Northeast Kansas area couple discusses the ups and downs of raising alpacas

The Topeka Capital-Journal       
By: Savanna Maue
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture  
Original content from The Topeka Capital-Journal.  

Pulling onto the rocked road of Coal Creek Farms, it’s not uncommon to see chickens running near the barn, a grandchild racing to or from the horse stables, or even a curious alpaca tied to a nearby tree to graze.

For about 17 years, Rick and Vickie Andrews have owned their small family farm, but the variety of livestock was never originally part of the plan.

“My husband and I grew up on farms, and most of our married life we either lived on a farm or in the country,” Vickie said. “At the time, we had three grown children who said they would like to move to the country eventually, so we bought the property with the idea that we would all build on it, but that never came to pass.”

Beginning as a horse-boarding facility, Vickie said they still have clients who house horses on the land, but they’re no longer the focus of the farm. There’s now a handful of cows, some pigs, chickens, sheep, a ram and, about seven years ago, the Andrews brought alpacas into the mix. Since then, they say there’s never been a dull day.

Read the rest of this story and view the photo gallery at The Topeka Capital-Journal.