Summer 2016 Â£7.50 where sold
Island Escape Starting a new life with alpacas
When the vet comes to call
How to make sure the visit is a smooth experience for all
Setting the standard
Alpacas in Hungary and Latvia
Bottle feeding crias SUMMER 2016
Classical Publishing Ltd © 2016 Issue 57 Summer 2016 ISSN 1477–7088 Editor: Rachel Hebditch Vulscombe Farm, Pennymoor, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 8NB Telephone: 01884 243579 Mobile: 07540 748803 Email: email@example.com Advertising: Heidi Hardy Telephone 01598 752799 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copy deadline for the next issue: 16th September 2016 Design and Production: TRG Design Telephone: 01392 279371 Email: email@example.com www.trgdesign.com Printed in England by: Stephens & George Ltd. Goat Mill Road, Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil CF48 3TD
The only independent magazine reporting on the international alpaca industry. Distributed by subscription worldwide and through country stores across the UK, Alpaca World Magazine reaches the largest readership in its market.
CONGRATULATIONS to Paul Whittey of Penrose Mill whose British alpaca duvets and pillows are now in Harrods. We are all extremely happy that the fleece that cannot go into yarns finds a home with Paul and is turned in to high end bedding. Elsewhere in the magazine we travel to the altiplano with shearer Adam Riley who worked with the NGO, Awamaki, who help the women led co-operatives sell their traditionally hand spun and woven products direct to the consumer. Hurrah! Alpaca World magazine has commissioned a new website that will be on line in time for the Autumn issue. It will be easier to use, more informative, with additional advertising opportunities.
CONTENTS Summer 2016 58
Copyright for all editorial content remains with Alpaca World Magazine and its authors. No articles may be copied, reprinted or used commercially without prior permission in writing from the Editor. The material contained in Alpaca World Magazine is compiled by the publishers for information purposes only. Although the material included has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, no guarantees are given as to its accuracy or completeness. Readers are reminded that expert advice should always be sought in individual cases. Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of the material contained in this issue the publisher does not accept responsibility for any loss arising out of such changes or inaccuracies nor for any other loss suffered as a result of information contained in this issue. Notice to Advertisers: It is a condition of acceptance of advertisement orders that the publishers, Classical Publishing Ltd, do not guarantee the insertion of a particular advertisement on a specific date, or at all, although every effort will be made to meet the wishes of advertisers; further the company does not accept liability for any loss or damage caused by any error or inaccuracy in the printing or non appearance of any advertisement, or if we decide to edit or delete any objectionable wording, or reject any advertisement. Although every advertisement is carefully checked, occasionally mistakes do occur. We therefore ask advertisers to assist us by checking their advertisements carefully and to advise us by the deadline given should an error occur. We regret that we cannot accept responsibility for more than one incorrect insertion and that no republication or discount will be granted in the case of typographic or minor changes which do not affect the value of the advertisement. Cover photo: ‘Parsley’, Hebridean Alpacas
12 NEWS 4 Alpacas for Harrods 5 Alpaca Classic 2016 6 Quechua Benefit: Fun, Fundraising & the Future 7 Down on the Alpaca Farm: CBBC comes to Spring Farm 7 Alpaca Party fit for the Queen 7 New addition to Alpaca Collection 8 SWAG Annual Fleece & Halter Show 10 Devon County Show 10 Three Counties Show 10 South of England Show REGULAR ITEMS 54 Letter from France: La vie nouvelle
26 48 66
Ask the Vet: Bottle feeding crias Breeders directory
FEATURES 12 Adam Riley: Shearers with altitude 18 Falafel Frenzy: Pois Chic 22 Setting the Standard: Alpacas in Hungary 26 Park Life: The Llama Park 34 Island Escape: Hebridean Alpacas 40 Uniquely Capish: Helderstroom Alpacas 44 Julie Taylor-Browne: When the vet comes to call... 58 Fluent in Alpaca: Griezites Alpakas, Latvia
www.alpacaworldmagazine.com SUMMER 2016
If you have news of events or developments within the alpaca industry which you would like to share with others please send it to: The Editor, Alpaca World Magazine, Vulscombe Farm, Pennymoor, Tiverton, Devon EX16 8NB, United Kingdom Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALPACAS FOR HARRODS PENROSE MILL are launching their range of British alpaca duvets and pillows in Harrods on July 18. They will have their own stand in this prestigious store which is a first for bedding products made from the fleeces of alpacas farmed in the UK. They will start with two lines organic alpaca duvets and pillows sold in traditional calico bags and a blend of alpaca and silk duvets and pillows, encased in a 500 count cotton sateen fabric, that are 20% lighter than the alpaca duvets. Penrose Mill and Penrose Products are family run businesses based in Retford in Nottinghamshire. Paul Whittey writes; â€˜All the fibre used in alpaca bedding is grown, sheared, processed and finished in the UK. This fibre is a natural, renewable material that we source from sustainable breeders around the country. All the wool used in our bedding comes from UK based Huacaya alpacas, Suri alpacas, or a blend of the two. Alpaca fibre has some wonderful qualities making it very suitable for use in bedding products like our duvets, pillows and toppers. Alpaca wool is hypoallergenic, resists dust mites, regulates temperature both for heat and cold, is hard wearing, fire retardant, economical, organic and sustainable.â€™
NEW DIRECTION FOR CLASSIC
Alpaca Classic, September 17th-18th 2016 THE WEEKEND OF September 17th and 18th 2016 will see the much loved Alpaca Classic return for the 5th time. This year we are moving the event to what will be the new home of The Alpaca Stud at Yeat Wood Farm in the beautiful Buckinghamshire village of Wotton Underwood. This will be the inaugural event at Yeat Wood so take the opportunity to come and visit. On the evening of Friday, the 16th we will be welcoming delegates to join us for a preview evening with cocktails. This will include a brief seminar by Brett Keysen on ‘Breeding tools to drive improvement’. After the success of the previous events the Classic will once again present delegates with a platform for learning. The organisers, Bozedown Alpacas and the Alpaca Stud, have geared this year’s agenda towards a lot of practical learning opportunities. The weekend aims to take your thinking in new directions with multiple workshops running concurrently and you choose what appeals to you!
SO MUCH TO OFFER We have a seminar on diversification which will include Sarah Riley of Inspired Camping offering insights
in to the world of glamping. There will also be an insight in to other areas of diversification that could compliment your alpaca enterprise large or small scale! We will have a camelid vet on hand to teach you ‘How to spot Alpaca health issues simply’, a vital skill that even the most experienced breeder can put to good use. Brett Keysen will cover ‘Form and
It will truly be an event with something for everyone and all skill levels covered. Never has the Classic offered so many topics in one weekend.
something for everyone and all skill levels covered. Never has the Classic offered so many topics in one weekend. Brett Keysen will be returning to take to the rostrum yet again. The sale will comprise five auction lots from each of the host studs and a selection of pen sale lots available over the course of the weekend.
CHARITY EXTRAVAGANZA Function’ in his usual lively style! Nick Harrington-Smith and Mary-Jo Smith are both being put to work as well tasked with helping us put barn blindness behind us. Nick will help delegates hone the skill of ‘Avoiding single trait selection and trait weighting for breeding’. MaryJo will offer a hands on workshop ‘Learning to critique your own fleeces both Suri and Huacaya’. Whilst Alpacas are very photogenic creatures, admit it, we have all seen some pretty average attempts to do them justice in print. With this is mind we have a photographer coming to teach breeders in a workshop entitled ‘Taking photos of your Alpacas to do them justice’. This should prove invaluable in promoting your alpacas be it for sale or otherwise. Trust us when we say it won’t stop there. It will truly be an event with
Another not to be missed element is the charity extravaganza in aid of the Quechua Benefit. With over £2000 raised by the intrepid mud runners in 2015. This year’s unsuspecting victims will have their work cut out to match it. The charity component of The Alpaca Classic has become as much of a tradition as the Classic itself. The Alpaca Classic 2016 charity event will take place on the day and will involve a number of well know Alpaca Classic Characters, some sponsorship and a very large lake…. don’t miss it! Go to www.alpacaevent.co.uk or email classic@alpacaevent. co.uk or phone Nick Harrington Smith 07979651742 or Mary-Jo Smith on 07718750303 to secure your place.
FUN, FUNDRAISING & THE FUTURE Quechua Benefit, by Katie Safley
THE 2nd ANNUAL Quechua Benefit Dinner & Auction on May 26th in Portland, Oregon was a grand success. Guests were greeted by Napoleon the alpaca and dug deep at the auction. Thanks to the kind hearts and immense generosity of the guests, Quechua Benefit raised $162,075 for children and working families in the Peruvian highlands. We are deeply grateful and overjoyed, as these funds will ensure that Casa Chapi Children’s Village as well as the medical and social justice programmes in the Peruvian highlands continue to thrive. We hope you can join us in Portland next year on Thursday May 18th. Quechua Benefit board member Amanda VandenBosch, has, after
a unanimous vote, become the acting president of the organisation. Amanda, who was brought up in the UK but now lives in the USA, is well known to many alpaca breeders here having been the first judge trainer in the early years of the British Alpaca Society’s Judge Training Scheme. Amanda said: ‘I am honoured to step up as interim President. My deepest gratitude goes to Daryl Gohl for his service, expertise and great kindness in guiding Quechua Benefit through amazing growth. We have an important job to do. Every day, Quechua Benefit is brought to life not only by our members volunteering, but by all of our supporters and donors stepping
determine the course of Quechua Benefit for many years to come. The Alpaca Classic, that will be held at The Alpaca Stud in September at Yeat Wood Farm in Buckinghamshire, includes a fund raising event for Quechua Benefit that we understand involves a large lake.
up to make a difference in the lives of women, children and families in Peru. It is truly an honour to serve this organisation. I am looking forward to a meaningful and memorable time ahead. The Board of Directors is planning a face-to-face retreat in July that will
DOWN ON THE ALPACA FARM!
