Our Focus Business this week is:
Hidden Oaks Llama Ranch
Sherri and Wil Tallmon
30645 SE Currin Rd
Estacada, OR 97023
“I first discovered llamas when our family vacationed at Elk Lake each Summer and we visited the Patterson Ranch in Sisters, OR. I later realized that I needed to get one of these amazing animals when I noticed them inside a hotel in Wilsonville, as I was attending an Arabian Horse meeting. It was and still is an annual fundraiser for llama/alpaca research which helps fund studies done by Oregon State University and other organizations, so that we can learn more about llamas.”
Sherri Tallmon, from Hidden Oaks Llama Ranch, first “bought 1 male and 1 female, but had to have more, until the herd grew to 10-12. We later purchased a new place with 50 acres and the herd is now up to 100+. She still has the very first male who started it all, “RDRL Hondo.” He is 15 years old. Llamas can live into their early 20s. Oh, and she still has one Arabian stallion left from her “horse days” who is now 23.
“Llamas are fascinating animals and fairly low maintenance, when compared to other animals. The cost of raising one llama equals that of a dog. You can have three to four llamas to an acre, but you do need to have some sort of shelter. Five to six llamas equals the care of one horse in eating, and llamas aren't nearly as destructive. They are extremely intelligent and can be trained to do all sorts of things. Often times they travel inside my van, as they will lay down.”
Sherri has been in both the Rose Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in downtown Portland. She’s been in the llama business since 1996 and it’s a family affair. Her husband takes care of all the animals on the farm and her son, Logan is in the Llama 4-H Club, currently being run by her daughter, Kayla, who went through llama 4-H as well.
When asked “What sets your business apart from others?”, Sherri says, “We handle every aspect from llama rescue to raising top-show winners. We always tell people who purchase our llamas to contact us if there are ever any problems. We give alot of after-sale support.”
“Estacada benefits by having our business in the neighborhood because we sell fiber products to local artists. We are part of a llama fiber co-op with 80 plus members across the country. It’s all llama products; one-of-a-kind rugs, socks, hats and more.
We just received several new blankets made by Pendleton. You can find out more by visiting www.llamafibercoop.com .
- What’s the last book you read/movie seen/CD on your player?
“Dealing with Manipulative People”
“Just Go With It” (Adam Sandler/Jennifer Aniston)
- What’s your favorite pastime/hobby?
anything and everything to do with llamas
- What are you next travel plans?
going to the Grand Nationals in Lincoln NE
meeting my husband and of course discovering llamas
- What is the best thing that has ever happened to you?
- Have you ever met anyone famous?
Patrick Swayze -- we both showed Arabian horses at nationals.
- How would describe yourself in 3 words?
good business sense -- detail oriented -- passionate about llamas
People always ask, "What do you do with llamas?" Sherri's reply is “there are so many things they have to offer, like guarding goats or sheep from coyotes. People will use them to pack with, they are more sure-footed than a horse and won't damage the ground, due to the soft pads on their feet. Many love to use their fiber/fleece for spinning and others will purchase them just to have as a pet or 4-H project for their kids. Many of us show our llamas all over the United States at various competitions, and the list goes on and on. They are an amazing animal to own!”
“We specialize in finding the right llama to fit your needs. I always encourage people that if they need to sell or relocate their llama to please let me know, I will help them and make sure the llama finds a good home."
If you’d like to learn more about llamas, check out these websites:
Willamette Valley Llama Assn http://wvlamas.com/
Pacific NW Llama Fiber Co-op http://www.llamafibercoop.com/
NW Camelid Foundation http://www.nwcamelidfoundation.org/