Alpacas are members of the Camelid family and are found indigenously in South America. Alpaca husbandry is centuries old in Bolivia, Chile and Peru, but new to the United States since 1984 when they were first imported to North America.
Alpacas are partial ruminants. They have three stomach compartments, chew cud and efficiently convert grass and hay into energy. They live 15 to 25 years, are approximately three feet tall at the withers and on average weigh about 150 pounds.
There are two breeds of alpacas which are differentiated by their fleece. Huacayas have fluffy, crimpy fiber. Suris have straight fiber that hangs down in long locks.
Alpacas are intelligent, gentle, curious creatures. They are relatively self-sufficient and hardy. Income can be earned on alpacas without killing them. They produce an "annual crop" of fleece (an average of eight pounds per animal) which is sold by the ounce. Alpaca fleece is considered a specialty fiber in the fashion world. It is more luxurious than cashmere, extremely light and warm due to its thermal nature, very resilient and incredibly fine to touch. Alpacas provide attractive investment potential and financial tax advantages.
To read more, click here.
We currently have 44 alpacas on our farm, with 15 crias due to arrive next summer!
We have package deals available if you're ready to start your own herd! Pricing depends on multiple variables, including lineage, age, conformation, fleece quality, and breeding/birthing experience. We have deals for every budget.
Click here to see our animals for sale at openherd.com.
We are members of AOA.
Located just 10 minutes north of Moscow, Idaho, we are nestled in the rolling hills of the Palouse.
"Discovered in 1805 by Lewis and Clark, the Palouse is a geologic wonder unlike any other area. Mesmerizing beauty and a sweeping landscape of rolling hills and plateaus greet visitors to this distinctive region north of the Snake River in Southeast Washington and North Central Idaho. This is the place simply to drive leisurely along and gently curving highways, sprinkled with antique shops and wineries, with easy access to hiking and biking and above all, photography. If you ever needed to stop the world and relax, this is the place for it. This land was originally occupied by the nomadic Palus tribe, renowned as expert equestrians. It is generally thought that French-Canadian fur traders converted the name of the tribe to the more familiar French word pelouse, which means "land with short thick grass." The area has since become known for growing wheat and legumes and is home to small towns with a rich history and charm. Pullman, Washington and Moscow, Idaho are the main hub communities. Settlers came to the area in 1871, for the abundant grassland and available timber for building.
The rolling hills of the Palouse offer a unique agricultural experience for local farmers. In the spring, the loess hills are bright green and speckled with an array of beautiful wildflowers. Before harvest in the fall, the hills are brushed with the golden colors of ripe crops, and some fields are filled with bright yellow canola. Area crops include wheat, barley, peas, lentils, chickpeas, garbanzo beans, and canola. Peas, lentils and chickpeas have been grown on the Palouse for over 100 years, generally as rotation crops with wheat. Farmers appreciate the special nitrogen-fixing properties of these three crops, whose roots gathenitrogen from the air and fix it into the soil surrounding the roots. This natural process helps reduce the farmers' dependence on commercial fertilizers, and this nitrogen benefit remains even after harvest, giving a boost to the wheat crop that is planted on that same field in the next season." - Moscow Chamber of Commerce
It began in 1993, when alpacas were featured on the Today Show. Joyce Gray had to have one. One turned into ten, and today we are almost to fifty! We were the second alpaca farm in Idaho. Now there are many farms scattered throughout the state and even more dot the other 49 states.
Joyce Gray was my "Nana" (grandmother) and she had the vision to make this farm something amazing and different. She convinced my parents, Paul and Connie, to also become alpaca farmers and join in the adventure about a year later. I was just 7 years old when Nana bought the first one, Remy. I was hooked on these adorable critters and still am today.
Nana had a passion for these animals that she instilled in me. My childhood consisted of trips to the Veterinarian , priceless moments spent with my grandparents, roadtrips to regional shows, help running our Country Store, halter-training alpacas, and lots of poop scooping. It was perfect.
In 2002, my world changed. Nana passed away from brain cancer. We downsized our herd, closed the store, and life changed dramatically. I grew up, got married, and moved away.
My Papa got remarried to a sweet lady, Karil, about a year after my Nana has passed. They managed to get the farm back up and running again, but I didn't live close by, and I missed the farm. I now had kids and wanted them to experience the same childhood that I had had.
A joke was made by me, in July 2015, that we should buy Papa and Karil out and let them "retire". The joke became reality later that year, and Grazing Hills Alpacas is now our life and a dream come true!
The grand vision is still there to have a farm that is different and unique. So, we launched our B&B in February 2016, opened our store in April 2018, and now plan to build an Event Center Venue next.
We are glad you found us! - Katie
We are Cory, Katie, Raina, Janelie, Eleana, Angelina, Brynn and Cora DeWinkle.
Welcome to our adventure!
We offer Farm Tours, if our hours don't work for you.
We ask $5/person and accept additional donations.
We love giving farm tours and sharing our story and love for alpacas.
1042 Four Mile Rd, Viola, ID 83872, US
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We are looking to build an outdoor event center in order to host monthly classes and yearly events (Fiber Festival, Alpaca Days, etc).
The weather in Northern Idaho can be so unpredictable and this would be SUCH a blessing to our farm! Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve our facilities. Your generous donation will fund our mission!