Welcome to Alpaca Meadows, owned by Matt and Julie Petty. We have been raising alpacas in Mansfield, Ohio, since 2002. Why do we raise alpacas, you ask? We visited an alpaca farm, thought it looked like something we would enjoy, then we fell in love with alpacas! Our children were young at the time and involving them in this endeavor was a wonderful experience, one that benefitted all of us in many ways. We feel blessed each day to look out and see our pastures full of such beautiful animals.

People always want to know what in the world made us get into the alpaca business?  Looking back, I think it was just one of those things that God put in our path, along with the people and the trials placed in our lives at just the right time. Life on a farm keeps us humble, helps us realize we are not in charge, gets us outdoors to enjoy the beauty of this world, and teaches us compassion.

We had a male cria (baby) that we called “Nightrider”. He was in need of a plasma transfer when he was just a few days old and laid on my lap several hours (sedated of course), for the process. I’m pretty sure he remembered! He would come to see me and we would “eskimo kiss” and he made my day. Even after a round of antibiotics and shots twice a day, he still liked me. I think animals know when we’re trying to help them – this little guy touched my heart.

This is one of many stories I could tell about our alpacas. They don’t ask for much, but they give so much in return. It is amazing to me how it all works just the way it is supposed to, a cria is born, struggles to her feet, finds her mom and begins nursing, usually within an hour after birth. Born early in the day to survive the extreme temperature drop of their native country, they still maintain the same internal “clock” today.

Each alpaca with her own personality and disposition, they slow us down and bring a sense of calmness in our busy lives. I’ve been known to sit in the pasture on a Sunday morning, with a cup of coffee, my crocheting, and my camera. So serene. One morning I watched a mama deer, her two little ones, and a group of alpaca moms and babies, get acquainted on opposite sides of the fence. It was a precious moment in time.

When the babies run, the work stops, and we watch, amazed and entertained! Life is simpler … the alpacas bring us little stress … and much joy. Learning to work with their luxurious fiber has been an unexpected pleasure… and to be able to nurture my creative side a huge bonus. I love this quote by Robert Klabacka, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work another day in your life.” I have found that something!

Come visit our farm in Mansfield, Ohio. Sit under a shade tree and watch the alpacas pronk around the pasture. Listen to them hummmm. Watch their beautiful fleece move elegantly with the wind when they run. See the babies play! Smell the smells and feel the sun on your back. Be surrounded by the wonder of nature as you witness these gentle creatures and see why we enjoy the lifestyle that alpacas provide. Who would have guessed we could have found a business to be involved in as a family and have so much fun. For the independent spirit, it just doesn’t get any better than this!