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Adorable Alpacas! Why You Should Spend an Afternoon at Mistletoe Farm Tennessee!

6 min read
Adorable Alpacas! Why You Should Spend an Afternoon at Mistletoe Farm Tennessee!

Nestled in the countryside near Franklin, Tennessee, Mistletoe Farm boasts an adorable collection of alpacas. Their irresistible charm lies in their fluffy coats and endearing overbites.

Whether you’re happy browsing through pictures or ready to visit the farm, these alpacas are ridiculously adorable! Managed by the knowledgeable Leanne and Tom Butchko, Mistletoe Farm offers more than just cuteness—it’s an opportunity to learn. Get ready to uncover eleven essential alpaca-related questions that’ll add an extra layer of fun to your visit!

Where Do Alpacas Come From?

White Alpaca with offspring, South American mammal
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Alpacas are native to South America. Particularly high in the Andes of Southern Peru, Western Bolivia, Ecuador, and Northern Chile. All alpaca are domestic, but they are descendants of the wild vicuña, a South American cousin of the camel.

What’s the Difference Between Alpacas and Llamas?

Group of Mistletoe-Farms-Alpacas
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

We don’t want no llama-drama, we’ll point out that llamas are not alpaca. Yes, they are both domestic animals, but llamas are larger and used as pack animals. In contrast, alpacas are smaller and primarily used for their coats. Llamas are descendants of the wild camelid guanaco. Alpacas, llamas, and their wild cousins vicuñas and guanacos can still interbreed. It wasn’t until genetic tracing in 2001 that alpacas were reclassified from the guanco line to the vicuña line.

Are There Different Breeds of Alpaca?

Small group of Mistletoe-Farms-Alpacas
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Alpacas breeds are either Suri and Huacaya, based more on their coats than scientific classification. Huacuaya is the most prevalent breed, with thick fluffy coats suitable for living high in the Andes. When you picture an alpaca in your mind, it’s probably a Huacaya, with fluffy, full hair. In contrast, a Suri Alpaca has fat, flowing locks. Mistletoe Farm only has Huacaya bloodlines.

How Many Colors Do Alpaca Come In?

Black and white alpaca at Mistletoe Farms
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

You’ve probably heard that Eskimos have 50 words for snow. Well, there are over 52 colors of alpaca in Peru. Of course, alpaca is central to Peruvian culture and history, like snow is to Eskimos. So much so that alpacas were considered a gift from the gods in Peru. You might even say alpacas are as important to the native Peruvians as snow is to Eskimos. As for the rest of the world, Australia has 12 classified colors, and the United States has 16.

Do Alpacas Produce Wool?

Two alpacas at Mistletoe Farms
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

The Wool Products Labeling Act of 1939 is a federal law requiring persons manufacturing or selling wool products to accurately label each item. Under the Act, ‘wool’ means “the fiber from the fleece of the sheep or lamb or hair of the Angora or Cashmere goat.” [15 USCS § 68] So, you better not call the hair of alpaca wool, or the sheep mafia will get all up in your grill. The industry term is fiber.

What’s Special About Alpaca Fiber?

Happy alpaca at Mistletoe Farms
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Unlike wool, alpaca fiber has no lanolin. It is warmer, softer, and virtually hypoallergenic. A single alpaca can generate five to ten pounds of fiber, usually during spring shearing. The small folds in alpaca fiber determine its quality. Typically, the crimpier the fiber, the higher the quality.

What Kinds of Fiber Products Can You Get at Mistletoe Farm Alpacas?

Mistletoe Farms Products
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

We loved the cute miniature felted alpacas, and the shoe inserts seemed incredibly functional. They even had drier balls and yarn balls too. However, the scarves, hats, and headbands stole the show. We had to take one home with us. What’s even cuter still is that Leanne knew which animal it came from and how she dyed the fiber from plants in her flower garden. Most of these products are from the farm’s own animals and sent to a custom textile house for knitting.

Are Alpaca Clean Animals?

Mistletoe Farms Alpaca
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Alpacas might be the cleanest animals in the barnyard. Their fiber naturally repels dirt, so they are always cute and pettable. Not only do they not smell, but they also use a specific part of the pasture for a communal bathroom. It’s like they come litter box trained.

Are Alpaca Friendly?

Mistletoe Farms silly Alpaca
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

We could tell the difference between alpaca born at the farm and those they acquired later in life. The farm alpacas loved to be petted, especially the female alpacas in the morning. The alpacas they brought to the farm weren’t mean or aggressive, but they were a bit shy. The male alpacas were kept in a different pen, and depending on the group and the day, they might not be part of the visit. The staff did a great job making sure the visit was safe and age-appropriate.

Where is Mistletoe Farms?

Mistletoe Farms Alpaca looking out
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

The farm is located in middle Tennessee with easy access from I-840 or I-65. It is 18 miles south of Nashville and 10 miles east of Franklin. It’s the perfect add-on to a weekend getaway to Franklin and just around the corner from Arrington Vineyards. The address is 4212 Crowder Road, Franklin, Tennessee 37064.

Normally, you can visit May to December, weekends from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. If they are booked on the day or time you prefer, call to join the standby list in case of cancellations! You book through the booking link on the Mistletoe Farm Alpacas website. If you can’t make it to Franklin Tennessee to meet the alpaca crew in person, their Instagram al-pac’s a punch of legit ridiculous cuteness!

Pro-Tip – If you want to play with an alpaca in person, be sure to book early, they book out months in advance!!

Alpac-ing Up This Article About Adorable Alpacas

Mistletoe Farms Alpaca on the move
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Was this article written just so we could post stupid cute alpaca pictures? Maybe. But is there anything wrong with that?

We hope that you get a chance to visit with alpaca, take a few pictures, maybe buy a hat, and make some good friends with good folks. Thanks for following along, and we hope you learned a thing or two about the adorable alpaca along the way!

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