Oklahoma Family Raises Alpacas In Newcastle
NEWCASTLE, Oklahoma - This Mother's Day, one mom spent the day as she always does, surround by her kids, 30 of them.
Terri Bates doesn't have to look far to find her herd. They're always in the field and when one comes, the rest is sure to follow. Terri and her husband Kerry opened the alpaca farm at the Magnolia Blossom Ranch, five years ago when Terri retired. Now they're spending their golden years breeding and raising around 30 fur babies.
“They are my kids, yeah, my son would probably argue that,” Terri said with a laugh.
MBR is among nearly a hundred alpaca farms operating across Oklahoma, by farmers who have realized the benefit.
“We don't have to kill them to make money off on them which is what I like,” Terri said.
Alpacas spend a year growing their fleece. Terri and Kerry just sheered their herd about two weeks ago and each alpaca averages about five pounds of fleece.
“You're breeding to get the best fleece, you're always breeding for that. You want density and fineness,” she said.
The fleece is turned into yarn, then made into a variety of products, some the Bates sell in the gift shop. They also travel to different trade shows to sell their products, like rugs, scarves, sweaters, hats, socks, even purses. However, it's not just the softness that you'll feel in alpaca fleece, it's the healing benefits.
“It has a positive field ok, it's not magnetic, it's a positive field that it pulls in from the environment,” said Kerry. “So, if you have arthritis, we have gloves you can put them on and they can take care of arthritis in your hand.”
But beside the profits these alpacas bring, the time spent out on the ranch is priceless.
“They're wonderful animals, very serene,” Terri said. “We love to just go out there and just sit in the pasture and just watch them.”
The Bates have several events coming up at the ranch. If you would like to plan a visit to see the alpacas or just want some more information about them, click here.