Llamas come to Island Alpaca


Island Alpaca just recently added two gentle and mild-mannered llamas from Pennsylvania to their herd, according to a press release. The public is encouraged to stop by, meet the new llamas, and take some photos. The farm will ask for input from the public as to what the white llama will be named.

It was smooth sailing for the llamas, and are already making themselves comfortable in their new home on the Vineyard. Taylor Hughes, Island Alpaca’s barn manager, said the new white llama is just under one year old, and will be a future guard llama for the farm once she gets older. Once the other llama, an adult llama named Poppy, gets comfortable with her new surroundings, she will eventually become the dominant matriarch of the herd.

These newest herd members will also add to the educational component of the farm. “They will help support the farm’s ongoing initiative to keep the public well informed about the differences in the many camelid species,” Hughes said in the press release.

Barbara Ronchetti, farm owner, said in the press release that according to the United States Agricultural Census, the llama population is declining. She added llama numbers in the country have decreased from nearly 145,000 llamas in 2022, to fewer than 40,000 in 2017. “Unlike alpaca, llamas are best known for packing or carrying things or trekking with them, and most importantly known for their ability to guard livestock from predators — likely their most beneficial use today in North America,” Ronchetti said. Ronchetti added that she plans on breeding the llamas in 2024.

Island Alpaca Farm is located at 1 Head of the Pond Road in Oak Bluffs, 508-693-5554. Visit islandalpaca.com.