The California Alpaca Breeders Association. Since 1989. Affiliate Member of AOA

— The Calpaca Team

Alpacas All Around

Life is good with Alpacas All Around

Susan and Tom Petersen
4300 Hansen RoadLoomis, CA 95650
916-660-1918
916-705-3065
Fax: 916-660-1918
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The kids are gone, the house is too big, and we want a change! Does this sound like you? Let me add to this if I have yet to describe you. We each have Graduate Degrees, Sue as a Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Professor, and, me (Tom) as a Hospital Administrator. We have been in health care for 30+ years and I am no longer excited by long hours, corporate intrigue and a great income (pre-tax), and she is no longer enamored with early morning clinics, late night paper reviews, and income that is not commensurate with her commitment. Sounding familiar? Sound like you? Read on.

In October of 2004 after considerable research, visiting alpaca ranches, attending alpaca business seminars and drafting business plans, we purchased two maiden females and in November we purchased two pregnant maidens— we're in the business! Well sort of, we next had to find a place to put them! Sue has always had the better eye for the potential of a property and after having looked at literally dozens of properties, she convinced me that she had found the perfect place: 4300 Hansen Road in Loomis CA.

We bought it and in January of '05 moved in to the future home of "Alpacas All Around." The first order of business was to design the farm layout: how should the paddocks be oriented, what kind of shelter would we need, where should the shelter be sited, how would we move the alpacas from one paddock to the other with minimal effort? After dozens of drawings we came up with a plan that appeared to meet all of our needs—now finding someone to build it. That person was Lyndon Short. Lyndon is a master builder, familiar with farm systems for sheep and cattle, and very patient—perfect for two novice alpaca farmers.

We explained to Lyndon that key for us was ease of animal movement and animal separation. Lyndon took our simple plans and turned them into something that we believe is unique and perfect for us. A 40 x 60 pole barn structure, fully enclosed on three sides, with a four foot high wall on the remaining (West) side, with loafing areas on three sides. The barn has an office/vet room, hay and grain storage, 6 pens and the ability to move animals from one end to the next by simply opening and closing gates. We also designed a weighing station between two of the pens to make routine weighing easier. A months later, the barn is complete, and we have 11 paddocks.

It is now 2011 - our neighbors have been kind enough to let us expand our rear pasture area - so now we have 12 paddocks and over 40 animals. We have been fortunate to have health animals. The alpaca business has been very good to us - and it can be that war for you also.

What have we learned? We should have done this years ago! Yes, it has been hard work, but it has been rewarding work. We enjoy the lifestyle, and we have met many wonderful people who share in our passion for producing quality animals. Curious, do some research, visit a ranch, call or visit us! Take that first step to a new and differe


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