LAWTON, OK (TNN) - This is the time of year that Alpaca owners shear all the fiber off their animals to prepare them for the summer heat. This weekend, Alpacas and their owners from across Oklahoma came to the Dacus farm for their annual trim.
“Well, for the first few years we actually took ours to a farm in Shawnee until we got enough animals in our herd that we just started doing our own animals, and from that it built from the other small ranches coming here to us,” said Galen Dacus.
Galen and Therease Dacus have had their business for about eight years, but they have been raising Alpacas for the past sixteen years.
“My wife, her family raises cattle, but she’s deathly afraid of cattle, and our son had a horse, and she’s deathly afraid of horses," said Galen. "She said, ‘I want to raise something,’ and she saw the Alpacas and she just fell in love with them.”
Then, they decided to open a business sharing their Alpaca products.
“Once you get the animals, then you realize you’ve got to actually have a product, as in the fiber, then you either develop a business or some people give their fiber away because they don’t have a lot of animals," said Galen. "But when you get that many animals, you can actually offer a good product to people that like to spin or those that like to knit and crochet.”
Therease has her own shop on the ranch where she sells products made from Alpaca fiber.
“In our shop we have the Alpaca gloves, scarves, hats, and a lot of Alpaca bears and free standing Alpacas, guinea pigs," said Galen. "All kinds of stuffed animal type products for the kids.”
Galen said their hope is to get more people interested in Alpacas.
“We’re always looking to educate people," said Galen. "So, one on one with people, if people just want to call and talk or ask about them, I can spend an hour with them, two hours with them talking about Alpacas, but we like to have them get out here where they can feel them, touch them, and really get to see what they are.”
Galen said the shearing happens once a year in the spring, but if you missed out on the fun, do not worry. He said you are able to visit the animals year-round, and he would love to introduce you.