National Alpaca Days fall during the last weekend of September, but for our local alpaca farmers, every day is National Alpaca Day! Butler County has the privilege to host several beautiful farms where you can visit these funky, furry friends and learn some fun-paca facts while you’re out exploring. So, let’s help our farmers celebrate! Alpaca party hat.
The influx of alpaca and llama memes in the past couple of years has increased the popularity of alpacas and made visiting them even trendier! Even though alpacas are all the rage now, they haven’t always been around for us to love and post about. In fact, alpacas were first imported to the U.S. in 1984! Originating from South America, there are two breeds of alpacas: Huracaya, whose fleece is fuffy and teddy bear-like, and Suri, whose fleece is more silky and lustrous. Because of their beautiful fleece, and its functionality, farmers breed alpacas to participate in shows and to sell their fleece fibers!
When they are not showing off their fluffy fleece at shows, both breeds of alpacas can be found mingling about the Butler County alpaca farms. Alpaca fur from both breeds is incredibly soft, and is hypo-allergenic, making it a superb material for clothing and other items. Visitors to our local alpaca farms can shop through a wide variety of alpaca goods in addition to meeting and feeding these curious creatures. With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to shop for unique and luxurious alpaca gifts! The must-visit alpaca farms in our county from north to south are:
1037 West Park Rd.
Slippery Rock, PA 16057
This farm is the definition of family-friendly! The owner’s Patrick and Christine, along with their staff, are extremely welcoming and love to share their deep knowledge of alpacas with visitors. As visitors learn about the alpacas, they can enjoy interacting with them and the other animals on the farm as well. Their farm and store are always neat and tidy, and their selection of handmade alpaca merchandise is expansive! They hold several events throughout the year including a celebration of National Alpaca Days at the end of September, and visits from Santa every Sunday in December! In addition to special events, the farm hosts group events and parties, and is even in the process of creating an opportunity for guests to stay overnight at the farm with the alpacas! WestPark Alpacas is open year-round from 10AM - 4PM, and starting on the first of November, they extend the hours for the holiday season to 10AM - 5PM.
Asgard Acres Alpaca Farm
180 Nursery Rd.
Renfrew, PA 16053
Asgard Acres has a herd of about 40 alpacas, and they are in high demand! The alpacas at Asgard Acres are social butterflies and are frequently out and about in Butler County on social visits. They go to many places including preschools, private homes, and even weddings! What could be a more perfect addition to your special event than some fluffy alpacas?! These special alpacas will also pay visits to those who aren’t able to come see them at the farm--they will visit residents of nursing homes as well as people with special needs. When they are home, these alpacas are hanging out with 4H students, going through obstacle courses, and getting haircuts to help supply their store. In addition to their home-made alpaca products, they also carry products from Peru, as well as co-op pieces from farms in New England! Asgard Acres is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Thanksgiving till Christmas, 11AM - 5PM. Other visiting times are available by appointment.
102 Knotingham Ln.
Butler, PA 16001
Alpaca Palace certainly lives up to its name with a host of awards for its elite alpacas. They have a large farm with over 250 alpacas. This year, the farm has received the great honor of hosting the Royal Progenay Alpaca Auction which brings in farms from over 20 states. This is a distinct accomplishment, and we are proud to support such a successful farm in Butler County! Although Alpaca Palace is busy raising and training their award-winning alpacas, they do open their store of alpaca goods to the public! The store at Alpaca Palace is open Saturdays from 12PM - 3PM , and visitors may check out the farm during store hours. From Black Friday to New Years Day, the store has extended hours to ensure that you can stop in to find the perfect gifts including socks, apparel, blankets, stuffed animals, yarn, and kitchenware.
Plan a free family outing to an alpaca farm and explore our county! But don’t forget to ‘paca your bags ;)
5 Facts Albetcha Didn’t Know About Alpacas:
- Baby alpacas are called “crias” (pronounced /kriː.ə/) and they can weigh up to 20 pounds at birth.
- Llamas and alpacas can crossbreed. The offspring are called huarizo.
- Alpaca herds often include animals of different species or taxonomic families, such as llamas, goats and sheep
- Alpacas come in 22 colors, from a true, blue-black through browns and tans to white. Alpaca coats with mixed colors are referred to as “grey” or “roan”.
- Alpaca fiber is flame-resistant and water-resistant. It can wick away moisture because it has a unique ability to mimic cotton in the moisture region. This wicking ability makes alpaca socks a beneficial addition to any wardrobe.