VERMILION - They like people, especially little ones. They come in colors such as white, brown, gray, black and multi-color. They’ll eat carrots, apples, graham crackers, hay, grass and grain.
They’re popping up on a Vermilion farm and the owners wish to share the creatures with the public.
Rural Vermilion couple Larry and Stephanie White will hold an alpaca open house from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the farm at 14500 Darrow Road, Vermilion.
Alpacas are members of the Camelid family. They are a domesticated species of South American Camelid and resemble small llamas in superficial appearance.
The Whites have lived at their Vermilion location since 2003 and currently have 60 alpacas. The couple own 36 of them, while they board the rest for other people. More are on the way. Two babies were born in April and Stephanie White said she expects about five this month. In all, the Whites are anticipating about 25 babies this year.
“They’ll just be popping out from now on,” said White, who with her husband runs Alpha Omega Alpacas, Lands End Alpacas, Angel & the Albatross Alpacas and Our Little World Alpacas.
The Whites encourage people to come and watch as their spring babies “dot the landscape running, playing, nursing and napping. Their mom’s grazing close by softly humming to their babies or nuzzling them to nurse or instructing them on everything they need to know as they learn and grow.”
Stephanie White said alpacas are tame and curious animals. They’ll look at people and sniff then and many of the animals will let people touch them. Visitors can even feed the animals foods such as carrots, apples and graham crackers, White said.
Visitors will have the chance to not only observe and touch the alpacas, but witness the process of spinning alpaca fiber, buy alpaca products and tour the farm.