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Rochester alpaca farm open for business despite the cold

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Alpaca

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- A Rochester alpaca farm welcomed dozens of visitors despite the cold in a pop-up event Saturday.

The Pauley Alpaca Company has been around for eight years and until now, only opened during the warmer months.

Owners Brett and Jennifer Pauley said they've always wanted to be open during the winter. And now, their dream has been realized with a new gift shop that's also a warming house. 

"We started to work on finishing off a new gift shop building," owner Brett Pauley said. "And took the extra time we had during the pandemic to restore a 100-year-old wood stove. And that keeps it 80 degrees in their during the coldest winter months."

The farm also has goats, a horse, chickens and rabbits. Pauley says no one gets a free lunch on the farm. Not even the animals.

"Everybody pitches in," Pauley said. "The chickens eat the grain that the alpacas drop and they also eat the wood ticks, and the bugs. The alpacas give us the fiber for clothing and yarn. The goats are clearing the hillside of invasive species for future pasture land. Yeah, Everyone's got a job around here."

Pauley said over the years, visitors from more than 40 countries have visited the farm.

"We just want to be a place where people can have fun and enjoy the animals," Pauley said. "Especially since some people have to come to Rochester for the Mayo Clinic. Maybe we can help make them feel a a little better."

The next pop-up event is Feb. 13. For more information, check out the farm's Facebook page.

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Megan Zemple

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