WE ARE DELIGHTED that Spring Farm has recently featured on CBeebies “Down on the Farm” in the episode entitled “Carrots and Alpacas.” Down on the Farm is presented by JB Gill and was shot at Spring Farm Alpacas on what must have been the coldest day of March 2016. Down on the Farm aims to explore the world of farming and the countryside for the benefit of a young audience – think of a junior Countryfile. The main presenter of our episode was JB Gill who is also known as having been part of the pop group JLS who auditioned for the X factor in 2008, coming second
to Alexandra Burke. JLS went on to have huge commercial success, selling over 10 million records worldwide. In addition to his music career, JB has always had an interest in the countryside and now has a farm himself. A fair amount of research had obviously been done by the show’s researchers and producers as they already knew a lot about us when they tracked us down whilst on our annual holiday to Costa Rica. Perhaps of even greater surprise to us, whilst in Costa Rica, was our delight to meet fellow alpaca breeders and former BAS judge David and Annabel
Barnett at a Lodge we were all booked to stay in at the same time – purely by chance!
WHATEVER THE WEATHER The show was on a tight schedule and we were to be literally the last day of filming with a very short lead time before the show went out. All we can say was that the day before was glorious sunshine, but all changed for the day of filming. The idea behind the shoot was to put a story together connecting farming and produce. As we didn’t have the requisite small children to interact with our alpacas, the film crew had to make do with us. We followed a story board which covered the various different age groups on the farm. Such is the importance of fibre in alpaca farming, we highlighted the luxury nature of alpaca fibre and demonstrated some of our products – gloves, hats and scarves – which are made here at Spring Farm using 100% of our own alpaca fibre. Finally, JB helped with halter training our weanlings for both showing and for our walking business, having taken a particular shine to one of our highly lustrous young male suris – Spring Farm Pharoah. Prior to the release of the
programme, we were contractually unable to talk about our involvement in the show. As you can imagine, this was very tricky especially with our families and the many visitors and clients of Spring Farm. We feel very strongly that alpacas need to appear in a good light to the public as well as educating the next generation. Being able to showcase our friendly and halter trained herd of alpacas allows us to achieve this. The programme is still available on BBC’s iPlayer, as is a fact file on alpacas – as well as more details of the show (Series 2 episode 4: Carrots and Alpacas) and its presenters. We really enjoyed the day’s filming and hope that the next time they come, it’s in the Summer when the weather is better.
ALPACA PARTY FIT FOR THE QUEEN THE DALESMAN CAFÉ in Gargrave in Yorkshire hosted an Alpacas’ tea party to celebrate the Queen’s birthday. Alpacas, mini donkeys and goats from the Hart Farm were joined by lots of local children and they all enjoyed cake: a cake beautifully decorated with alpacas kindly donated by the cafe and a carrot cake prepared for the animals. Katie, a performing arts student, read three books from the Hart publications’ stable and two of the stars were present to hear their stories: Alpasta the alpaca and Murphy the donkey Alpasta, the Alpaca with Toothache joins stablemates Connie the RoboCat and Murphy, the Donkey that Couldn’t Eeyore. All three books for 3-7 year-olds are based on real animals, and their real adventures, on Hart Farm in the idyllic village of Hawkswick, near Kettlewell. Alpasta,
the Alpaca with Toothache was officially launched at Grassington Festival in June, with a personal visit from Alpasta himself as well as an alpaca trail for children, painting and dramatic readings of the stories. Hart Farm, a not-for-profit organisation, was set up in 2011 to help children cope with life’s challenges such as illness, disabilities and bereavement. Children can stroke, hold, groom, feed and walk the animals, which include mini donkeys, alpacas, pygmy and angora goats, ducks, hens, rabbits, dogs and cats. Hart Farm also ventures out of its rural setting and takes the animals to children’s hospices and special schools. Any profits from the books will support the work of Hart Farm. Signed copies of the books can be ordered from www. hartpublications.com.
New addition to the collection RICHARD HARTLEY, who founded the Alpaca Collection, has bought the retailer Spirit of the Andes, after it went into administration last year. Spirit of the Andes was a retailer with a string of shops and concessions in retail outlets whilst the Alpaca Collection is a wholesaler. Richard says: ‘Our business is moving away from being primarily a wholesaler to being a retailer as well’. The new autumn-winter collection will be launched in August and will continue to be knitted by our suppliers in Peru and Bolivia.
SWAG SHOW DELIVERS AGAIN
Mark Steele, SWAG Chairman, reports from the South West Alpaca Group annual Fleece & Halter Show at the Royal Bath & West THE ROYAL BATH & WEST SHOW is the only remaining four day agricultural show in the country, attracts well over 100,000 visitors each year and has long been a welcoming venue for alpaca shows. For the past few years it has been the home of the South West Alpaca Group annual fleece and halter show. Having taken over the Countryside arena in its entirety last year the SWAG committee were keen to build on what was a hugely successful and popular show in 2015. Having purchased a further two marquees just in case the inevitable Somerset shower turned into something more sinister, the highly motivated and hugely skilled set-up team descended on the showground on the eve of the show armed with bulging muscles, electric energy and a large and loud sense of humour. Reading glasses were passed round and instructions were held at arm’s length as the assembled mass of construction workforce debated the best way forward.
WATCH THAT MAN With two marquees to erect and a sense of competition in the air two teams were hastily formed and work began. Andre Shaw from Urcuchillay lead a masterful band of erecters keen on reaching the winning post first whilst the chairman formed a construction committee of sorts with two middle aged engineers in the form of Andy Walker (Reddingvale) and Dave Bearman (Applevale), I’m being very kind to Mr Walker here. The race was on. It is at this point that it must be mentioned that neither team seemed
Best of British: Ashwood Judge John Deed
to have grasped the premise of following the instructions accurately, instead opting for reckless speed. Inevitably there followed a period whereby both teams hit a patch of calm, the marquee erecting doldrums descended and on both sides progress was slowed dramatically. It was only when our senior engineer (Andy) discovered where we were going wrong, something to do with different lengths of something or other, that progress was restored and both marquees were finally finished as the two teams merged to form a smoothly operating building machine. So the stage was set, we had made a venue ready for and worthy of an alpaca show and we waited, in the horizontal rain, for the moment to come.
CRAFTY EXPERTS Wednesday of the show saw unusually large numbers of spectators as Val Fullerlove and her band of crafty experts put on a fleece and fibre day, converting a sheared fleece into felted, knitted and woven products. The star attraction and new addition to the Wednesday craft day was Colin Ottery who provided an every hour, on the hour, shearing demonstration which was wonderfully commentated on by Val. Word spread and a good sized crowd watched Colin and his assistant Seb expertly shear some lovely coloured alpacas. On Thursday the marquees became home once again to Val Fullerlove as she judged the South West Alpaca Group annual fleece show which had been expertly organised by a tight-knit team lead by Sue and Andy Chitty (Pippin) and Judith Newman (Angersleigh). The top prizes went as follows: Supreme Huacaya Fleece: Sue and Andy Chitty of Pippin Alpacas/ Supreme Suri Fleece: Jay Holland of Pure Alpacas and Best of British Fleece: Sue and Andy Chitty of Pippin Alpacas.
HALTER SHOW Day three (Friday) and the wagons rolled in for the halter show,
Colin Ottery provided an every hour, on the hour, shearing demonstration, wonderfully commentated on by Val around 160 entries meant we had a competitive show and the fact that the whole of Friday morning was dedicated to the showing of black alpacas indicated that the Inca tribe had turned up ready to take on all-comers. The challenging brigade was large and up for the fight but Inca still took out all the black and grey championships, as well as brown female. Next year, mes braves, next year. The SWAG show saw young Oliver Hey make his debut in the show ring as he took his alpaca Inca Grey Jupiter into the junior grey male class. Eight year old Oliver was a consummate professional and guided his charge to the male grey championship sash. Well done Ollie! The sun shone and the temperature climbed so much so that at the close of play for the day the ‘Chairman’s barbecue’ provided food and refreshing drinks for all, including our judges, Rob Bettinson and his apprentice judge Julia
Suri Champion: Popham Suri Simone
Corrigan-Stuart. Local sausages and burgers were washed down with Somerset Cider and Australian wine and lager, not quite so local. Saturday and we returned to the show ring for the lighter end of the colour scale followed by the awarding of the Supreme Championships which went as follows: Supreme Champion Suri and Best of British Suri: Popham Suri Simone, owned by Kim Swetman of Silver Cloud Alpacas. Supreme Champion Huacaya: Green Park Neptune, owned by Helena Hazell and shown by Di Davies. The final award of the championship was the ‘Best of British Huacaya’ which is awarded to the best British born alpaca bred from British born parents. Encouragingly most of the Supreme Alpaca line-up qualified for this award showing the quality of home grown alpacas in the south west. The award went to Ashwood Judge John Deed, owned by Steve and Chris Powell of Ashwood Alpacas.
Supreme Champion Huacaya: Green Park Neptune
Three Counties Show THERE WERE OVER 130 entries for the alpaca halter classes at the Three Counties Show in June judged by Mrs Liz Barlow and apprentice Jo Bridge. The Suri Supreme Champion was Pure Malachi, owned by Pure Alpacas, and the Huacaya Supreme Champion was awarded to Ashwood Insignia, owned by Ashwood Alpacas. The shorn fleece classes were judges by Mrs Val Fullerlove who gave the Champion Huacaya fleece to Ashwood Hope of Ashwood
Alpacas and the Champion Suri fleece to Pinkney Dragon owned by Mr & Mrs James and Venetia Walker.
