The sounds of a farm and all that live there getting to work are common place in the Town of Hartford.
At Magic Willows Alpaca Farm all of the animals are under the impression they’re running the show.
“They are entertaining because there just all over the place. I open the door to the store and they walk right in like they belong there,” said Becky McMillan, farm owner.
But only one of the numerous farm animals living on this 14 acre property have their name plastered on the human’s sign: alpacas.
“We looked at goats and they destroy your property we looked at llamas and they were just a little big and a friend had a friend who was selling her alpacas and you take one look at them and you kind of fall in love with them,” said McMillan.
Becky McMillan started her farm with just four alpacas but in a matter of nine quick years, the number has jumped to 40.
“Most people are just really interested in learning about alpacas. It’s not something you see a lot of,” said McMillan.
McMillan frequently gives tours to visitors, filling them in on how alpacas are a bit smaller than llamas, how their fibers are more valued and of course she also unpacks some of alpaca’s tendencies.
“Alpacas are a little like cats so it they want attention they’ll come and get it if they don’t,” said McMillan, who then laughed.
But McMillan also collects the alpacas’ fibers every spring and with much of it she weaves her own creations.
“We use the coarser stuff for rugs and felt and the finer stuff we process and make it into hats and gloves and mittens,” she said.
Her gift shop is stocked with about a third of the product her animals helped produce going to show if you live on the farm, you have to earn your keep.