The local alpaca farm and fiber factory is a haven for animals

POPLAR GROVE, Ill. (WIFR) – County fair season is in full swing, and a Poplar Grove family is making the rounds. However, they do not bring cows or pigs to fairs, but alpacas. As you pass Alpaca Pines Farm and Fiber Mill, owned by Vicki Donley and her family, you may notice a few animals. The operation is much larger than initially seen. The Donleys started with 2 alpacas in 2011. They have 34 today, as well as a llama and four sheep.

“I really wanted a horse, but my husband said, hey, how about those alpacas? We adopted these two alpacas, and that started the journey,” Vicki explained. “I fell in love with the animal and its temperament.”

Much of Donley’s farm is a full fiber factory, where they process alpaca fiber from all over the country. The farmers send in their bags of it and Vicki turns it into gold, more or less. She returns yarn and other products.

“Having alpacas leads into the world of fiber arts, so knitting, crocheting, spinning and felting. Their fiber is just amazing,” Vicki said. she says that was not the intention when they adopted these two original alpacas.

“It was definitely a by-product of it. I learned to knit in Girl Scouts when I was young, but never kept up.

Donley’s 13-year-old son Christopher helps on the farm. He is the junior president of his 4H group, aptly named “Fiber Frenzy”. I asked him how people react when they find out the number of animals in his garden. He laughed, “People are like a sacred cow, that’s a lot of alpacas! More than I could handle. You just need time. It’s really time consuming. »

It’s what the Donleys do every day for their alpacas and all the other animals that come to Alpaca Pines.

“I would say our farm is kind of like a safe haven for animals. I’m happy with how things turned out. I never imagined growing into what he has become.

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