Jay and Julia who coped with the elements well - but were not aided by the antics of a local rugby team, Indian wedding contingent and the interesting catering standards of their hotel over the two nights. This year’s Supreme and Best of British awards were presented by television presenter Natasha Kaplinsky – herself a local alpaca
owner and breeder. The Huacaya Supreme Champion was awarded to Houghton Titan The Suri Supreme Champion was awarded to Houghton Mystical Magic. Best British Bred Huacaya was Bozedown Acapella II. Best British Bred Suri was Houghton Mystical Magic.
DEVON COUNTY SHOW ALPACA CLASSES at the Devon County Show in May were judged by British Alpaca Society judge Mrs Shirley Bettinson with an apprentice Jo Bridge. Supreme Champion Huacaya was awarded to Ashwood Judge John Deed, owned by Ashwood Alpacas, and Reserve to Snowshill Romulus ll, owned by Snowshill Alpacas. Supreme Champion Suri went to Popham Suri Carlos of Popham Alpacas and Reserve to
Popham Suri Simone owned by SilverCloud Alpacas.
Star turn at South of England Show THE SOUTH OF ENGLAND SHOW took place this year on Sunday the 1st and Monday the 2nd of May. The Show is organised by Liz Butler and Vicki Agar with the help of a large army of volunteers from the South East Alpaca Group. In addition, Jo Bridge took up the task of keeping the public entertained and informed
with her commentary. The South of England Show always has a great atmosphere and is carried out on a good humoured basis. There were 171 entries this year and the Show was judged by BAS Judge Jay Holland assisted by an apprentice judge, Julia CorriganStuart. We are very thankful to
Contact Roger Mount
on 01386 853 841 or 07711044106 Email: email@example.com Web: www.snowshillalpacas.com
Snowshill Hill Barn, Temple Guiting, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL54 5XX
sire: Virococha Prophecy of Anzac dam: Merungle Audrey of Anzac
sire: Eringa Park Lionheart of Cambridge dam: Silverstream Escudo of Anzac
Snowshill Oberon (Suri)
sire: Snowshill Orlando dam: Snowshill Felicity
sire: Wessex Cosmos dam: Hermione of Willaston
Snowshill Raphael (Suri)
sire: Andean Legacy of I-Spy dam: Snowshill Letitia
sire: Snowshill Raphael dam: Bozedown Dividend
Blackmore Vale Shaston Prince
sire: Coricancha Fernando of Wessex dam: Patience
Snowshill Shadow Dancer
sire: ARU Cambridge Ice Cool Lad dam: Cambridge Chocolate Button
Snowshill Romulus II
sire: Snowshill Remus dam: Cambridge Chocolate Button
sire: Virococha Prophecy of Anzac dam: Snowshill Perdita
sire: EP Cambridge Navigator of Accoyo dam: Snowshill Alexandra
sire: Blackmore Vale Shaston Prince dam: Snowshill Abbigail
Above is a selection of our Stud Males available for services in 2016. Fees range from ÂŁ350 to ÂŁ750. Significant discounts apply for multiple matings. Progeny can be viewed. We also have a number of alpacas for sale from pet to show quality. Please phone/email for details. SUMMER 2016
SHEARERS WITH ALTITUDE
SHEARERS WITH ALTITUDE
ITH ALTITUDE Shearer Adam Riley writes about his experiences volunteering for Awamaki in Peru.
he rumbling sound of hundreds of animals moving outside my tent and the low melodic hum of alpacas are the first things to greet me as I groggily open my eyes. I have been in the mountains for less than twelve hours and my first day of work is about to begin. I check my watch, 5:30am. I can hear the men yawning and calling to the alpacas as they gather the herd into the ancient stone corral where I have set up my camp and before I can get dressed and head out to join them I am surrounded by about 150 wet, dirty, fully fleeced alpacas. At almost 4000m, the altitude was having its effect and I had spent the night fighting off nausea and nursing a hangover style headache. Regardless, the animals were gathered and the work had already begun.
I collected my shearing tools and walked through the herd of alpacas to join the men, who had each grabbed an alpaca and tied their legs together with a small piece of rope. Three were shearing, two with hand shears and a third with a razor sharpened kitchen knife. They all paused to watch as I grabbed my first alpaca and moved her over to the rope restraints, sizing up my ability to handle the animals. Talking amongst themselves in Quechua and with the occasional chuckle, I can only guess what their assessment was. Before I felt truly awake or had really grasped the scene around me, the alpaca was down. A small seven year old boy was holding the head and all were waiting for me to shear. I was about to hand shear my first alpaca in Peru. ALPACA WORLD
I had arrived just two days earlier after a gruelling series of flights and bus rides into the small town of Ollantaytambo (Ollanta for short) in the sacred valley region of Peru. This ancient town is one of the last remaining Incan cities still inhabited and the doorway to Macchu Picchu. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, the town is perfectly placed for visiting the more remote settlements above 3500m where the alpacas are to be found. I had come to volunteer for a local NGO called Awamaki, who had been working in the rural mountain communities for roughly five years establishing women led cooperatives. The goal of the organization was to empower these women to make and sell their traditionally woven and hand spun products directly to consumers. The sacred valley region has over a million visitors a year yet most of the people in the communities are completely passed over. Awamaki’s goal is to help women embrace that opportunity. I had arrived to help with the annual shearing harvest and to work with the women to start a line of hand spun yarns that could be sold to a U.S. and European clientele. One of the my biggest challenges would be to improve the quality of the fibre that we were receiving. The alpacas that were owned by many of the families involved in the cooperatives were of good quality, but when sheared everything from the bellies, legs, and tail would be thrown together wet into a large burlap bag and normally spun straight from the blanket. As a professional alpaca shearer and fibre processor, I was there to work with the men and women shearing to show them a pattern of shearing that would separate the fibre for quality and to show the women of the cooperatives cleaning and skirting techniques. I would also be hand shearing for the first time.
teach, and my exchanges with the children of the communities were some of the most rewarding. After finishing my first few fairly rough looking alpacas it was time to sharpen my shears. I had brought a sharpening stone, but the family would sharpen their equipment against any flat rock that happened to be lying nearby, and with surprising effectiveness. Marcelino was one of the wealthier farmers in the region, and had acquired two pairs of hand shears. His were worn thin and incredibly corroded, but still sharp. The handles were wrapped in alpaca felt to provide a measure of cushion. By the end of the fourth day my shearing hand was blistered in several places, and I would also adopt this technique. Marcelino’s father preferred to use his kitchen knife. I had never expected a knife could be used with any efficiency, but watching this old man slice fibre away as he had been doing for decades was a study in ‘back to basics’ shearing. The farming communities are located two hours from the nearest village high in the mountains, and require a strenuous hike at altitude. High up in these alpine valleys, the stone huts and corrals are like a time warp to another era. There is no electricity or running water. The
For a professional shearer used to following a strict pattern, watching a young child haphazardly shear part of an animal you were trying to finish to precision was a little disconcerting
CHILD’S PLAY Shearing day was under way at the farm of Marcelino and Florencia. Their two children and Florencia’s father were also on hand to help. Shearing is a family affair, and their seven year old son didn’t hesitate to take my small pocket shears and chop away at the neck fibre of the alpaca while I sheared the body. For a professional shearer used to following a strict pattern, watching a young child haphazardly shear part of an animal you were trying to finish to precision was a little disconcerting. But I was there to learn as well as 14
SHEARERS WITH ALTITUDE
I grabbed my first alpaca and moved her over to the rope restraints, sizing up my ability to handle the animals. Talking amongst themselves in Quechua and with the occasional chuckle, I can only guess what their assessment was. SUMMER 2016
SHEARERS WITH ALTITUDE
renovation and on my walks in the mountains stone huts have a thatched roof and usually sit there were many ancient looking stone walls and about five feet high at the walls. Ducking through buildings. I once asked Marcelino’s father how the loosely hung door you enter into a dark old the stone corral was in which we had been building with no windows, no furniture, and a dirt floor. On the far side of the building are raised working. In broken Spanish his reply was simply “It has always been here.” platforms covered in sheep and alpaca hides for sleeping. On the other side is a small hearth which A NEW DEAL is the epicentre for all activity. Normally heated By 9am the work of shearing was done for the with alpaca dung, the women spend much of their day. High in the mountains, rain was an almost day boiling water and preparing meals around daily occurrence and by mid morning the clouds these smoky hearths, crouching or sitting on tiny would set in and a light drizzle would commence. stools and constantly shooing away any curious dog or chicken that may try to enter the open door. Lacking any facilities for storage, the families normally only sheared when a purchaser for their Scurrying on the floor are guinea pigs, a fibre was on hand. That morning a man from delicacy saved for special feasts. Hanging from Cusco had come to take several sacks of fibre back the rafters were clothes, animal carcasses, and a for processing. The rate was seven ‘nuevo soles’ small battery powered radio blaring traditional per Kilo, or about two dollars. Awamaki was to Quechua music or evangelical sermons. These offer families involved with the organization a stone buildings were in a constant state of
premium of ten soles to adjust their shearing pattern for separating premium fibre, and the farmers were more than happy to accommodate. The average yearly income for a woman in the mountains of Peru is around 300 dollars a year. These women are some of the hardest working and most talented people I’ve ever met, with an incredible inherited knowledge that Awamaki was helping to preserve. By working through the cooperatives many of the women are able to earn almost twice as much per year, a huge boon for families living so close to poverty. With the first day at a close, I was exhausted from the altitude and strain, but filled with a quiet sense of satisfaction. Marcelino and I sat on a stone wall overlooking the mountains and herds of alpacas grazing in the distance and he asked me if I was happy. I told him at that moment, there was nowhere else I’d rather be.
