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Alpacas sitting in a barn at Barron Hill Alpacas in Vermont.

Alpaca Adventures for an Accidental FarmHer

I made it back to Vermont (with much better weather) to visit Lesley Bracker, an accidental FarmHer who has taken on an alpaca adventure with Barron Hill Alpacas. But Lesley didn’t grow up in agriculture, for her it started later in life. Her FarmHer journey started as a young woman caring for Scottish Highland cattle, Jacob sheep, and Percheron horses at an estate. She loved her job and her friends took notice.

Alpaca Love at First Sight

One day, a friend asked her if she could watch her alpacas over the weekend while on vacation. It was love at first sight for Lesley and her alpaca days began.

Alpacas standing in a pen at Barron Hill Alpacas in Vermont.

Fast forward 20 years where her alpaca adventures include raising breeding stock for good homes and shows. At one point she had over 35 head of alpacas and takes great pride in the breeding lines she has created herself.

Now, she keeps her herd under 20 and enjoys them every day.

Downsizing the Herd and an AirBnb

In addition to the smaller herd, she’s added an AirBnb to her farm with several private rooms. She’s welcomed over 900 guests to her farm and hosts exciting activities like alpaca yoga and weddings. The property even has a pool for guests to enjoy!

After visiting about how her love for alpacas began, we started morning chores, a pastime that Lesley loves. Her passion for her animals is evident.

Lesley Bracker of Barron Hill Alpacas doing morning chores on the farm.

Chores on the Alpaca Farm

We immediately fed the patiently waiting alpacas. After that, I had the opportunity to help Lesley perform massage therapy on one of the elder alpacas. Just like us, alpacas are calmed by a nice head massage.

Lesley Bracker giving massage therapy to an older brown alpaca at Barron Hill Alpacas.

Show Ready

Next, Lesley’s friend John arrived at the farm to demonstrate a few pointers on getting alpacas show-ready including nail clipping and halter training. The goal is to halter train them to lead.

Lesley frequently takes her alpacas on walks around the farm and competes at shows. Part of her science in breaking young alpacas is finding where their balance point is and consistently working with the animal calmly. In turn, their trust slowly builds.

Fur Should Fly

When she’s not training alpacas or helping guests around the farm, Lesley started another business, Fur Should Fly, that creates merchandise perfect for animal lovers. She contributes monetarily with funds she makes from the merchandise to rescues and shelters supporting animals in need, improving their lives.

Lesley Bracker of Barron Hill Alpacas standing in a field with multiple alpacas.

First and foremost, Lesley Bracker is an animal lover. From show friends to guests on the farm, Lesley’s favorite thing is finding camaraderie in people who love and respect animals as much as she does. And that will never change.

10 thoughts on “Alpaca Adventures for an Accidental FarmHer

  1. Keep up the GREAT work Lesley! What you do is amazing….and all with so much love! Love you BIG! Mary

  2. I liked this article because I liked learning about the alpacas needs and learning about Lesly. I learned that alpacas like head massages., and I think that is useful because if I ever get an alpaca I should give them a head massage.

  3. I love Alpacas, and i also love that she didn’t even know that she loved Alpacas she just had to baby sit them to really love them.

  4. I liked this because I love animals and respect them. I did not know much about alpacas but I now know quite a bit and now I am excited to learn more. This information is helpful because it tells you what animal love and respect are and how to earn the same thing from the animals.

  5. This article was cool alpaca’s are interesting animals but they are kinda cute. Till now I never knew that there were alpaca shows that is pretty cool.

  6. This is interesting because I didn’t know that much about alpacas, and actually wanted to learn about them. How big is the farm? It sounds fun to stay there!

  7. I really did like this article!! I love how simply that the tasks around the farm were explained, it was really easy to understand. I didn’t actually know that there was such thing as alpaca shows, but considering how many animal shows there are, I’m not sure why I’m surprised! I think it’s also really helpful to share things like this because it helps people understand that although there are a lot of bad people in the world, there are also a lot of amazing ones, like Lesley!

  8. I liked the article because of how she cared and raised the alpacas. Something I learned was that alpacas can be calm and loving when you earn their trust. This is useful information because I learned it is a good thing to earn animals trust.

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