Welcome to Alpaca Meadows, owned by Matt and Julie Petty. We have been raising alpacas in Mansfield, Ohio, since 2002. How did we get started, you might ask? We visited an alpaca farm one summer with our children, thought it looked like something we would enjoy, and quickly began to fall in love with alpacas! Our children were young at the time and involving them in this family 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 once had a male cria (alpaca baby) that we called “Nightrider”. Once in a great while, a cria needs help, though it does not happen often. This little guy was in need of a plasma transfer when he was just a few days old. He laid on my lap several hours (sedated of course), for the process. I’m pretty sure he remembered! On a regular basis he sought me out, 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’s amazing to me how nature unfolds just the way it was planned. A cria is born, struggles to her feet, finds her mom and begins nursing, usually all within about an hour after birth. Born early in the day to survive the extreme temperature drop in their native country as evening approaches, they still maintain that same internal “clock” here in the United States.
Intriquing to watch, each alpaca has its own personality and disposition. Alpacas slow us down and bring a sense of calmness to 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 crias, get acquainted on opposite sides of the fence. It was a precious moment in time.
When the babies run, the work stops. 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. The ability to nurture my creative side is 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. You’ll understand 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!