Don’t they make you wanna smile? God’s Country Alpacas bring happiness

Published 3:31 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

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By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

When Lollipop makes an appearance, people smile.

The same goes for Tootsie Roll, Peanut, Tiramasu, Ice Crystal, Dutchess and Joy. After all, they’re in God’s Country.

And they’ve been making people smile in rural Davie County since 2018, when Frank and Thelma Michels started having people over to look at the alpacas they had recently purchased.

“They made people smile,” Frank said.

It wasn’t long before God’s Country Alpacas was born, the couple’s desire to do nothing more than spread happiness. Visitors are welcome to come by and pet and feed (They love Graham Crackers) the alpacas, at no charge. Call 856-718-5774 or message on Facebook to make sure they are home, and for specific directions. The farm is in western Davie.

“The couple retired here in 2016. They had alpacas the next year, including a couple from Thelma’s sister, who owns an alpaca farm in New Jersey.

Why the name God’s Country? “Just look around,” Frank said. “You look out the window and you know this is God’s Country. This is it. The is the end of the line for me.”

“How can you not name it God’s Country? It’s on Serenity Drive,” Thelma said.

“People come out here and have a ball. They put smiles on everybody’s faces,” he said.

They have 10 females, and their care is paid for by donations and the sale of manure, wood chips and chicken eggs. Frank said they have enough money to live on, this is just a way for others to enjoy something a bit different.

“They’re good animals, easy to keep. They wouldn’t hurt anybody,” he said.

But it’s best to have Frank and Thelma around for advice, for instance, although they like to be rubbed, they don’t like to be touched in the face.

The farm has hosted clubs, assisted living groups, local residents and visitors from I-40 who search for something quick to do, and find their alpacas.

“They love it,” Frank said. “This is fun, just a reason to spread happiness.”

Folks of all ages smile when interacting with the alpacas, the couple said. “We had seven women from a club in Mooresville who came out here in the rain and they loved it,” Thelma said.

She uses the fleece from the alpacas to make her own socks and other items. “Once you wear alpaca socks, you’ll never go back.” The fleece is not sold, but gathering the fleece is one of the major costs in keeping alpacas. They’re bred for colder weather, and need plenty of cool water and shade during summers in the South.

“We’ll be here as long as we can,” Frank said. “We love to see people smile.”