Radio Field Trip: Feeding Alpacas in Northwood

By: Rick Ganley & Mary McIntyre
Photo: By Mary McIntyre

Photo Caption: Dawn Tonkin feeds one of her alpacas at her farm in Northwood.

Original content from NHPR.

For our Radio Field Trips series we like to introduce you to New Hampshire places, people… and sometimes animals too. This week, we’re visiting some alpacas.

Dawn Tonkin is introducing me to the herd at her farm in Northwood.

It’s an overcast day, and there’s a bit of leftover snow on the ground. The alpacas’ shaggy fiber has grown out over the winter months.

We enter the pen where a dozen or so alpacas are kept. They immediately surround us happy to see me carrying a bucket. They don’t want to wait for us to distribute the grain.

Dawn has actually always dreamed of having alpacas. She used to attend farm tours where she’d sometimes see the animals.

“I used to go every year and think boy, I wish I had an alpaca,” Dawn says.

She says in 2010, when she was getting close to approaching 50, she had the epiphany that life is short.

That’s when Dawn started Alpaca-Brats Farm. Because yes, sometimes they can be a bit bratty. But she says they are some of the easiest farm animals to keep.

Read the rest of this story, view the photo gallery and listen to the radio clip at NHPR.