Alpaca Open Ranch Days to teach public about alpacas

Every year, Julie and Don Roy open up their Alpacas of the Anza Valley Ranch to the public for a special visit.

This will be the 7th Annual Open Ranch Days, an event that will feature the Roy’s Alpaca herd. It will be the babies of the herd that will be the stars of this year’s event.

The Roy’s story “The Entrepreneurial Path; Alpacas of the Anza Valley” was recently told in Lifestyles Magazine. It explains that Don and Julie do not just raise alpacas but create and live an “Alpaca Lifestyle,” something they love to share.

Alpacas are native to South America. They normally live high up in the Andes mountains grazing on highland pastures and are well suited to the high country of Anza.

Alpacas have become increasingly popular here in the U.S. over the last decade and the Roy family have been a part of that trend. They’ve birthed over 102 babies in the last 10 years while educating, teaching and helping others plan and discover their own “Alpaca Lifestyle.”

Alpacas are primarily raised for their superior fleece, which is popularly known as the “fiber of the gods.” The fibers they produce are extremely soft against the skin, hypo-allergenic, lightweight and very warm.

Alpaca fiber has unique thermal and breathability properties; on warm days it allows moisture to be wicked away, keeping people cool. On cold days, it seals heat in.

Garments made of its fibers, the softest yarn around, are superior in strength and far more durable than if made of wool. In this day and age of ever-increasing allergies, this ancient fiber is becoming a popular substitute for quilt batting over the ever popular polyester and even over cotton types of batting.

Overall, Alpaca fleece is better for the environment and causes less allergic reactions than sheep wool because it does not contain lanolin that requires harsh chemicals in order to process.

This year’s Open Ranch Days will be held on Sept. 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The event will consist of educational tours, spinning demonstrations, live music, fun activities for the kids, photo opportunities and more.

Direction to Open Ranch Days: From Temecula go east toward Warner Springs on Hwy 79 then to Hwy 371 towards Anza. Turn onto Cary Road, and then watch for signs. The address for the event is 52700 Ardwell Dr; it will be located on left-hand side of the road. For additional questions, call (951)-763-4222. Go to the website, for more information and directions.

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