The best thing about living in Dallas metro is that you can be in the city with all the high rise buildings and other luxuries and also escape into the country within minutes. Visiting family owned farms is one of the things we really enjoy doing with the kids. Dallas has plenty farms that give you opportunities to interact with the farm animals. This Alpaca farm goes an extra mile into giving you a great experience with their private tours and showing how they process Alpaca fibers.
Urban Alpacas Ranch is located in Royse City, Texas, about 40 minutes from Dallas downtown, owned by Kathy Senase. Kathy gives private tours where she explains all the fun facts about her Alpacas and you also get to feed them. And of course, Alpacas make for a great photo op! She then takes you along the fiber process and how she makes beautiful Alpaca fiber products. With the limited resources a small business operates with, Kathy's Alpaca farm is not very known but it is a hidden gem with the best personal experience you can get with Alpacas.
Kathy has owned this farm for 9 years. "One of my best friends had Alpacas first and I fell in love with them. My husband and I fell in love with the fiber arts part of owning Alpacas. As soon as our last kid moved out, we put the house on the market and moved to the country," Kathy told NewsBreak.
They offer private farm tours that you can book by appointment, Alpaca- grams where they bring an Alpaca to your location for 15 minutes, starter herds and products made from their Alpacas' fiber.
"We also offer visits for larger groups like Girl Scouts, Mother’s Day Out groups, Home School Groups. We have even had a Bachelorette visit, which was a blast! We offer lessons on making felted soap, dryer balls, and designing our own felted scarves and we also sell them at the farm. We also keep our shearing day open for visits and volunteering which is a great learning opportunity for kids and adults alike," Kathy added.
"We offer farm tours by appointment only that ensures private tours for visiting families and better experiences. The cost is $30 for the first two and then $10 per person. Children under 5 are free. The tours last 45 minutes and includes feeding and touching the Alpacas, learning cool Alpaca facts, taking as many pictures as you’d like, learning how we process the fiber and learning what we make at with the fiber. The tour ends in our farm store where you have an opportunity to purchase some beautiful Alpaca products. We can customize the tour to fit the visitor's needs. Our farm also has 21 free range chickens and two barn cats. Visitors are welcome to hold our chickens and we usually have extra farm eggs that we share," Kathy said.
Urban Alpacas Ranch currently has two pregnant Alpacas. "We own Huacaya Alpacas and the other type is Suri Alpacas. We breed our girls either in the spring or fall, the two coolest times of the year. Alpacas are pregnant between 11-12 months so this allows the birth to be during the coolest months," Kathy told NewsBreak.
We enjoyed feeding her pregnant Alpaca who barely gave anyone else any chance to feed, much like a hungry pregnant mom!
Alpacas love winters. Kathy's farm is covered with trees that makes a canopy and has many covered shelters to help her Alpacas escape Texas heat. "We shear once a year at the end of March. This allows them to have the least amount of fiber on their bodies during the hottest months. I process their fiber, which includes washing, dyeing, running it through a carder and producing batts and roving. From there I can spin it into yarn or use it for making felted scarves or felted dryer balls. With the yarn I can knit or crochet hats, scarves or gloves. I also have a peg loom and can make rugs," Kathy told NewsBreak.
I bought dryer balls from her without any color dyes made raw from her Alpaca fiber and also her Alpaca fiber scarf. They are both of great quality and I love that they are organic. I trust the dryer balls with my kids' clothes as well while we have never used any dryer sheets with their clothes.
"We are just far enough out of the city to have that wonderful, relaxing country vibe. Our biggest challenge is advertising and letting everyone know that we are here and that we’d love to share our farm animals and the fiber process with you," Kathy spoke on the many challenges small businesses face.
We loved our visit to the Urban Alpacas Ranch and Kathy was a very welcoming host. The best thing about visiting a family owned small business farm is that you feel the warmth of being at home. The private tour gave us a lot of time to spend with the Alpacas and learn the fiber processing from Kathy.
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