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Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm
Brenda & Michael Truss
366 Hoags Corners Road
Averill Park, NY 12018
518 766-3913
  Image is being processed by AN AlpacaNation Q&A with Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm
Brenda & Michael Truss   ~   366 Hoags Corners Road, Averill Park, NY 12018   ~   518 766-3913

AlpacaNation:  Tell us about yourself...

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  
My husband Michael is a retired UPS feeder truck driver since January 2004 and enjoys farming alpacas. I am also retired from the corporate world since April 2005 and also enjoying spending time with the animals. We love the business and the people we have met. We plan on staying a small farm with proven genetics. Our children are grown and out of the house but find time to stay on the farm to watch our herd so we can continue to show our animals and not have to worry about the ones left behind. We are family owned and operated.

AlpacaNation:  How long have you been in the alpaca business?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  We have been breeding alpacas since year 2000.

AlpacaNation:  How did you become interested in alpacas?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  We have been breeding pekingese dogs since 1995 and loved animals. We have talked about farming for a while but could not agree on what to farm. One day my husband was watching the discovery channel and saw an AOBA ad. That was it for us. We visited the closest farms in our area and purchased within a year. We already had a barn and 28 acres of land. Our children were living at home from 2000 until 2004 therefore, it was easy to both work full time since our girls also loved the animals. They were both a great help and continue to help when needed. The business has enabled us to both retire and enjoy living in a new world!

AlpacaNation:  How did you decide on your farm name? Is there a special meaning behind the name?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  The brook running though our property is called Magee and I didnt like Magee but it reminded me of my Grandmothers name Maggie. So now it is call Maggie's Brook Farm and I continue to name my animals after my deceased ancestors.

AlpacaNation:  What sets your farm and herd apart from others in the industry?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  All our animals have proven genetics. We are staying small and have hands on animals everyday. We rotate pastures each day and to do so we need to halter to move from one pasture to another. This means as soon as the cria is to heavy to carry we halter train at a month of age. We have found the key to healthy animals is proven genetics and knowing your animal. We sell show quality, proven genetics, hands on friendly animals and very reasonably priced. We have outstanding studs to choose for your free breedings offered in the set package deal. Our customers have become our friends and we offer ongoing support. We love the business and the animals.

AlpacaNation:  What is your greatest achievement or favorite memory since you started raising alpacas?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  I would have to say our greatest achievement was our first Blue Ribbon and Reserve Champion herdsire. It was very exciting and rewarding. However, we have had many achievments and a lot to be greatful for.

AlpacaNation:  What steps did you take to prepare for raising an alpaca herd?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  I would have to say only to clean out our barn and get fencing ready to get our animals home. Being a breeder of dogs I already knew how important bloodlines and health would be for a foundation animal. Also, I had a great vet available to tend to our new herd.

AlpacaNation:  What advice would you give to those just getting started in the industry?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  I would have to say make sure you have a vet available to help you keep your herd healthy. Also, learn as much as you can about the care of your animal(s). If it is just a business investment I would advise you to board your aniaml(s) or agist at an existing alpaca farm.

AlpacaNation:  How do you see your farm and alpaca business growing over the next 5 to 10 years?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  I see us as being a very sucessful small breeder. We will keep our herd under 20 amimals. We will always be true to our customers and offer ongoing support.

AlpacaNation:  What has been your biggest lesson learned in terms of breeding?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  INSURANCE....Yes, insurance is very important. I learned the hard way. After a few sales we purchased through alpacanation. Out of state and was not a good experience. Purchase full mortality until the animal has been on your farm for at least 3 to 6 months then switch to peril insurance.

AlpacaNation:  Describe your first alpaca purchase... would you do anything differently today?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  I had a good experience with my first purchase. Proven genetics produce healthy animals. Your first purchase should be from a local breeder or someone you trust to offer ongoing support.

AlpacaNation:  What has been the most helpful advice you have received from your veterinarian?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  Know your animal! Body score, eating habbits, parasite control, vaccinate properly and clean poo piles at least twice a day. Rotate your pastures.

AlpacaNation:  What unique challenges do you face as a small, mid-size, or larger breeder?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  All breeders have challenges you need to meet them face on and do not bury your head in the sand. Stay informed, breed wisely.

AlpacaNation:  Do you have a favorite Alpaca? Why is it your favorite?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  Yes, we favor all but Alma is unique. She could be an acre away and you call her name and she comes running. She looks at you like she is human. Loves her back rubbed and will let anyone rub it. Just a sweet personality.

AlpacaNation:  How do you see the industry developing as the U.S. market grows rapidly?

Alpacas of Maggie's Brook Farm:  I feel it will continue to grow rapidly because they are not just financially rewarding but they are spiritualy rewarding and a disired way of life. Successful breeders will breed wisely.



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