open and offers a large variety of alpaca products.
There is a large viewing window in the shop allowing shoppers to watch the alpacas while they browse items made from their fleece.
The farm and gift shop are open to visitors during regular business hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by appointment. For more details visit
online at magermountainalpacas.com or call 938-9077.
A Slice of Heaven Alpacas will be open for one day only during National Alpaca Farm Days. Visitors are welcome to stop in on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Owners Sue and Mike Bean invite the public to come and meet their herd of 35 alpacas, including three-month-old Bayleigh and the new cria that they are anxiously waiting to meet. The Beans enjoy educating visitors about these beautiful animals.
While visiting the farm, check out their Simply Natural Gift Shop on the premises and find in-store discounts. Visitors can sign up for drawings to win a $25 and $50 gift certificate, as well as a specialty basket of goodies.
Sue said they will be selling cider, coffee, donuts, water and homemade chili with all proceeds going to Randolph Community Cupboard.
The farm is located along the Amish Trail at 11144 Pope Road, in Randolph.
During regular business hours, the gift shop is open Monday and Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To find out more, call 358-5242 or 499-0494. Visit online at asliceofheavenalpacas.com.
Helen and Timm Herman of Sugartown Farms will host an open house for National Alpaca Farm Days both Saturday and Sunday. The farm is located at 6277 Sugartown Road, just one-quarter mile from the village of Ellicottville, and is open weekends and weekdays by appointment year-round. They also host an open house during Ellicottville’s Fall Fest during Columbus Day Weekend.
To learn more, contact Sugartown Farms at 699-2902, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit online at openherd.com.
To learn more about alpacas and alpaca ownership, request information from the Alpaca Owners Association, Inc. online at alpacainfo.com.