NORWAY, Mich. (WJMN) – In Norway, you don’t find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you find alpacas.
Rainbow’s End Alpacas owners, Mary Lynn and David Verley, are often asked why they chose alpacas for their farm 16 years ago.
“We had five acres here that we really weren’t doing anything with, and my husband came to me one day and said ‘I think I would like to raise something back there,” said Mary Lynn. “And I said, ‘Fine with me, I love animals.’ I believe through divine guidance that I became really aware of alpacas at our fair that year. And so we started doing a lot of research and decided that was the route we wanted to go.”
People from all over the world come to Rainbow’s End to see these special animals all year round. If you visit in the summer, you’ll more than likely see the alpacas enjoying a day by the pool.
“They’re a very gentle animal. They come from the camelid family, and the llama is their cousin and people often mistake them,” Verley explained. “They don’t know if they’re the same thing. But, they’re not quite the same. Llama is a much bigger animal. Alpacas are only about 150-180 pounds, and they’re soley here on this planet for their beautiful fiber.”
The Verleys shear their alpacas once a year and have their fiber spun into natural yarn. And if you fall in love with one of the animals, there’s a good chance you can find a skein of their yarn sold at the Rainbow Gift Shop.
“Alpaca’s about five times warmer than wool and it also wicks about that much better. So, especially in our area, it’s just an ideal fiber.”
After nearly two decades of success, the Verleys are looking to retire soon and to sell the farm to someone who will keep the business open and who will love the animals as much as they do.
“First, I would say that we are truly blessed. You know, nothing like this comes without a lot of work but it’s definitely a great reward when we have people just fall in love with our place. And often, they want to come back every year when they come through this area,” said Verley.
Below is the full statement from the Verleys on their retirement.
Rainbow’s End Alpacas and Rainbow Gift Shop will continue to stay open as the Verleys find new owners. Its operating hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.