"...where we're NUTS about our Alpacas!" is a byline that tells you about
our passion, not our state of mind as we go about
building what we believe to be
a fine model of a vibrant Alpaca ranch.
Where it all began...
The country dream began in 1985 when Charles & Debbie made a down payment on
the land now know to us as Aubrey Oaks. We
had lived in the city all of
our lives, but Debbie's parents had always owned land in the country. And
that dream became ours when Debbie's father passed. Everyone knew him as
Dick, but his given name was Aubrey Jr. Darden. A small inheritance from
his estate provided that initial down payment, and our dream of living in the
country began a long pathway with a number of detours. But we
it when we began planning our dream home in early 2000. The foundation was
poured in August of 2001, and we finally moved into our new home in March of
2002. Our homestead was named Aubrey Oaks to honor Dick's longstanding
desire to live in
the country along with the magnificent native Post & Black
Jack oaks that dot our pasture.
Our Alpaca dream began in February of 2009 when Debbie read a newspaper
article about an Alpaca ranch in North Central Texas,
and the people that raised
these magical creatures. We knew that we couldn't raise cattle on such
small acreage, nor were we
horse people. After all, we're from the city
with little prior experience with livestock. So the Alpaca story began to
Debbie's heart while the fire blazed beneath our home's mantle on that
cold February Sunday. We did our due diligence and
investigated the Alpaca
industry, finding out that it fit our desire for not only a lifestyle, but also
for the resources we already had
in place. After doing all that we could
here at our country home which would become our ranch, it was time to call,
analyze the endeavors of other successful Alpaca ranchers.
We're smallish as ranches go—just over 6 acres of rolling terrain that is
dotted with just enough trees to provide shade, and enough native pasture
for the light grazing of these gentle creatures. After visiting a number of
ranches, researching the internet and books on the subject, we put our
dreams to the test by planning our initial animal pens & sheds.
All the while, we were looking at available Alpacas. It's not like
going to Home Depot and buying a package of seeds to plant a victory garden.
After all. we didn't have money to burn. We considered our situation
and determined the best way to finance our endeavor with careful, cautious
steps. It took planning, wisdom, and a fair amount of God's providence
to make our initial herd selections.
We determined that we would invest in four, no—make that six Alpacas the
first year, so that our ranch would have the ability to quickly grow and
provide us both enjoyment and the potential for a fair return. We
picked out some beautiful animals and set about making their arrival here at
Aubrey Oaks come to a reality.
Having a daughter that is a CPA was advantageous, but we still took time
to visit ranch seminars throughout our state. Gaining knowledge from others
in this industry we felt was not only enjoyable, but essential to our plans
for success! Definitely not a hobby—we chose this avenue of adventure for
the long haul! And as each day passed, we gained confirmation of our
December, 2010 & March, 2011 brought our first crias—and what marvelous
ones they were!
added two more—the one just above is Rose, with many more that followed. You will need to come see with your own eyes and touch
the fiber that we are producing here at Aubrey Oaks Alpaca Ranch!
Where we are today...
We feel that we have progressed in a timely, yet prudent manner.
There are now six carefully constructed pens that guard our investments.
An isolation pen and extended grazing pens have been added as the latest additions to our master plan.
With these we are ensuring the biosecurity of our existing pens
built three shelters that are functional for both Alpacas & humans. Two have enclosed storage areas to keep our hay, feed,
tack & supplies out of the elements. Electrical power & water have
been brought to our sheds to ensure our animals a ready supply of
water & fans to keep them cool. Additions were made in the summer of
2011, and the newer isolation pen was begun in 2011. The shed
for this pen was finished in early 2012. Expanded pastures were added
Our Great Pyrenees
through the years have been mature and trained deterrents to predators both
large & small. They have been loving animal to humans, but we have seen
evidence first hand that they know their job is protection! So they
the first class home that we provided—an insulated two room doghouse!
Please enjoy some candid shots from around our ranch, and at our
Eyes for the future...
Breeding for outstanding fiber fineness,
beautiful crimp and superb structure while
maintaining density is our stated fleece goal. Our various herdsires
help in that regard. A True Black
Alpaca whose fleece was a Blue Ribbon winner in the 2007 TxOLAN Level IV
show was our first:
Snowmass Nova's Pluro.
And our newest Herdsires:
Storm's Golden Dodger
Coup de Foudre de Snowmass
Our foundation dams are solid
with consistent breedings to high end sires. We've had great success in
selling a number of Alpacas shown here on our website.
It was not long after falling in love with Alpacas that we discovered the
joys of selling excellent products made from their exquisite fiber.
We've greatly expanded our number of events that we attend through the
years. Our clientele has grown to love and expect us at these events.
Our website has brought us sales from all over the United States.
We've expanded our product display by making a selection available a
Kaboodles in Denison!
Our plan has always been to design and implement a strategy that provides for us
into our retirement years. Recent events have propelled Charles into
retirement, so he is now here at the Ranch full time.
As we continue into the future, we are even more excited to see that our
plan has not only continued to grow, but is proving to be a successful
source of income and enjoyment. We both trust that you will join
us—whether it is by wearing garments made from our Texas Alpaca Yarn, a
garment imported from Peru, or by considering the value of owing & raising
One moment we're working on a
website, and the next we're outside filling water pails, scooping poop, filling
hay buckets, feeding hungry Alpacas and continuing to gain a friendly
familiarity with some of God's most beautiful creatures. Then we're
sending in fiber samples, planning the shows we will be attending, planning our
breeding choices, sending out emails about our products, updating our
Facebook page and
determining our marketing opportunities for the upcoming season. All in
all, we have tremendously enjoyed our experiences thus far, and look forward to
a bright future in an industry that has much upward growth potential!
Our Professional Associations are:
Our Marketing Partners: