In 2015, we decided that we wanted to raise alpacas. Since we live in the country, we knew we needed a good Livestock Guardian Dog first. We adopted a Great Pyrenees who’d been a farm worker her whole life. But, we didn’t have the alpacas on our farm yet. So, we got two registered Katahdin ewes so she would have a job to do in the meantime.
We wanted to be good stewards of our land and to take care of our animals. So then we got chickens to help with pasture cleanup. Not long after, our two sheep had two babies and so on and so forth. So, that’s how we became sheep farmers. Then we realized that as our herd was growing, our sweet dog needed a companion. So we adopted another Great Pyrenees to help watch over not only the alpacas but also our ever-expanding farm.
In 2017, we joined the Hardin County Farmers’ Market, selling USDA processed lamb and a new adventure: Microgreens
In 2020, we added goats, a commercial full-Nigerian Dwarf and Nigerian Dwarf/Alpine goats, and a soap-making operation. In addition to that, we partner with Cedar Valley Farms to sell their pork, as well as Prayer Mountain to sell their mushrooms.
So much for just a couple of alpacas and a dog, huh?
Why alpacas?What other kind of livestock will let you love on them like this? Imagine putting your arms around the neck of a cow. Or a chicken. On the other hand, our alpacas LOVE being loved on.
- Alpacas are kind to the earth. They have soft padded feet with 2 toes and a toenail on each foot. This means they tread gently over the terrain (unlike our cloven hooved sheep)
- Continuing the concept of being kind to the earth – their poo is an amazingly wonderful soil amendment. Because of the low nitrogen level, it can actually be applied directly to plants without burning; however, at S&B we feel that an aging/composting process increases the benefits and nutrients given to the plants. Stay tuned for more information regarding our composting program.
- Alpacas only have bottom teeth. This means no biting.
- Even at 8 months pregnant, our biggest girl (Jewel) was only about 150lbs.
- Have you ever felt alpaca fleece? Warmer than wool, not itchy, hypoallergenic… and incredibly soft.