2017-07-20 / News

Down on the farm



Marc and Melissa Worrell of East Coast Alpacas will participate in Maine Open Farm Day. They will be open Saturday, July 22 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. It will be free to visit the farm, located at 21 Clearview Drive in Biddeford, or 65 Mountain Road, to find it with GPS. Alpaca burgers, sausages and tenderloins will be available for purchase. Marc Worrell said meat is a byproduct of alpaca breeding since it is too expensive to feed and care for alpacas after they stop producing quality fiber. See more photos on pages 3 and 4. (Grant McPherson photo) Marc and Melissa Worrell of East Coast Alpacas will participate in Maine Open Farm Day. They will be open Saturday, July 22 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. It will be free to visit the farm, located at 21 Clearview Drive in Biddeford, or 65 Mountain Road, to find it with GPS. Alpaca burgers, sausages and tenderloins will be available for purchase. Marc Worrell said meat is a byproduct of alpaca breeding since it is too expensive to feed and care for alpacas after they stop producing quality fiber. See more photos on pages 3 and 4. (Grant McPherson photo)

Above, while alpacas are typically friendly, they are prone to spitting when they feel uncomfortable. In the background a pregnant alpaca is kept separate from the rest of the group. Pregnant alpacas are considerably less tolerable and do not get along well with other alpacas. An alpaca pregnancy can last between 340 and 360 days. Above right, five baby hybrid German angora rabbits were born on the Worrell farm Thursday, July 13. Melissa Worrell said they combine 20 percent rabbit fiber with 80 percent alpaca, as well as ordering 100 percent alpaca yarn. She said Aroostook Fiber Works picks up fiber from the farm and usually returns with yarn in six weeks, while most other businesses they found can take almost a year. (Grant McPherson photo, courtesy photo) Above, while alpacas are typically friendly, they are prone to spitting when they feel uncomfortable. In the background a pregnant alpaca is kept separate from the rest of the group. Pregnant alpacas are considerably less tolerable and do not get along well with other alpacas. An alpaca pregnancy can last between 340 and 360 days. Above right, five baby hybrid German angora rabbits were born on the Worrell farm Thursday, July 13. Melissa Worrell said they combine 20 percent rabbit fiber with 80 percent alpaca, as well as ordering 100 percent alpaca yarn. She said Aroostook Fiber Works picks up fiber from the farm and usually returns with yarn in six weeks, while most other businesses they found can take almost a year. (Grant McPherson photo, courtesy photo)


The Worrells have 26 alpacas in total. Marc Worrell said at a show this past spring in Massachusetts 11 of his alpacas took home 26 ribbons, 21 of which were either first or second place. He said the shows are a great opportunity to network and establish a reputation as a breeder. Below, Alpacas can only be shaved once a year because of the length of time it takes for their fibers to grow. The Worrells are now in their fourth year of business and hope to be able to start making a profit. Marc Worrell said the length of Alpaca pregnancy combined with fiber growth time makes becoming an alpaca breeder particularly difficult. He said his farm chores are pleasure though, not work. (Grant McPherson photos) The Worrells have 26 alpacas in total. Marc Worrell said at a show this past spring in Massachusetts 11 of his alpacas took home 26 ribbons, 21 of which were either first or second place. He said the shows are a great opportunity to network and establish a reputation as a breeder. Below, Alpacas can only be shaved once a year because of the length of time it takes for their fibers to grow. The Worrells are now in their fourth year of business and hope to be able to start making a profit. Marc Worrell said the length of Alpaca pregnancy combined with fiber growth time makes becoming an alpaca breeder particularly difficult. He said his farm chores are pleasure though, not work. (Grant McPherson photos)

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