drum carders for The Perfect Carder ,ibre For Alpaca and All Fine Fibres preparation
www.classiccarder.co.uk Tel: 01746 714130 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Awamaki collaborates with rural Andean communities to create economic opportunities and improve social well-being. We are a growing and sustainable not-for-profit business helping women’s cooperatives learn to start and run their own businesses. We offer skills trainings and market access opportunities to the women’s cooperatives in our program. We believe that empowering women transforms communities. Poor women know what their families need. Given the opportunity to earn an income, they invest in their children, their homes, their farms, their businesses, and their communities. Thank you for your support! www.awamaki.org email@example.com
Colin Ottery: The Alpaca Shearer Alpaca Shearing Since 2005 Please contact me for a friendly and professional service with competitive rates 01884 38782 / 07773 440354 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ALPACA WORLD
FRANCE MAY BE world famous for its gastronomic delights, yet a couple who moved from the UK three years ago believe they have discovered a winning recipe to satisfy even the most traditional gourmands. Debbie Hewitt and Andy Read moved to a small farming hamlet in the Vienne, in the centre of France two years ago. They soon set up a food truck business called Pois Chic. “We were inspired by a visit to Israel and Palestine where we fell in love with street food and especially falafel,” explained Debbie, a former teacher and environmental officer. “France is renowned for its cuisine, but we’ve been struck by the lack of healthy and vegetarian food options. When we discovered a local farm which grew organic chickpeas -- the main ingredient for falafel - we decided to offer something fresh, local and different.” For the past 18 months Pois Chic has served over 4,000 meals at markets and festivals across the Poitou-Charentes region. Last year they were one of
only 15 French street food businesses to be chosen to compete at the prestigious Food Truck of the Year event in Paris. Now the couple have just acquired two hectares of land in their hamlet, in order to grow more of the food needed for their business. In August four male alpacas will arrive on their small-holding from Nigel and Ginny Cobb at Europa Alpacas, based just an hour from their home. The four young male alpacas will help maintain the pasture and protect the couple’s flock of free-range hens. “Most of our customers are French, and it is very important for them that food is locally produced and if possible, organic,” explained Andy, a former journalist who was Mayor of Stroud in Gloucestershire before leaving for France. “Running a food truck has been a great way for us to become a little more integrated in our community and explore this lovely area of France.” You can find out more about Andy and Debbie’s experiences via their website: http://poischic.fr/
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ALPACAS IN HUNGARY
We were advised by friends in Holland that we should breed alpacas. ALPACAS???? What are alpacas? 22
ALPACAS IN HUNGARY
he STANDARD Breeding alpacas in Hungary is a real challenge, especially when you are the only alpaca farm in the entire country. By Cecilia Kerkhof-Demjén.
ur story began in 2008 when we bought a piece of land just behind the land of my parents in Jobaháza, Hungary. All together we had one hectare of land and we were thinking what we should do with it. Our plan was that my parents and especially my father should work on this land so it had to be something he can handle alone and if possible not day and night but a few hours relaxed working a day. Soon we decided to do something with animals. But what kind of animal? For a long time we were making plans to breed ponies. Horses are a booming business in Hungary and we have never done it, we could not even ride a horse. But in the right time we were advised by friends in Holland that we should breed alpacas. ALPACAS???? What are alpacas? So we started to learn more about alpacas. We started to build a shelter and fencing and when everything was ready there was the economic crises and we had no money for the alpacas anymore. But we couldn’t wait until the end of the crisis and in the summer of 2010 we bought our first alpaca females with a bank loan. There was no information in Hungary about alpacas, there were no vets who knew anything about alpacas and there are no facilities if an alpaca gets pregnant or sick. Even now it is a problem to screen a pregnant alpaca, there is no vet with an echo. We can
only determine progesterone level in blood to be sure the female is pregnant. We have no plasma bank and until few weeks ago we had to buy alpaca nutrition from Austria. Soon we had the first problems. Bluetongue. There were no studmales in Hungary and we couldn’t take our females to Austria or Germany for mating. We had to buy studmales. THE ONE AND ONLY So we started an alpaca farm in Hungary not knowing that we were the very first one. Soon we were in the regional and later national newspapers, national television and people began calling, writing and visiting. Most of them were just curious, others very sceptical, but our door is always open and we kept trying to give the best possible information. I visited conferences, alpaca shows, met other breeders. I educated myself from books and the internet and even did the BAS alpaca assessment course with my husband. I give courses every year in October in Hungary and there are every year about 20 people who would like to know more about alpacas. We are very pleased there is so much interest in alpacas in Hungary. People are trying to be open minded but Hungarians are very careful and wait for the first success of somebody before they dare to jump in.
ALPACAS IN HUNGARY We had to decide if we stayed isolated in the region and use our international contacts and knowledge for our own benefit or are we going to promote the alpaca business, educate people and make the alpaca business bigger in Hungary. Hungary is a strong agricultural land and the circumstances are excellent for breeding alpacas. The only problem is the knowledge and the financial state of the people. People who have money will not jump too fast into alpaca business. But there are lots of changes. Now there are more breeders and more alpacas. Quality is not an issue yet which I regret. People want to buy alpacas and they don’t look at the quality but the price. I advise them to buy less good quality alpacas instead of more bad quality. I am trying to educate people to watch out when they buy an alpaca to avoid the poor quality alpacas that will be dumped in Hungary. As the number of the alpacas is growing in Hungary there is more interest for shearers to do the annual shearing or firms to sell alpaca nutritions in Hungary. We have very good contacts with the veterinary and agricultural university in Budapest and in Gödöllö. Students come to our farm to have their internship and to do their Phd work on our farm. RESPONSIBILITY In 2014 and 2015 we participated in the show in Austria as the only representative from Hungary and we even won a 2nd and a 3rd place. It was a new experience for us and we made new friends.
It is a big responsibility to be the first alpaca breeder in Hungary. Hungarians don’t speak languages and mostly don’t make contact easily with breeders abroad. So we are still the first if they need advice. In 2012 my husband passed away. Because we have started something we strongly believed in I have decided to keep our alpacas and go on with breeding. I visited the alpaca conference in Hamilton, New Zealand and met lots of breeders. I have bought alpacas from Sarah and Peter Busby from Gilt Edge Alpacas and I still hope I can set the standard in the region. We had lots of failure last year and bluetongue complicates our progress again but it only makes us stronger. I believe that processing alpaca fibre and producing alpaca products has to be the motor of the alpaca industry. We can not sell alpacas only for breeding and not do anything with the wool. You have to have a clear goal as to why you are keeping and breeding alpacas. That is why we started to sell alpaca products and as soon as we have enough fibre of our own we want to produce our own products. We have contact with lots of home spinners and we visit wool festivals and markets on a regular basis.
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Preview animals while enjoying a cocktail or two on Friday evening!
THE LLAMA PARK
THE LLAMA PARK
Bobby Schuck bought The Llama Park on the 13th May 2013, as a 60th birthday present for his wife Susan. Having recently returned to the UK from Dubai with their daughter Lily, where they spent 20 years, the Schuck family was looking for somewhere to live for both the family and their beautiful Andalusian stallion Vanidoso XXIX, â€˜Daniâ€™.
Basically, the original plan was to find a house with a field for Dani. After much anguish and disappointment at the houses available, Susan came across The Llama Park, located in the beautiful surroundings of the Ashdown Forest with glorious long views, directly opposite the stunning Ashdown Park Hotel. Susan also thought that having a house with a business, 33 acres and 80 llamas, alpacas and reindeer would keep Bobby out of trouble.
THE LLAMA PARK
y husband has always been a bit of a lunatic. In Dubai, Bobby was a roving reporter and journalist, spending much of his life travelling around the deserts and jungles of North Africa, the Middle East and Australasia, later moving on to run a farming operation deep in the jungle of Sri Lanka. Leaving all that madness for a peaceful life in East Sussex was, in reality, quite frightening. “So, I thought that a business that included a catering and retail operation and the management of 33 acres with 80 animals would be something to stop him from missing all that action, keep him occupied and stop him chasing girls,” says Susan. The Llama Park started its life in 1995 as a llama farm, focused on breeding llamas and was later developed to include coffee and clothing shops. When Susan and Bobby came across The Llama Park, they realised that it was a business which, whilst reasonably successful, had the opportunity for development and was reasonably priced with a very nice house – and costing not much more than any other property in the expensive area of the Ashdown Forest.
