A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

October 25, 2012

Adopt-A-Paca – the motivation behind the program


I’m Aimee – Adopt Me!

We recently decided to launch a new “product” at the farm, although perhaps ‘product’ is really not a good word for it.  “Opportunity” may be a word more fitting, as we feel our Adopt-a-Paca program allows people a chance to get a closer glimpse of life with alpacas without having to go to the expense of buying and keeping them.

The Adopt-A-Paca program was Ric’s idea.  Anyone who has been to our Open Farm Days knows that Ric is the main man when it comes to doing the tours of the farm.  Ric is definitely much more of a people person than I am (nothing personal folks, but I just am more comfortable with four leggeds than two leggeds!)  and really enjoys interacting with visitors young and old.  Ric’s 30 years in the Air Force has provided him with confidence in public speaking and his degree in Elementary Education enables him to relate to the many young visitors we get to Open Farm Day.  People love Ric’s farm tours and Ric loves to give them.

So having shown many visitors around the farm, Ric realized that many people would dearly love to own alpacas but are not in a position to do so.  Not everyone lives on acreage suitable for alpacas, and our military visitors know that they are usually stationed here for a few short years and could deploy overseas or get a permanent move in the near future.  Some people know that they don’t have the time to care for alpacas along with their already busy schedules.  There are a variety of reasons why people may not be able to own alpacas, but that doesn’t mean that they may not hope to in future years and it doesn’t stop them longing to own alpacas or wanting to connect with alpacas.  Ric wanted a way to get those people a little closer to living the alpaca dream.

Being “animal mad” at a young age I can relate to those who long to own animals but who don’t get the opportunity to do so.  As a child I loved animals of all shapes and sizes and longed to have a pony or horse of my own.  The only dolls I played with were those that could sit on toy horses.

My parents did their best to cater to my desire to be around animals.  They arranged for riding lessons, drove me to stables to help friends who owned horses and drove me to kennels to volunteer.  They knew that any family vacation would involve either finding a riding stable nearby or organizing trips to visit local horses, cows or any other creature that I decided to bond with on vacation.  My brothers and I grew up with family dogs, cats, goldfish, gerbils and guinea pigs, but my parents did not feel that we could have a horse in our family.

So when Ric suggested the Adopt-a-Paca program it struck a chord with me.  Here was a way we could allow people who fall in love with our alpacas and to get a little bit closer to alpaca life.

To start with we have kept the program very basic.  For $25 people can select one of the alpacas in the Adopt-a-Paca program for a year and in exchange they receive:

  • An Adoption Certificate
  • An 8×10 picture of the selected alpaca
  • A copy of the Alpaca Registry, Inc. (ARI) registration certificate showing the alpaca’s date of birth an lineage
  • Periodic pen pal letters from the alpaca
  • Monthly e-mail newsletters from the farm
  • Maybe even get some neat bonuses during the year… you’ll just have to wait and see!

The sponsorship will last for 12 months at which time you can renew for another year or pick a new alpaca

As the program grows we may make some changes and expand it further, for now we are just “dipping our toes in the water” to gauge the amount of interest.

Of course you don’t get to take the alpaca home and ownership of the alpaca is still ours, but for the year you are in the program you will get a closer look at life with the alpacas and hopefully get to know “your” alpaca better.

What’s in it for us you might ask?  Well your $25 contribution will go toward covering the costs of daily care for your alpaca – it costs more than $25 a year to raise an alpaca, but your contribution will help offset the costs a little.  We also feel we will get to know our farm visitors and fans a bit better.  Perhaps too in these trying economic times your “adopted” alpaca will bring you something to look forward to and put a little joy in your heart as alpacas often do.

We hope you will join in with our “Adopt-A-Paca” program and that together we will have a lot of fun with it – and of course if you would prefer to actually own alpacas we also sell them too!


December 9, 2007

Open House Fun

Well the Open House is over and we had a great time.  With a steady flow of visitors to keep us busy we had a good day introducing people to alpacas and alpaca products.  Alpaca socks, gloves, yarns and ponchos were quick to leave the shelves and we have a waiting list for some of the products that we had ordered but which didn’t arrive in time for our event.

The alpacas were very well behaved and kept our visitors entertained.  During the first part of the day the alpacas were a little more interested in their hayracks than the visitors but as the day progressed (and the hay racks went down) the alpacas started to pay more attention to our farm guests.  The crias were as cute as ever and obligingly played with each other at various times throughout the day.  Some of the alpacas approached people for alpaca kisses and curious stares and our guard llamas Maya, Inca and Griffin kept a close eye on all who entered the pastures.

In addition to our Open House the local Tractor Supply Company store was having it’s grand opening and had invited us and Bob and Regina Dart from Llano Soleado Alpacas to take part.   Bob and Regina took two of their male alpacas to the Tractor Supply Company store and Bob and his son Nathan spent most of the day there.  Ric and I took turns in going up to the Tractor Supply Company too.  The visitors to the store were interested in learning more about alpacas and appreciated being able to see alpacas up close.

We always meet interesting people when we are showing off our alpacas and today was no exception, I love to hear people’s reactions to the alpacas and see the smiles on their faces as they realize how enchanting alpacas can be.  Alpacas appeal to people both young and old and our guests today encompassed a wide age range.

One of our visitors made a very distinct impression on us, a young man who made an instant connection with the alpacas and who I will write more about tomorrow.  Our experience with his young man is worthy of it’s own blog entry.

So our Open House was a success and we will now look forward to the next one that we are planning on holding in the spring.  Stay tuned for more details of the date of that event.


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