At Long Acres Alpaca Farm, we manage a herd of over 100 huacaya alpacas and are involved in every aspect of their care and the farm in general. Sarah oversees the husbandry, breeding, and birthing; feeding; and day-to-day care of the animals. Mike manages the hay farming and pasture maintenance. We have lived almost exclusively in the rural parts of south central Pennsylvania, an area that prides itself in farming and agriculture. Growing up, the FFA was equally as important as the Business or College vocation and much cross learning between vocations took place during our formative years. We have borrowed livestock production models from our neighbors and applied many of those same principles to our alpaca herd. Our medical backgrounds and veterinarian experiences have created an easy transition into learning the uniqueness and similarities of raising and breeding alpacas. We have two invaluable employees — Perry and Kelly — who make operating an alpaca farm possible!
Our approach is to look at our alpaca program in terms of herd production and the development of the Long Acres Alpaca Farm Brand. Our mission is to breed the best quality females and elite males that will produce Champion offspring which are consistent across the herd, regardless of color. We strive to make our breeding decisions as predictable as possible by using numerous scientific measurements for our outcomes. As with most breeding herds in the US, Long Acres Alpaca Farm has embedded top quality genetics, including those from the 90s imports, as well as some of the important genetic crosses as a result of those imports. We maintained a closed herd for approximately 6 years during the years 2008 through 2013 in order to create, improve, and learn from our breeding program as evidenced by our show placements, fiber analysis, and fiber weights. Most recently we’ve been adding a few new to us genetics to continue the improvement within the herd.
Ninety percent of our operation is in the commercial industry and we maintain a 10% interest in the artisan market with our smaller grey alpaca program. We breed for the best fleece possible, recognizing that fiber weight and consistency have infinite endpoints, thus our herd has become lighter in color over the years, yet the herd is well entrenched with black recessive genes. Our desire to create a consistent herd has placed us as one of the first to emerge as a production alpaca herd. With the many changes that are taking place in the US Alpaca Livestock and Industry today, we are poised to take advantage of the exciting hallmarks yet to come.
With Sarah’s merit in mentoring, teaching, and animal husbandry, our business model focuses on the following opportunities for clients:
We believe that before you decide on buying an alpaca from us, you need to have a workable business plan and have a solid foundation in herd management. Selling an alpaca any other way is not doing our job of providing you the tools you need to succeed, whatever path you decide, from fiber animals to gene pool production.
Soon after we started raising alpacas, we realized most people do not know why we raise alpacas. Thus our retail shoppe, Pachallina, was started, which is a boutique that carries any natural (plant or animal) fiber products that is either made in USA or through Fair Trade and which is harvested and manufactured using eco-friendly methods, many of which are also organic. Completing the triangle is our The Guest House of LAAF where you can stay and enjoy the fruits of our labor…oh and labor some yourself! The Guest House offers patrons the opportunity to learn about rural living, explore their inner artistic desires through classes, and shop for memories to take home.
Mike and Sarah Donahoe
Sarah Donahoe and Michael Donahoe
phone (717) 491-0036