“A VERY NICE PRESENT” Having made the decision that this would be a great opportunity, they approached the Wealden Council Planning Department with ideas on how they would like to develop the business. Despite 28
quite restrictive planning conditions for the area, their ideas were welcomed and so they set about preparing to purchase the property. After a lot of very heavy negotiations with the previous owner, they managed to conclude the transaction after several months which coincided with Susan’s 60th birthday, making for a very nice present, a happy Susan and attracting a lot of publicity in the Press. Immediately upon purchasing the property, the Schuck family set about implementing the plans that they had prepared by approaching an architect to complete the planning application. Bobby had started his working life at Marks and Spencer’s and so had quite a bit of knowledge about the retail trade and later on went on to own and manage three restaurants in West London. This background was to prove very useful in the planning and preparation for the development of both the coffee shop and fashion and gift shop. Susan has worked with horses since her early childhood and whilst living in Dubai was known as somewhat of a ‘horse whisperer’ so the two of them felt quite confident that they could bring their previous experiences to bear on the successful development of The Park. The previous owner had focused on the keeping and breeding of llamas with little attention paid to the catering operation and the customers, many of whom were children. So it seemed an obvious move to expand the playground and range of
animals kept at The Llama Park to introduce a wider variety with more appeal to children and families. With quite a bit of the 33 acres occupied by woodlands, footpaths and buildings, it was felt that there was insufficient grazing land to maintain so many large animals. So a programme was started to reduce the number of llamas, many of whom were old, unsociable and untrained, to make way for new blood. Therefore, some 25 llamas were sold or rehomed to take the numbers of animals down to a more practical level. TWO BY TWO Naturally, the first animal to be introduced to The Park was Dani, the Andalusian stallion, who was quickly followed by a mare with whom he mated, siring a colt, born 11 months later. The new boy was called Primero, which means
Susan has worked with horses since her early childhood and whilst living in Dubai was known as somewhat of a ‘horse whisperer’ SUMMER 2016
THE LLAMA PARK Pedro
In an earlier life, Bobby had owned a 120 foot motor ship called ‘The Ark’ and so the concept of the animals coming in to The Park two-by-two was adopted as a pattern for the introduction of new animals. Pachu - in need of a haircut
number one in Spanish. When The Park was first opened in May, 2013, Bobby and Sue offered free entry to the park for two months which attracted an enormous number of visitors and interest from the local community. All were welcomed and informed about the future plans for The Park. This led to contact with many local farmers one of whom was Jenny Tate, a local Jacob Sheep breeder, who offered two very lovely ewes called Roxanne and Amelia to start the growth of the animal family. In an earlier life, Bobby had owned a 120 foot motor ship called ‘The Ark’ and so the concept of the animals coming in to The Park two-by-two was adopted as a pattern for the introduction of new animals. The next animals to arrive were two donkeys from the famous ‘Hunt’s Donkey Derby’ based in Guildford. To buy donkeys from such a wellknown and well-established outfit instead of rescue donkeys was a difficult decision but, as the donkeys were to be used for children to ride, it was felt that having experienced and trained donkeys would be safer than using untested and untried donkeys. The two donkeys were Muffin and Rocky, who soon became favourites with both adults and children and their braying was something that the neighbours soon got used to. Both donkeys had wonderful personalities, were quite mischievous, but gave a lot of enjoyment to the children and staff. Sadly, Rocky died of cancer in early 2016 and has since been replaced by one
of Muffin’s old friends, called Tommy, again from ‘Hunt’s Donkey Derby’. Another ‘two-by-two’ set of animals to The Park were two Mangalitsa-Wild Boar cross pigs which were exchanged for two llamas with Godstone farm. These two girls were given half an acre of woodland, at the bottom of The Park, which they set about destroying in a totally piglike fashion. “We have all heard about the way that pigs can trash a piece of ground but we had never seen it in action. So it was with amazement that we watched these two 100 kilo sows knock down trees and bushes, eat the tree roots and anything green and turn this half acre into what can only be described as a scene from a disaster movie,” says Bobby. “Observing the destruction that lay in their wake, I named the two pigs Claudia and Janice after the two best friends of my ex-wife. Sadly, like their namesakes, the two sows were very badly behaved, often attacking the livestock staff who soon became wary of going near them. So started the introduction of the, now famous, Llama Park home-produced sausages.” FAIR EXCHANGE One day Bobby was in the shop engaging with customers as usual, this time with a local farmer, who was buying a pair of shoes that Bobby felt didn’t suit him. A small argument ensued and the end result was that the farmer, who had a ALPACA WORLD
THE LLAMA PARK
“With amazement we watched two 100 kilo sows knock down trees and bushes, eat the tree roots and anything green and turn this half acre into what can only be described as a scene from a disaster movie” family of 10 Kune-Kune pigs which he wanted to dispose of, gave Bobby the pigs, receiving in exchange the pair of shoes. The farmer and Bobby are now firm friends. The Kune-Kune Mum and Dad were named Rita and Bugsy and their introduction prompted the breeding of pigs for home-produced, organic pork for The Llama Park. Whilst absolutely lovely, friendly and sweet animals, the Kune-Kune pig does not offer much in the way of weight and so a decision was made to introduce Welsh pigs and Rita and Bugsy were given to Ellie and Stein on the Brambletye Fruit Farm where they still live happily today. “So, we went to the Hailsham livestock market and bought a healthy sow and boar, both Welsh pigs, and brought them back to The Llama Park, two-by-two, named them Rita and Bugsy and they remain here to this day breeding us lovely piglets which we try not to name for obvious reasons, but which give us some fantastic pork, which we use to make sausages – 95% pork, with no llama, horse or chicken – which are served up for Sunday roast lunch. “When we started doing Sunday roast lunches, pork was the least favourite of the three meats, but today we sell more pork for Sunday roasts than we do beef and chicken combined,” says Bobby. “It really says a lot for the taste and quality of our pork”. Later on, two more saddleback sows were added to Bugsy’s harem and today The Park’s pigs just cannot produce enough pork to meet demand.
Having depleted our herd of llamas from 53 to around 27, a decision was made to re-start a breeding programme for both the llamas and the 15 alpacas on site. Over the last two years, The Park has bred two female llamas named Domino and Dolly as well as four alpacas named Pedro, Pachu, Grace and Lily. This breeding programme continues today with the aid of Vicky Agar and her beautiful stud males from her ‘Spring Farm Alpacas’ operation. In addition, The Park has on loan from ‘Bluecaps Llamas’, a fabulous stud called Juno, thanks to Tina O’Donnell. At this moment in time, he is currently impregnating, at least when they let him, our nine female llamas. In addition to all the large mammals, The Park has also introduced both wild and domestic fowl, the favourites of which amongst customers are our two peacocks and a peahen who roam wild around The Park, as do the family of seven guinea fowl and a whole host of chickens, proving very popular with the children. Safely behind fenced enclosures are Geese, Ducks and Turkeys, which ‘gobble’ to all and sundry. DEVELOPMENTS Apart from the addition of new animals, The Park has undergone a number of important changes and development which the new owners consider to be particularly relevant and
important with today’s emphasis on hygiene and environmental health. “When we first came here,” says Susan, “there were llamas and alpacas peeing and pooing right next to the shop, creating a very unpleasant and smelly environment. We felt that this was inappropriate. So, when we made our planning application we asked to change the use of the livestock barn and create new, cleaner, sturdier shelters for the animals. Working closely with the planning department, we were able to develop a plan which would allow us to change the whole internal layout of the existing infrastructure to make it more user-friendly, hygienic and safe. Currently, June 2016, we are coming to the final stages of the redevelopment where we have created a new front entrance and swapped over the locations of the existing gift and fashion shop with the coffee shop, as well as creating a new kitchen. Two years ago, when we began the internal restructuring, we built a terrace to connect the main building with the newly converted agricultural barn and, as it was called in the old days, the ‘museum’, now the licensed marriage barn.” “The new arrangement has allowed us to focus more on the catering and events operations whilst directing the flow of customers through the shop,” says Bobby. “This is a common practice in the
A GROWING FAMILY Further animals were added with the arrival of two pygmy goats, followed by Isa – a golden Guernsey who gave birth to twin kids before very sadly passing away. Her two babies are still with us, thriving and are named Chuck and Berry. Finally, another two goats, Boer and Nubian crosses, called Blaze and Ember have been added to the goat menagerie. On a lunch visit to friends who had just purchased a new house in Heathfield, Bobby and his daughter Lily found two miniature Shetland ponies who had been rescued and were living in one of his friends’ spare fields. They were not able to keep the two lovely ponies and so The Llama Park gained another two family members called Hercules and Star. 30
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THE LLAMA PARK retail industry referred to as ‘driving customers through the retail’ as anyone who has been to IKEA will have experienced. One of the things that annoyed us the most when we came here was that customers look out at countryside but not ‘our’ countryside, and so do not see our lovely playground, nor the exceptional view of the Ashdown Park Hotel, or the views of our beautiful llamas in their pens.” In addition to these changes, The Llama Park now has a new restaurant in an old Sussex barn, which was previously used as the shop which, again, looks out over The Llama Park’s spectacular views of The Ashdown Forest. The old ‘museum’ has been converted into The Marriage Barn which doubles as Bobby’s ‘Jam Jar’, a bar and venue which will soon play host to live music with the hope that customers will take advantage of The Park’s 2am music, dancing and drinking license. Amongst other events, The Llama Park now hosts four craft fairs every year as well as a Barn Dance in June and its famous Christmas Wonderland. Father Christmas arrives at The Llama Park to see that his reindeer are being well looked after, taking up residence here from the last weekend in November until Christmas Eve when he flies off on his sleigh to deliver presents to children all around the world. The Llama Park’s website has full information about the Christmas Grotto and a customer comments section which informs readers that the ‘real Father Christmas’ really does visit and stay at The Llama Park. Several thousand children, and parents, who visit him at The Park every year certainly seem to agree that he is truly magical and ‘the real thing’.
APPLIED KNOWLEDGE Having just returned from five years at the University of Leeds, Lily, Bobby and Susan’s daughter, has taken up the role of General Manager and Musical and Events Director and is applying her knowledge from her Business Management Degree to help with the development and running of the restructured and redeveloped business. “When my parents called me three years ago and told me that they were buying The Llama Park I was, to say the least, very surprised. However, they have always been mad and always
“For me, working here at The Llama Park is a natural extension of my childhood”
run businesses together. When we lived in Dubai, they ran a publishing company. I have always been included in discussions and decisions and I often found myself when I was 10 or 11, helping out with office chores and making coffee,” says Lily. “Later on, as I grew older, my father taught me how to use a camera, going on photoshoots with him, as well as helping out with exhibitions and shows which they put on. So for me, working here at The Llama Park is a natural extension of my childhood.” “It is three years since we bought The Llama Park and it has been a journey full of both pain and pleasure, working hard for 365 days a year, working 14 or 15 hours a day. We close for just three days – Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. You would think we would have a break but actually, these days can sometimes be the hardest. We have no staff and have to deal with all the animals on our own after a few drinks and a huge Christmas Dinner,” says Bobby. “Sue and I managed to steal a week away in January 2016, where we basically just slept for a week in the hotel. We are almost at the end of the journey to complete the development of The Llama Park, to where we can hopefully relax a little and enjoy the fruits of our hard work. However, I would like to thank all the staff, the workmen and contractors, the architect, the planners, friends, neighbours and family for their support over the last three years, without whom we could not have got to where we are today. This is a truly beautiful place to live and we all feel honoured to be living and working in such a glorious environment,” he concludes.
