National Alpaca Farm Day: Farm visit

On Saturday (September 26, 2009) my husband and I visited a local alpaca farm — it was having an open house in celebration of National Alpaca Farm Day.

It was fun seeing the cute animals, as well as chatting with the animals’ owners, Paul and Lisa Rogers, at Singing Meadows Alpaca Farm.

We forgot to take our camera, but here’s a photo of one cutie from the farm’s website:

alpaca Avalon_3

Wordy side note: I’ve noticed several places that have fiber animals calling their places farms. I’ve always thought that farms had mainly crops, and ranches had mainly animals. My cursory research this morning bears this out. So what’s the deal with all these fiber farms, alpaca farms?


16 responses to “National Alpaca Farm Day: Farm visit

  1. The ranch owners aren’t as smart as you are, so they call they ranches farms! I think ranch sounds a little snooty, so maybe they’re trying to avoid that.

  2. I just learned (maybe I already knew) that any of us who raise animals are in fact “ranchers” not farmers. Breeze Hill Ranch just doesn’t do it for me though.

    Love you blog and have bookmarked it. – MaLinda

  3. He’s kinda got a punk look going, with that haircut. 😉

    So do alpacas spit like llamas do?

    • I don’t know about camels, but I have been spit on by an alpaca (when I helped shear a couple years ago, at a different place). During this farm visit they were all friendly and well-behaved.

      Alpacas also hum …

  4. Awww! So cute! 🙂

    There’s a yarn store here that has their own llamas. 😀

    And I lived in central Texas for 5 years, then went to school in the middle-of-nowhere Illinois. So I definitely know the difference between a ranch and a farm! lol

  5. That’s wonderful that you visited an alpaca farm!

    Alpaca Breeders choose their own names. Some do choose ranch, particularly the ones out West.

    When I think ranch I think cattle or horses. Ranches are also usually on vast amounts of land. Alpacas can be raised (and usually are) on small acreage. You can put 7 alpacas per acre, whereas the stocking density for cows and horses is 2 acres per animal.

    Ranches also make me think of cowboys. Alpacas are so small you don’t need to be a 25-yr.old cowboy to handle them.

    I think farm has a more broad useage so I see why people use it. Many alpaca farms are right next to subdivisions. Hard to picture a ranch up against a subdivision.

    The main thing to remember is alpaca breeders do their own thing. They think outside the box, so they will call their operation whatever suits them. Ours is simply called Fairhope Alpacas.

    • Ranch = animals
      Farm = plowed fields
      Framch = a combination of the two above

      At least that’s how it is in the midwest 😀

    • Of course people who raise alpacas choose their own names. I’m pretty sure the density ratio (animals:acre) isn’t a set number, though. It varies from place to place (amount of rain being one factor), as well as the type of animals. Nevertheless, I’m well aware alpacas don’t require as much land as cows.

      As I stated in an earlier comment here, I can understand wanting to name your land/farm/operation/business whatever you want. That’s fine by me.

      I certainly didn’t intend to raise anyone’s hackles here; it was just a question.

  6. Around here we call everything a farm, whether it has animals, crops, or whatever. No ranches in this part of Virginia. I think the use of the word “farm” comes from the fact that the first settlers here were subsistence farmers, with a family cow, pig, maybe some beef cattle or sheep to sell for meat, and the crops and garden to sustain it all. Large holding of land were practically non-existent by the turn of the 19th century so we didn’t use the word “plantation” either.

  7. G’day, cute alpaca. Enjoy your day 🙂

  8. I think the formal distinction and everyday usage is quite different. I grew up on a farm, and we had both crops and animals. (What would you formally call that? A rarm or a fanch?)

  9. zenasurialpacas

    The difference between a ranch and a farm: Ranches have fields for grazing; farmers break the ground for crops. Because of the dry climate in much of the West, tilling the soil is inadvisable. That is why more ranches are found in the West.

  10. We have llamas here, in the far south west of England. But we don’t have ranches – I’ve always known them as a purely American concept – so they definitely live on a farm!

  11. Farms have crops…. Ranches have animals.

What do you think? I'd love to know.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s