Barrington farm showcases dozens of alpacas

  • Noah Beatty, 7, of Mundelein, holds a stuffed alpaca toy purchased from the outdoor gift shop during National Alpaca Farm Days Saturday at Safehouse Farm in Barrington.

    Noah Beatty, 7, of Mundelein, holds a stuffed alpaca toy purchased from the outdoor gift shop during National Alpaca Farm Days Saturday at Safehouse Farm in Barrington. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Kelly Horvath of Des Plaines visits with an alpaca during National Alpaca Farm Days Saturday at Safehouse Farm in Barrington.

    Kelly Horvath of Des Plaines visits with an alpaca during National Alpaca Farm Days Saturday at Safehouse Farm in Barrington. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • At 13 weeks old, Annabella is the youngest of 47 alpacas at Safehouse Farm in Barrington.

    At 13 weeks old, Annabella is the youngest of 47 alpacas at Safehouse Farm in Barrington. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Visitors view alpacas Saturday during National Alpaca Farm Days at Safehouse Farm in Barrington.

    Visitors view alpacas Saturday during National Alpaca Farm Days at Safehouse Farm in Barrington. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Safehouse Farm in Barrington is holding a National Alpaca Farm Days event this weekend.

    Safehouse Farm in Barrington is holding a National Alpaca Farm Days event this weekend. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/25/2021 3:21 PM

Visitors got to experience dozens of alpacas up close and touch their soft fleece during an open house-style event Saturday at Safehouse Farm in Barrington.

The working farm has 47 alpacas in 22 natural colors, of which the youngest is 13-week-old Annabella and the oldest is 18 years old, said farm owner Linda McGill.

 

Alpaca fleece mainly is used for garments, such as sweaters.

The farm has a breeding program. McGill said there are three different "levels" of alpaca. "We breed for fineness," she added.

Many of the other farm animals, including horses, sheep and ducks, came from other places because they needed a home, McGill said.

The farm, at 25638 W. Chatham Road, is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday. Visitors can tour the place, watch demonstrations, learn about raising and breeding alpacas, and feel the difference between alpaca fleece and sheep's wool.

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