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Hometown Farmer - Itzan Alpaca Ranch

Most farms have your basic animals, like chickens and roosters.

But very seldom do you see the face of an alpaca.

That's the main animal that you find at Itzan Alpaca Ranch.

You may be asking, as I did when I first visited the ranch, what on earth does Itzan mean?

"A lot of people don't understand it and so you have to take the time and explain it, it...is an... Apalca Ranch," Kirstin Winston, one of the ranchers at Itzan, said. "They just have a sense of humor."

And you can see that when talking with Kirstin's Mom, Marianne Treese who moved out to Iowa after raising 6 kids and she and her husband wanted something new to do in their life.

"We had heard about alpacas so we decided to purchase a few," Treese said.

Itzan Alpaca Ranch started back around 2008 with just a three alpacas. But in the span of about 8 to almost 9 years, it's grown to 22 of them in this one location.

And there are a couple pieces of information Treese shared to help you better learn the life of a llama, mainly what's the difference between a llama and an alpaca?

"Chuihaha or Great Dane?" Treese compared. "You have Alpaca, Llama, Camel."

They're perfect for winter too.

The fiber they produce is seven times warmer than lamb's whool.

"You'll find people who say 'I'm not going to spend 25 dollars on a pair of socks,'" Treese said. "They're given alpaca socks for Christmas? I'll tell you what, Dad goes out and buys socks for all his boys when they go hunting."

But Treese says they're more than just a money maker for the ranch.

"Now they're basically glorified pets," she said.

And that's alright by her and Winston.

"I love animals and one thing that's nice," Treese mentioned, "ten alpacas will eat what one horse eats. They're just very easy to take care of."

"And it's very peaceful," Winston said. "They're great animals."

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