Snowdrop, Veronica and Alma
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Sandra Powell of Hebridean Alpacas writes about the challenges
The view down in to the village
and joys of setting up a new life
in a very different part of the country
itting in yet another meeting back in 2009, I glanced round the room at my colleagues going over and over the same issues, and realised I wasn’t taking it in any more and that I had to change what I did for a living. I was working as an Executive PA for the Senior Vice President in the oil and gas industry, and I was bored rigid. That night I googled “find me a new life”. The first option which came up was for a farm for sale in Shetland. I showed it to my husband later that evening, and although he agreed it was lovely, it was too far away. And anyway, what would we do with all of that land? A few weeks later he was working away in Edinburgh and sent me a text one evening
which said “put BBC2 on”. It was Monty Hall’s “Hebridean Escape” – the one where he spent six months living in North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. A week later, Richard was in North Uist looking at houses and crofts. He found one he loved and so I travelled up to view it. I loved it too and before we knew it our house in Northamptonshire was on the market and we had put an offer in. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be, the lady selling it was slightly bonkers and after months of haggling decided we were, in her words, “not suitable to buy her croft”. We set about trying to find something else, and after months of travelling up and down the UK had an offer accepted on a small croft on Skye. Just seven acres, complete with a house, barn and sea views.
MAIN HEADING Parsley
The croft rises at the back of the house to a steep ridge from where you can see for miles. The girls quickly mastered the art of climbing up there. Whilst house hunting, we had been looking in to keeping alpacas. I had seen a news report of a herd which had been vandalised over night with spray paint. I was touched at how they reacted to their owner and started looking in to them. We visited some local small holdings and breeders, learnt about them, chose some animals and paid deposits on them. We thought we would be moving soon, but the legal process between English and Scottish law took far longer than we had anticipated, hence our first cria was born in livery. We eventually moved in June 2011. Just the two of us, six cats and two dogs piled in to two cars at five in the morning, ready for a 12-hour trek up to Scotland. As our move had been delayed for so long, the alpacas were booked to follow us up just one week later, swiftly followed by the shearer one week after that. Nothing like diving in at the deep end. ISLES OF WONDER The alpacas arrived and quickly settled in to their new surroundings. Our croft is in the north of Skye. On a clear day we can see across the Minch to the Outer Hebrides. Cruise ships can be seen passing from the front door. Dolphins, whales and seals are a common sight from the local beach in the summer. In the winter we get amazing stars and auroras. We also get appalling rain and wind. On a bad day, we can just about see the barn - Skye is known as the Misty Isle for a reason. The croft rises at the back of the house to a steep ridge from where you can see for miles. The girls quickly mastered the art of climbing up there. The rocky terrain seems to suit them. In fact, our shearer comments that it is ideal, and is reflected in the good state of their feet and teeth. It is not the lushest of pasture, but they happily pick their 36
way through grass, heather, reeds, wild orchids, docks and nettles. They particularly love rolling in reeds, most of which have been completely flattened to make comfy beds for those warmer days when they just lay there, playing dead. We have had five cria successfully born here – a first for Skye. All five were born on the ridge, requiring us to clamber up and carry them back down to the barn. Apart from our alpacas, there are just four pet males in the south of the island, and two llamas. Veterinary knowledge can politely be described as zero. I generally have to do research and print it off to show the vet if I think there is a problem. There is no-one “alpaca” to turn to, and that can be very lonely. I don’t mind admitting there have been times when I have sat in the barn and cried for the want of someone with alpaca experience to help me out. Having said that, we did successfully manage to deliver a cria who was stuck, with just his head out, but no legs. Neighbours who used to farm sheep managed to get his legs out. He survived to tell the tale and is now a cheeky chunky monkey. In hindsight, we had made no plans on how we were to make a living up here. Sure, we had savings, and Richard still had an income from the business he was in the process of selling, but that soon started to dwindle. Alpaca feed and hay is not cheap due to delivery costs. Hay is £5 per square bale and I have to pay £90 for each pallet of food delivered. For the first couple of years we played it by ear, looking after holiday cottages in the high season, and taking on some part time admin work in the local school, a school with just three pupils. It was a chance remark from a tourist who wandered up our drive one day having spied the alpacas which set me thinking about setting up
The view to the croft ridge
ISLAND ESCAPE Frankie
an alpaca shop. She told me that she came to Skye every year and next year she would be back to buy an alpaca shawl from me. My husband will tell you that my brain does not stop ticking. I started to look at the run down extension on the side of the barn in a different way. Behind all of the rubbish we had dumped in it when we moved, I discovered a window which had been boarded up. I started to clear it out and reinstated the window, then we insulated and boarded the inside and fixed up the door. Before I knew it, I was laying carpet, building shelves and ordering in stock. In the summer of 2013 we stuck a sign at the bottom of the drive, and lo and behold people started to come and buy from us. We had by then had some of our fleeces spun in to 50g balls of yarn. The rest of the stock came in from South America, all fairly traded, all well received by the tourists who were struck by the softness, the quality and the colours. All went well until we hit winter and the storms sucked out my new window and wrecked the roof. Luckily there was not any stock stored in there at this time. We found our window in the next door croft and set about putting it all back together. When the same thing happened again the following winter, enough was enough and I started to view commercial properties in the area. These are few and far between, but after bidding on a property on the same road as our local Castle, we were eventually awarded the lease last summer. SUMMER 2016
There are days when the sun is warm and a little cria bounces up to you and rubs your nose that make it all worthwhile SOFT SELL We decided we would open on 1st July. This was promptly followed by closing on 3rd of July when the shearer turned up, and then having cria born during the following week. It is fair to say that July last year was pretty busy. In just one month we had matched our takings for the whole year from our little shop on the croft. It is great to see customers taking an interest in alpacas. Many have never felt alpaca before, and we hear the same word over and over again – soft. It is great to be educating people about how great alpaca is to wear, and we now have lots of repeat visitors, both tourists and locals. We are one year on from opening the new shop now, and have lived here for five years. We have sold out of our own yarns, and have a waiting list for when it is spun again. We have great suppliers both at home and abroad and are slowly building up a reputation as “the alpaca people” nobody on Skye seems to be known by their real name. We have such gems as Donnie Post - postman, Archie
Carpet- carpet-fitter and Donnie Dangerous - has an air-gun on the back of his quad bike. I’ve got used to being introduced as “that alpaca woman I told you about”. I wouldn’t say life on Skye is easy. The nearest supermarket is a 70 mile round trip. Deliveries are expensive as despite access to the island via a bridge, everyone still classes us as an island. Broadband and mobile coverage range from appalling to non-existent. There are no clothes shops, and nobody stocks mint magnums.
Getting back to family in an emergency is not great. Inverness, our nearest airport is over three hours away. Richard lost his father within six months of moving here and I lost my dad on Valentine’s day this year. Those are the times we feel guilty about moving away, but you do have to live your own life. There are times in the winter when I am soaked through, despite wearing waterproofs, when I think what am earth am I doing? I used to have nice nails, nice clothes, proper shoes. Equally, there are times in the summer when I am stuck behind a dozen camper vans filming the view at 10 mph when I could happily scream, and often do. The petrol station frequently runs out of fuel, the baker often has no bread, and the postman doesn’t work during lambing season. On the plus side, we don’t have to lock the house or car, and of course there are days when the sun is warm and a little cria bounces up to you and rubs your nose that make it all worthwhile. Could we go back to our old life? I doubt it.
The shop interior
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By Alison Notley and Debbie Braunlich of Helderstroom Alpacas
outh Africa celebrated its second National Alpaca Day at the end of April with farms and studs in five of the country’s provinces opening their gates to members of the public. Coordinated by the South African Alpaca Breeders’ Society, National Alpaca Day has become an awareness day; a day when people can visit farms, touch, feel and lead alpacas, see the products made from alpaca fibre and learn how the fledgling industry in our country is developing. Even some of the more outlying farms received 50 plus visitors, some having driven for over two hours while several hundred clocked in at some of the larger studs. The alpaca industry as a whole in South Africa has had a big publicity drive in the past few months which has resulted in alpaca stories and editorials in two April inflight magazines, British Airways’ Highlife being one
of them, national newspapers, agricultural publications and glossy lifestyle magazines ... even radio interviews. This has paid off as many members of SAABS are receiving enquiries from prospective new alpaca breeders and we hope it will boost the industry. We are very fibre oriented in South Africa with the emphasis very much on the production of alpaca items for the luxury market, be they knitted, woven or felted garments, blankets, rugs or alpaca-filled duvets. Two alpaca collections exhibited in the Western Cape on National Alpaca Day included Helderstroom Alpacas’ Spirit of Helderstroom label and Stonehill Originals - two very different styles of end product, one using pure alpaca and the other skilfully combining alpaca with other luxurious fibres such as silk, cashmere and merino. Both use fibre processed from their own herds of alpacas.
HELDERSTROOM ALPACAS Helderstroom Alpacas concentrates on hand-knit and hand-woven products from fibre hand-spun by two local ladies both trained to spin by Helderstroom’s owner Alison Notley. Alison admits that although she taught both Brenda Willemse and Theresa Jansen to spin using traditional Ashford wheels, she cannot better their skills when it comes to competition time. For five Helderstroom’s Swiss darned toddler gilet
consecutive years Brenda and Theresa have brought back to Helderstroom the trophy for the best hand spun yarn in the Western Cape. Whether yarns are flecked, streaky, variegated or solid colours all are hand-spun. Alison explains that Helderstroom also specialises in Swiss darning techniques especially on toddler clothes, as illustrated.
