ALPACANATION - The Original Online Alpaca Marketplace

The Original
Online Alpaca Marketplace
Big Hat Ranch,LLC
Big Hat -No Cattle
Cass & Old Dog Galloway
20531 Hwy.131
P.O. Box 255
McCoy, CO 80463
  AlpacaNation Q&A with Big Hat Ranch,LLC
Cass & Old Dog Galloway   ~   20531 Hwy.131, P.O. Box 255, McCoy, CO 80463   ~   970-653-4484

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

Big Hat Ranch,LLC:   Being a teacher I feel that I have a special knack for "listening" to my animals and my customers. I find that some of the most important questions to answer are the ones not asked. I think that people too often feel that they are asking a silly question and then they leave unsatisfied. These animals are so easy to fall in love with we should all ask anything and know all we can to be good stewards to these unique and tender animals.
After only 5 years in the business we are competing amazingly well on a national level with ranches and farms 20 times our size- they take take their top 1% to a show I take my top 20%. Do the math.
We are also located in God's most beautiful place- clear mountain streams, cool summer evenings, custom grown hay, large green pastures to promote great long bone development and a front porch to watch pronking crias from. And our wonderful neighbors The Goodwins of Painted Sky Ranch to share alpaca births with.

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

Big Hat Ranch,LLC:   Walking out the front door heading for church and there's my first cria heading out also. I never tire of seeing each new baby, sharing the news with everyone. We thank God every day that we're this lucky and get to be around these animals. It's just the best and the ribbons are really extra!

AlpacaNation:  Tell us about yourself...

Big Hat Ranch,LLC:   16 years ago while serving on the Minturn Town Council Old Dog Galloway and I met, fell in love, and bought a ranch in northern Eagle County in the Rockies. Such a beautiful piece of property deserved good if not great stewardship- with a stream running through it, thermal features and abundant wildlife, we had to do something special. So, for 10 years we raised elk, a fabulous livestock alternative. When the State of Colorado decided to make that impossible we chose alpacas and have been happy about the decision ever since!
When we first bought the ranch Old Dog owned and operated a bed and breakfast in Minturn. And to this day I still work 40 hours + per week running a preschool in Minturn which is 45 minutes away. We still have the Eagle River Inn and it rents on a group basis. I also take animals and AFCNA goods to The Minturn Farmer's Market once a month and I'm ready to play with alpacas on a more full-time basis. I consider myself so lucky to have 2 perfect jobs.

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

Big Hat Ranch,LLC:   I started looking into alpacas when the elk industry started to become like a bad big brother senario with both the Colorado Dept. of Ag and the Division of Wildlife treating us like criminals. Alpacas were the perfect solution and I would venture that they are the perfect solution to many!! So with the help of Cindy Fronk, Carol Collins and many other wonderful breeders we bough our first animals from Neversummer Alpacas in 2003 (the same year we got married) HMMMMMMM

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

Big Hat Ranch,LLC:  Big Hat No Cattle-- a Randy Newman song

AlpacaNation:  How did you become interested in alpacas?

Big Hat Ranch,LLC:   I've been a fiber enthusiast as long as I can remember and the people who had the first elk we bought raised alpacas.

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

Big Hat Ranch,LLC:   6 Peruvian A la Mode-- I watched her offspring in Alpacanation and Stargazer's website and bought her the day she went on the market. She is the grand-dam!!
And Neversummer's Ikat- she's got spots- if she was born in Peru they woulda put her in the stew, but lucky for her she was born in Colorado and is the most stunning girl ever and each and every one of her offspring at The Big Hat have won a blue ribbon (or are on their way to one!!)



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