KINGMAN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Their personalities are as unique as their hair cuts and coloring - the 40 alpacas at the "Alpacas of the Southwest" ranch near Kingman are a gentle bunch.
To Ron and Anna Nyberg, who have owned and operated the ranch for some 15 years, their alpacas are like their kids.
"We have a lot of fun naming all the animals, all after the Beatles," explains Anna. "So we have Revolver, Hey Jude, 'Penny Lane, Michelle My Bell, Lady Madonna. When people come and I tell them all of the names, people ask, 'How do you know all of the names?' It's like, if you have a dozen children, you're going to know Sally from Linda, and from Pete."
The Nybergs love to share their family with the public. Anyone can stop by. They customize your tour. If you have small children, they cater to them and what they might be interested in. They will also teach visitors about the business side of what they do.
"We're a full service ranch," explains Ron. "So that means, genetics, breeding, fiber is huge in our life, all those products, but the fun is the personality of the animals."
Anna says many don't know that Alpacas have a fleece that is hypo-allergenic.
"Besides being very, very soft, it's as warm as wool," says Anna. "But it's a third of the weight of wool. It's also very thermal. It has an insulating aspect of it. So you can actually wear the socks in the summer as well as in the winter. It keeps you warm in the winter, and keeps you cool in the warmer climates."
In the shop at the ranch, you can purchase a sweater, socks or a number of other products made with alpaca fiber.
Visitors will also see and experience just how social alpacas are.
"As a herd animal, it's extremely important for them to be happy with their friends," explains Ron. "They will travel in little family groups. So every pen is going to have a 'I'm in charge,' and it's also gonna have the last guy in there that says, 'Yeah, I'll follow along.'"
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The Nybergs say the high desert of northwest Arizona is the perfect climate and environment for alpacas.
The animals are gentle enough that you can feed them yourself and take pictures with them.
"The Alpacas of the Southwest" ranch makes for a nice pit stop if you're on your way to Las Vegas, or is a great destination as part of a day trip.