Helderstroom’s flagship multiway Pacajac
www.helderstroomalpacas.co.za www.stonehilloriginals.com www.facebook.com/StonehillOriginals
Helderstroom’s black and gold tunic
Helderstroom shawl collar jacket
The waist-length cape featured below is made from a merino/mohair herringbone blend; woollen fabric and edged with luxurious silver-grey alpaca felt which gives the garment a theatrical ‘swing’ as the wearer walks.
STONEHILL ORIGINALS Stonehill Originals, owned by Debbie Braunlich, create unique non-woven (felt) and hybrid, nunofelt, textiles from luxurious alpaca harvested from her own herd and other natural fibres using a FeltLoom, which are then transformed into classic fashion, one-off tailored designs as well as home decor items. Alpaca is used either solely in a garment or with a combination of natural textiles, high-quality woollen worsteds, linens, silks or cottons, dependent on the design and client specifications. The approach in creating a Stonehill Originals’ garment embraces textural variation with an aim to elevate a garment from an aesthetic point of view.
Stonehill Originals’ “cocoon” coat, right, was made for a fashion show in the US and reflects the hues of our Cedarberg mountains in the Cape with hints of bushmen paintings in the felt. Alpaca is the main fibre used with Tussah silk adding the reflective aspect, the sparkly bits, that would be found in our mountain rock faces. The sleeves and hood are made from boucle knitted pure alpaca.
This classic Stonehill Original’s tailored trenchcoat is made from felted alpaca and merino wools and lined with Italian linen.
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WHEN THE VET COMES TO CALL
WHEN THE VET
COMES TO CALLâ€¦ 44
WHEN THE VET COMES TO CALL
By Julie Taylor-Browne of CamelidSense
donâ€™t know about you, but I think my alpacas can sense the exact moment my vet leaves the surgery, gets into his car and starts his drive to my farm. My normally friendly, co-operative herd take themselves off to the furthest field and resist all attempts to tempt them closer to the barn where I need them to be.....(they also know what day shearing has been booked into the calendar and can be seen doing a surreptitious rain dance the day before). We have been keeping alpacas and llamas for over 15 years and have had our share of incidents - some very trivial - for example from what was in hindsight a nasty tummy ache to the downright life threatening and obscure. Some we have lost, some we have saved but all of them have contributed to the magnificent new Carthvean Alpacas endowed wing at our veterinary surgery. As a consequence I have had a fair amount of experience in getting animals in and handling them for the vet. As I am sure everyone who keeps camelids knows, vets charge by the minute. So having things ready for their visit coupled with efficient handling and correct facilities make a significant difference to the emotional, physical and financial stress levels experienced by both us and the animals. When I teach groups, alpaca health is always a huge topic of conversation and the animal husbandry section is always lively and informative and I rarely give a workshop without learning something myself. My aim in this article to share with you some of the methods you can use to keep ill and injured animals calm and quiet for veterinary attention, and the not so ill co-operative for routine examinations such as veterinary health certificates. My aim is to help you to have calm, stress free handling of your alpacas and this is never more important than when your animals are ill.
EXAMINING THE ALPACA When one of your animals is ill, it will stay with the herd trying to appear normal for as long as possible and only when it is seriously ill or injured will it either separate itself or be unable to keep up with them. The 40 or so camelids at my farm graze over about 30 acres so if I spot one on its own in a field I am immediately suspicious that all is not well. If you keep your animals on more restricted grazing, this separation may be less easy to spot. Unwell as they feel, these animals will still do their utmost to avoid being examined by you (unless of course they are very ill and canâ€™t get up), and will run to the other side of the field leaving you wondering if you were imagining it all. I had a beloved old girl who died at 15 of a liver tumour and although it was obvious that there was something very wrong with her, I still wouldnâ€™t have been able to catch her in the field until about an hour before the vet arrived to put her to sleep. To handle, examine or treat my animals on a routine basis, I usually use a system of catch pens in the field. I feed my animals in them and then close them up if I wish to handle them that day. Unfortunately an animal feeling very unwell is unlikely to be tempted in by food. Therefore if I suspect an alpaca is ill or injured I have to make sure I can get them into a smaller, enclosed area for the vet to examine. It is no use leading the vet into the field and expecting them to make a diagnosis without getting his or her hands on the animal. Alternatively getting them to help you chase the animal, cornering it and grabbing it is not going to give genuine readings of temperature, heart rate and respiration rate! You need to get the alpaca into a small contained area before the vet comes if possible. Try to give yourself plenty of time to do this so that you are as unstressed and as unflustered as possible. I recommend you use a herding tape or long rope. It is usually best not to try to move just the ill animal,
My aim is to help you to have calm, stress free handling of your alpacas and this is never more important than when your animals are ill
WHEN THE VET COMES TO CALL
if necessary, bring the whole field full of animals in at the same time and then pop your patient into a small pen with a friend or family member and release the others. Sometimes individuals are happy to go in by themselves but this isnâ€™t normally the case, although the old girl I mentioned before spent at least part of most winters in the barn in her later years and trotted happily down there as she considered it a great treat. When I talk about using a smaller area for examining ill animals, I suggest an area usually made by hurdles of about 6ft by 6ft (approx 2m x 2m) to 8ft x 8ft (approx 2.5m x 2.5m). It should be under cover and ideally away from the rest of the herd (except any pen companions). I am conscious that if you suspect they may have something contagious e.g. the dreaded TB then isolating your animal will be the best thing to do, but it may become more stressed as a consequence. The reason they should not be in view of the herd is that they will want to be with them and may try to get over or under the pen to be with them. This is one of the reasons why I am not keen on the field shelter becoming the sick bay, but if it is all you have then you donâ€™t have a choice. It may be necessary to bring cria into the barn, for example if it is hypothermic and/or dysmature. Ideally, bring the mother in with it. Even if the mother is unable, or unwilling, to let it suckle, unless the mother is physically aggressive to the cria, keep them together whilst you are tube or bottle feeding. I have known not very maternal mothers finally understand what it is they need to do and to start feeding their babies at two to three weeks after birth. Separating mother and baby can lead to behavioural problems in the cria later, as can overhandling, fussing or letting young children play with orphan or ill cria.
obviously be achieved by adding more hurdles or letting them into a bigger area, whilst being able to move them into the smaller one for treatment or examination. Recently whilst training some reindeer I put a catch pen in their barn and fed and trained them in there, letting them out after each training session. Initially I removed the hurdles each time as I was afraid they would catch their antlers between the bars, but I soon realised that they liked their smaller area as I noticed that they chose to sleep in it as well as feed there. Very ill animals may need to be carried in to the barn and may then collapse onto their sides. To help their stomachs continue working properly it is normally helpful to move them into sternal recumbency and support them in this position using hay or straw bales. I was able to predict the full recovery of one my alpacas (from barley poisoning) when she weakly turned her head on the hay bale supporting it and began nibbling it...
I have known not very maternal mothers finally understand what it is they need to do and to start feeding their babies at two to three weeks after birth
Catch pen within a barn
HOUSING ILL ALPACAS The small catch pen will allow you to catch, control and examine your alpaca in the short term, without you and/or the vet chasing the alpaca round a bigger area and stressing it further. For longer stays, however, they will need to move round more and you will need to allow for a feeding, watering and dunging area. This can 46
WHEN THE VET COMES TO CALL
Restraint free injections
The midline catch
WHO DOES WHAT? I call my vet out for acute cases, blood tests, castrations and for veterinary certificates of health. Some vets are also working with owners on Herd Health plans, a move I thoroughly endorse, and which aim to be proactive and preventative rather than reactive. Like many alpaca owners I aim to deal with all routine injections, tagging, microchipping, drenching, toenails and minor injuries myself. When the shearer comes we also deal with any remaining toenails, trimming of the front teeth and taking the tips off fighting teeth of adult males. Because I regularly work with my herd they are used to the way I handle then and are content to have me control them in the pen whilst the vet examines and treats them. I am reluctant to have a vet’s assistant handle my animal, just as I prefer to assist the shearer during shearing rather than leave it to their assistant should they have one. I feel strongly about injection sites for my camelids, and ask my vet to use them. Many vets will choose the large muscles around the hindquarters without being completely clear about where the sciatic nerve runs. There have been a number of cases of this nerve being temporarily affected and of alpacas ending up with a pronounced, if temporary, limp. From a behavioural point of view an injection in the backside tends to make the alpaca move forward (or rear if you are trying to restrain them) and can lead to them kicking. Repeated injections in this area, can make the odd kick develop into a serious and unpleasant kicking habit. I recommend that for subcutaneous injections you use the area of skin around or just above the triceps (shoulder) muscle. The vast majority of injections you will give your alpaca can be subcutaneous. Very, very few, if any, need to be intramuscular but you can ask your vet to give these into the triceps muscle. When you give the injections lean over the alpaca and give it in the opposite side from you, then should the
alpaca move away from the needle they will move towards, not away from you. You don’t need to see the skin to do the injection just pull out the fleece away from the animal’s side and inject down directly into the skin. If you are on your own put a number of animals in the pen with you or make the pen smaller so that the alpaca cannot move too far or too fast while you are trying to do the injection. It is simple to walk with them to do the injection. If your vet suspects an infection, they may leave you with a course of antibiotics with which to treat the sick animal after their visit, often with a long needle. My recommendation is to drop these immediately, unused, into your sharps box and substitute your own, much shorter ones. I use 18 gauge 1/2” needles for thick liquids and 21 gauge1/2” needles for thinner ones. Even shorter needles such as 1/4” can be used for cria. The beauty of using a shorter needle is that you don’t run the risk of going in one side of the skin and coming out of the other as well as reducing the risk of jabbing yourself in the finger or thumb. Some things we inject into our alpacas can cause serious problems if we jab ourselves, and you also don’t want to risk catching a zoonotic (transmissible to humans) disease. It is important that we understand the importance of body position. I have seen numerous people (including vets) cause their camelid patients to move when they would much rather they stood still, simply by blocking their escape route. For a prey animal, having the option to move into an escape route is of supreme importance and if you stand too close, stand in front of them or stand with your body turned too much into them you can cause them to move and turn to try to regain an escape route. It may seem counterintuitive, but often giving them an escape route can make them feel safe and this will encourage them to stand still. I had a very docile and easy to handle animal who became really quite difficult while the vet tried to examine her teeth for her veterinary certificate of health. He insisted on standing right in front of her and getting very close and opening her mouth himself. I could have easily stood to one side of her, opened her lips to show him the teeth which he could have seen at a respectful distance thus letting her maintain her escape route.
