Arizona Alpacas’ fleece makes great yarn

Noreen Vaughan with one of her alpacas. (Diane DeHamer/Courtesy)

Noreen Vaughan with one of her alpacas. (Diane DeHamer/Courtesy)

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Alpacas (Diane DeHamer/For the Review)

Alpacas are becoming a very popular animal to raise in Arizona.

Noreen Vaughan, owner of Arizona Alpacas located in Paulden, has been raising Alpacas since 1993.

“I first saw Alpacas on the ‘Good Morning America’ show and they looked like the type of livestock I could handle. I also wanted to raise Alpacas, as I am not allergic to them, because I am allergic to all other animal fibers. I now have 30 Alpacas. I raise them, sell them, breed them and I sell their fleece and finished products (vests, scarves, caps and sweaters), which I knit and crochet from their fleece that I spun into yarn myself,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan is a native Arizonan and comes from a family and ancestors who were cattle raisers, so raising Alpacas is second nature to her.

“Alpacas are my passion.

I enjoy raising Alpacas because I love their personalities that are distinct in each one, and because they are a gentle, loving animal. Also I just fell in love with their big brown Bambi eyes,” Vaughan said, smiling.

“The most exciting time for me is when the babies are being born, because you never know what color they are going to be. But I also enjoy the shearing because I get to see the beauty and brightness of their fleece. Alpacas come in eight solid colors and a variable of up to 300 colors. Their raw, clean fleece averages about $2 to $4 an ounce, and the Alpacas range in price from $500 for a pet, and well up into the $1,000’s depending on their quality and color,” she added.

Vaughan explained how when she first started raising Alpacas she was the only Alpaca breeder in the state. Now there are three dozen breeders and over 300 Alpacas in Arizona.

“I have always aspired to selling top-quality fleece and animals. My goal is to breed the very best healthy, sound, fleece-producing Alpacas,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan also takes her Alpacas to schools and libraries to educate children about the animals and she does tours of her farm by appointment only.

To contact Arizona Alpacas call 928-775-3380, or email alpacamomaz@gmail.com.