Do you know the difference between a llama and an alpaca? Taking the tour at Old Mill Alpaca Farms is a good way to find out. Held every day at noon and 2pm, tour-goers are invited to take an alpaca on a walk through the grounds, where you’ll get to meet the multicoloured, fluffy and sweet-natured members of this prize-winning alpaca herd. Owner Amy Kung-Oliver quickly makes you feel like a member of the family, referring to all of the animals by their names and elucidating the mysteries of alpaca farming. “This one likes to kiss,” she tells my tour group, bending her cheek down to one of the soft downy muzzles.

Walking through the farm, you can really feel the love the team at Old Mill brings to tending the animals. Beginning just eight years ago with a herd of six, Old Mill Alpacas has blossomed into a busy operation that strives to educate the local community and beyond about their namesake. Alpacas are sheared just once per year, but their fleece is so prolific that Amy enlists the help of local knitters to create the socks, hats and scarves that are sold in the farm’s store. You can also purchase felted soaps, toys and incredibly soft yarns.

Throughout the year, Old Mill Alpacas puts on a number of different events, including the upcoming “Honey, I Shrunk The Alpacas,” the annual shearing that Amy assured me was not to be missed. They also offer you a chance to try on the life of an alpaca farmer, as throughout the summer, guests are invited to spend the day shadowing the crew and learning how to take care of the animals. Visit the farm’s website for more information.

And if you’re still wondering about how alpacas differ from llamas, according to the people who lovingly tend the herd of more than 80 animals at this beautiful location—“Alpacas are better in every way.”

Old Mill Alpacas
13557 County 2 Rd.
Colborne, Ont.