Alpaca farm will be open to visitors Saturday
BARBOURSVILLE — With the beginning of fall comes the celebration of National Alpaca Farm Day.
To mark the occasion, the Merritt House Alpaca Farm in Barboursville will open its gates to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29.
Families and guests can come see firsthand the day-to-day operations of farm. The event is free and open to the public.
The Merritt House farm, a small, family-run operation, is at 7349 Wildcat Road in Barboursville, just 10 minutes from the Huntington Mall. It is owned and operated by Chip and Julie Merritt, who aspire to breed and raise only the best high-end Huacaya alpacas with the best genetics possible.
The Merritts purchased their 80-acre farm in August 2006 and began clearing brush to restore it to its full potential. Once they restored the farm, they decided to add livestock and make it an actual working farm.
After doing some research, they decided alpacas would be the perfect fit, as they are low maintenance compared to other livestock, and enjoy an average life span of about 20 years — twice as long as sheep and cattle.
According to the Merritts, the upkeep of an alpaca is fairly simple as they only require
being sheared annually and occasional nail trimming.
“We at Merritt House Farm are dedicated to the long term growth of the alpaca livestock and fleece industry,” Chip Merritt said in a news release. “Please come visit our farm.”
For directions to the farm or questions regarding alpacas, call Chip Merritt at 304-633-2533.