Sep 21, 2017
This weekend, anyone who wants to learn more about alpacas can do so during National Alpaca Farm Days.
Northwoods Alpacas in Bergen and Genna-rations Farm in Kendall will be celebrating with different alpaca farms across the country, opening their gates to visitors to show off their prized animals and promote the expansion of the growing fiber industry. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at each location.
For those who many not be familiar with alpacas, they are a South American animal in the camel family that is highly sought after for its fiber. It looks like a cross between a camel and a llama.
“Each farm has different demonstrations going on — babies being born, and things like that,” said Linda Grant, owner of Northwoods Alpacas, 6499 North Lake Road, Bergen.
Northwoods Alpacas has been participating in the festival for 12 years now, and said the farm will have a “name the cria contest” because a baby is usually born right around the time of the festival. There will also be a lot of information around the farm why they raise them, as well as what can be done with alpaca fiber. She is also planning on featuring alpaca jerky for visitors to try.
Genna-rations Farm, 1536 West Kendall Road, Kendall, has been participating in the festival for 10 years.
Tacha Gennarino, owner, said she first heard about alpacas due to someone from the area having an open house, and fell in love with the animal.
During National Alpaca Farm Days, Genna-rations Farms is doing “Mysteries Explained.”
“We’ll have mysteries about alpacas that we’ll also explain that the normal person doesn’t know about alpacas,” Gennarino said. “Alpacas grow their teeth their entire life, so if an alpaca loses a tooth, it’s OK because they’ll grow it back.”
People often confuse alpacas with llamas. While related, llamas and alpacas are distinctly different. Llamas are about twice the size of an alpaca and used primarily for packing or guarding herds. Alpacas are primarily raised for their soft and luxurious fleece.
if you go
National Alpaca Farm Days is on Sept. 23 and Sept. 24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For information about Northwoods Alpacas, visit NorthwoodsAlpacas.com or call (585) 494-1371.
For information about Genna-rations Farm, visit Genna-rationsfarm.com or call (585) 659-9165.