Black Woods Farm Alpacas
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Name:          Black Woods Farm Alpacas

                     Scott , Laura, Ridge, Cassidy Osgood

Location:     278 Black Woods Road

                     Cherryfield, Maine  04622

Phone:         207-546-2193



Farm Store Hours:

Thursday, Friday & Saturday 9-3 or by appointment. 

What Makes Black Woods Farm Alpacas

So Unique?

Laura Osgood had taught art at Machias Memorial High School for five years while her husband, Scott, was busy working as a game warden and also serving in the Air National Reserve.  He was often called away for active duty and Laura was looking to find a way to be able to work from home and be available to care for their two children, Ridge and Cassidy.  Laura and Scott exhibited quite a bit of courage when they decided to begin an alpaca farm - something very unique to their area at the time.

Raising alpacas is relatively a new undertaking in the United States.  The first alpacas were not imported into our country until 1984.  There is evidence of domesticated alpacas in the Andean Mountains dating back thousands of years.  The fiber from alpacas which was made into soft, warm clothing was prized by the Andean people during the Incan Empire.  The conquering Spaniards did not value the alpaca and took steps to replace them with Merino sheep.  Their

efforts of completely eradicating alpacas, fortunately, did not prove successful.  Alpacas are valued for their beauty, gentleness, and longevity.

Alpaca breeders in North America are concerned about improving alpaca conformation and fleece production.  Their ever-expanding knowledge of breeding techniques, animal husbandry, and nutritional and medical care is having a positive

effect in the alpaca world. 

Laura and Scott Osgood researched alpacas for quite some time and traveled around the state to visit alpaca farms.  In 2004, they began a commitment to raising alpacas.  That year they bought their first alpaca, two pregnant females, and two geldings.  Laura worked in an ed tech position in the local school system for two years to supplement their income. 

Purchasing alpacas is an expensive venture.  It is

very difficult to import alpacas into the United States so prospective alpaca farmers must turn to alpaca breeders within our country.  A breeding female alpaca is sold for thousands of dollars. Non-stud male alpacas can usually be acquired for much less as they are purchased as pets or fleece providers.

The Osgoods have tried to be as self-sufficient as possible on their farm with raising many of their vegetables and harvesting their own wood.  Their children help with the chores and Laura and Scott installed all the fences for the alpacas. They

attempted shearing the alpacas but feel that a professional shearer has proven less stressful to their animals.  They also have had to rely on the veterinarian assistance of Dr. William Newcomb

out of Perry, Maine, for certain vaccinations and emergencies.

In the beginning years the Osgoods brought their alpacas to various alpaca shows to network with other breeders and to gain more knowledge.  Laura discussed how entering the alpacas in the shows was extremely expensive and much too time consuming. Since they have no family in the area it also proved difficult to leave the farm when there were chores at home and care necessary for the remaining alpacas.

Laura explained that breeding alpacas provides

income for their farm operation.  They have worked to follow responsible breeding practices and to protect the integrity of alpacas. Their animals are part of the American Alpaca Registry and they are dual certified in Canada and the United States.

Breeding a female alpaca becomes a rather lengthy process.  The gestation period of an alpaca is 335 days.  Alpacas generally have only one offspring per year.  They do not go into “heat.”  Ovulation is induced by breeding.

The Osgoods demonstrate a great deal of love

for their animals.  Laura openly admits that their alpacas are “very spoiled.” The names that they give their alpacas are thoughtfully selected and must be approved by the entire family - not always a speedy process!.  Some of the names they have been chosen include Polaris, Clarity, Cappucino, Cloudberry, Lyra-Mia,  Destini, Hershey, Hurricane Girl, Mystic Pearl, Braddock, Master Chief, and Mr. Man.

Because alpacas endure cold better than heat, the Osgoods provide hose baths on extremely hot days.  Their fourteen-year-old daughter, Cassidy, often helps with this task.  Their sixteen-year-old-son, Ridge, also helps when he can.  Laura, who runs the majority of the business because Scott is often away from home, is grateful to her husband, Scott.  She affectionately calls Scott, “the Facility Manager.”

Laura laughed when she relayed the fact that their very first alpaca was born when Scott was not present.  He had taken a neo-natal course so that they would be prepared for the birth.  Laura said that she was once informed that three items were necessary to assist with the birth of an alpaca - a chair, rope, and binoculars.  She explained that the “chair was for sitting, the rope was for tying yourself, and the binoculars was to watch!”

Laura has not missed any of the alpaca births

at their farm.  She explained that it is often difficult

to restrain from helping especially when the young hangs often for quite some time so that fluids can drain from the lungs.  Young alpacas  (crias) normally weigh about fifteen pounds but their newborn alpaca, Polaris, weighed over twenty pounds, and Master Chief weighed twenty-four pounds!

Scott did renovations on their barn and they opened an alpaca farm store in 2006.  In their farm store, a wide variety of alpaca goods is carried.  There is raw fiber, hand-spun yarns, and mill-spun yarns that came from their own alpacas.  Hand-made items in the store include felted soaps, and hand-knit scarves and hats. There are also many items from Peruvian Link, America’s Alpaca, and Red Maple Sportswear.

Additionally, knitting needles, patterns, soaps, and toys are available at the farm store.

Laura navigates to the loft in the farm store whenever she has a spare moment to work with the alpaca fibers.  Each alpaca can produce five to ten pounds of fiber.  Alpacas are sheared once a year.  Shearing begins in May. The loft area and the fiber work that Laura creates there has provided great enjoyment. 

Laura learned a little of the basics of knitting from her grandmother.  She is self-taught with spinning, felting, and more advanced knitting. She credits Mrs. Deborah Belyea, her junior high school art teacher and mentor, as being an inspiration to expand her horizons and try new ventures in life.

The extremely soft fibers of alpacas are hypoallergenic because they do not contain dander or lanolin.  Alpaca fiber is highly thermal and lightweight and will absorb and hold dye without fading or running. The range of colors that alpacas can produce (many shades of white, fawn, grey, black, and brown) is very appealing to fiber artists.  Laura particularly enjoys the fawn fiber of Master Chief that contains silver-grey highlights and a heathered-look.

The fibers on an alpaca vary.  The sides and back of an alpaca yields a blanket fiber.  The neck fiber of an alpaca is long enough to turn into yarn.  Laura uses the neck fiber to make socks because the fiber is more coarse.  Leg fiber is not consistent in length and is coarse so it is often made into rug yarn or felting for the insoles of shoes and slippers.

Black Woods Farm Alpacas is a member of the Maine Alpaca Association.  The mission of the group is to provide support for alpaca breeders, owners, and enthusiasts of Maine through education, camaraderie, and cooperative marketing efforts. 

The Osgoods have welcomed various school groups, teachers, senior citizens, and individuals and families to their farm.  They have provided informational tours and educated their guests about the many misconceptions associated with alpacas.  One of the first aspects that they share with guests is that their animals are alpacas and not llamas!

The Osgoods open their farm store to the public. They are extremely busy individuals and in and out frequently.  Laura has volunteered to be the coach for Narraguagus High School cross country team so it might be best to call to see about when a good time might be to drop in and visit their farm store.

There is always the opportunity to order products

from their farm store online, as well.  You can check it out on their website: 


The AlpacasThe_Alpacas.html
Working with Alpaca FiberWorking_with_Alpaca_Fiber.html
The Alpaca
Farm StoreThe_Alpaca_Store.html
Guardian DogsGuardian_Dogs.html

Scott and Laura Osgood