When you give the injections lean over the alpaca and give it in the opposite side from you, then should the alpaca move away from the needle they will move towards, not away from you SUMMER 2016
WHEN THE VET COMES TO CALL
TECHNIQUES FOR MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS Two of the central themes I teach are: ‘containment not restraint’ and ‘keeping your alpaca in balance’. I find that alpacas and llamas are surprisingly tolerant of the things we need to do to them such as injecting and drenching. What makes them behave in ways which make them seem ‘difficult’ is when we grab them and restrain them - often with the old hold around the neck. This hold usually causes the alpaca to fall out of balance which increases their sense of panic even further. For a prey animal being grabbed around the neck and thrown out of balance normally means that they are about to become a predator’s lunch so if we can find another way to work with them for routine medical jobs we will make life a lot easier for ourselves and for our camelids! An example of this is drenching; because I have trained myself not to let my hand cross the alpaca’s midline (in order not to throw it off balance), I don’t like to put my hand round the back of the head to insert the syringe or drenching gun. I have found that using a drenching syringe with a long nozzle I can do this easily using a halter helper, which is a short piece of webbing with a clip that fastens to a ring to secure it around the alpacas neck. We use these to balance the animal. I also use this now to show the vet the animal’s teeth! A point to remember is that wherever possible both handler and vet should both work on the same side of the alpaca as camelids hate to be a ‘camelid sandwich’, they feel trapped and often exhibit undesirable behaviours. There will always be some animals, and some procedures where a sedative will be necessary and I fully support the use of sedatives in these cases. May I also make a huge plea on welfare grounds at this point to all owners and all vets to perform castrations under sedation. It is too terrifying for alpacas to be restrained and castrated without one and they often lose their trust in people and become more difficult to handle subsequent to the operation. I have previously discussed that some of 48
Showing the teeth
my favourite ‘tools’ which are the catch pen, the bracelet and halter helper. For medical examinations, the vet, the animal and I are all in the catch pen and I catch my animal using the midline catch, a slow and gentle way of catching them. I then hold my alpacas in the bracelet whilst they are being examined. If I need to let them go and then catch then again, I will put on a halter helper. I don’t bother to halter an animal for an examination, because the bracelet and halter helper gives me as much control as I need. The exception here is if I want to drench my llamas, when I use the llama’s halter to give me more control over their larger and longer head! I also find Tellington Touch to be another invaluable tool for helping to relax an alpaca and to persuade it to stand still. We also use TTouch to prepare and support animals for examinations under the tail e.g. rectal, vaginal or testicular. If I have a particularly nervous animal I may also use a body or neck wrap. A body wrap looks weird but it usually very successful. I also use an excellent technique developed by David Anderson, (former head of camelid medicine at Ohio State University) known as the Buckeye Blood Draw for encouraging camelids to lower their heads for blood taking or intravenous injections. We recently carried out presales TB tests on some animals and we used the Buckeye Blood Draw for all of them, none of them struggled or moved and the vet was very impressed.
The body wrap
I don’t bother to halter an animal for an examination, because the bracelet and halter helper gives me as much control as I need
You can learn these techniques by coming on a workshop with me, reading more articles on my website: www.carthveanalpacas.com or by purchasing Marty McGee Bennett’s excellent book, “The Camelid Companion” and/or her camelid handling DVDs. I hope you have found these pointers useful, if you wish to find out more about courses, books, equipment and DVDs see www.carthveanalpacas.com or email Julie Taylor-Brown: email@example.com
UK Alpaca Ltd
Supporting British Alpaca Breeders
2016 Fleece Collection
UK Alpaca will buy ALL your huacaya fleece including leg and short neck. All grades of fibre have value and we are pleased to say that all your fleeces are used to make a variety of yarns in Britain with the lower grades going into cushions and bedding. Keep British fleeces in the UK. Support us in developing a reputation for supplying the best high quality British alpaca yarns into the wholesale and retail markets. Prices paid for the 2016 clip will be as follows. Contact us for your copy of our shearing guidelines including tips to maximise returns from your clip. Grade
Skirted Price/kg excl VAT
Unskirted Price/kg excl VAT
Skirtings, short neck, coarse and shearing waste
Please do not consign your yearling necks to ‘waste’. They should be bagged separately and if the neck staple is more than three inches long will go into the top grades. UK Alpaca specialises in British alpaca yarns with full provenance and aims to support alpaca breeders by maintaining our reputation for high quality product. If you sell us your fleece you are entitled to buy back stock yarns at wholesale prices with no minimum order.
For more information contact Chas Brooke or Rachel Hebditch on 01884 243579 or firstname.lastname@example.org UK Alpaca Ltd, Vulscombe Farm, Pennymoor, Tiverton, Devon EX16 8NB
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ASK THE VET
ASK THE VET...
CLAIRE E WHITEHEAD BVM&S MS MRCVS Diplomate ACVIM (Large Animal)
RCVS Specialist in Camelid Health & Production. Director, Camelid Veterinary Services Ltd www.ukalpacavet.com
BOTTLE FEEDING CRIAS
ASK THE VET
e. Some lamb used for lambs is appropriat • A feeding bottle: one ly onto soda fect wn in Figure 1, fit per feeding teats, like those sho if needed! tles bot nt d as replaceme bot tles and these can be use nipples designed the use but l wel also work Human feeding bot tles can a greater flow e more holes and allow for for older babies as these hav rate. purchased alone). lacement is needed (can be • Spare teats in case rep correct 24 hour cria in order to determine • Weigh scales: weigh the assess adequacy to cria daily to begin with feeding volume. Weigh the k from the mil e som ecially if get ting of your feeding strateg y, esp bot tle. mother and some from the based on cria the correct feeding volume • Calculator to figure out h cria weights and bot rd reco to ok a notebo body weight (see tex t) and volumes fed. for cleaning out liquid and a bottle brush • Hot water, washing up not leave Do . Rinse with boiling water. the bot tles after each use ween feeds. bot tles sitting around bet t’s milk, cow’s nce: mother’s own milk, goa • Milk! In order of prefere rs old, fresh or hou 24 n tha if the cria is less milk or replacer. Note that cria in order to must be used to feed the frozen (thawed) colostrum sfer, FPT) sfer (or failure of passive tran avoid failure of antibody tran ther’s milk. mo ir the all their antibodies from since crias need to acquire s if using and ing powdered supplement • Measuring jug for mix duct correctly. pro as appropriate to mix measuring cups/measures h use to avoid eac r afte properly cleaned Any utensils used must be red according sto be st mu s ent Any supplem contamination problems. to product directions.
t’s birthing season again. One always wishes for a trouble-free birthing season with easy births, good mothering and crias that are able to nurse, and nurse from an female that is able to provide for their needs. However, this doesn’t always happen. Occasionally a female dies and leaves an orphan cria or doesn’t have milk, or doesn’t want to nurse her cria. Or perhaps she just isn’t able to provide enough milk for her growing cria for some reason. So what do you do now? The following is intended as a guide for bottlefeeding newborn crias. Please note that this is just a guide and if the cria is getting some milk from its dam, then it may not take the volumes suggested. Also as the cria grows older, it may start to get more out of other feedstuffs such as hay and grain. SUMMER 2016
Figure 1. Lamb feeding bottles such as this are ideal for feeding crias and are available for purchase on our website.
VOLUME AND FREQUENCY As a guide, a cria under 2 months of age requires 10-15% of its body weight on a daily basis and this can be divided into several feedings – for very young crias, this needs to be every other hour if the cria has no other source of nutrition. As they get a little bit older you can increase the volume of feeds fed during the day and try to reduce the number of night-time feeds such that you feed last thing at night (eg 11.30 to midnight) and first thing in the morning (eg 6am) – but do try to do this gradually. More than 15% total volume may cause diarrhoea or colic. It is also important that you don’t force-feed since this can result in milk being breathed into the lungs or going into the wrong stomach and the cria getting sick (they have three stomachs – you want the milk to pass directly to the third stomach). Monitor weight gain also on a daily basis to begin with. As the cria gets older you will be able to gradually increase the volume of the feedings and reduce the frequency so that it is not necessary to feed overnight. However, do not increase the volume too rapidly as colic may result. Min volume 10% of Body Weight
Max volume 15% of Body Weight
Suggested feed volume
60-120ml / 2-4oz every 2-4 hrs
90-120ml / 3-4oz
90-150ml / 3-5oz
150-210ml / 5-7oz
260-400ml / 8-13oz every 4 hrs
300-450ml / 10-15oz every 4 hrs
Table 1. This table shows the minimum and maximum feeding volumes for crias based on weight with recommended feed volumes (both metric and imperial units are shown).
ASK THE VET HOW DO YOU BOTTLE FEED? If the cria’s mother is available, her milk is always the best source of nutrition for the cria, so if she has milk, always try to assist the cria to nurse before attempting to feed it anything else. Starting to bottle feed a cria can be a frustrating experience at the start. Generally I will try to immobilise the cria to some extent when first starting to bottle-feed an uncooperative recipient! Later on, once used to feeds, they will probably just walk up and take the bottle. I have attached a couple of photos that show a couple of suggestions for trying to feed a newborn. Figure 2 shows me standing over the cria, stabilising it between my knees and stabilising the head against my body. This allows me two hands free to deal with the cria’s head and the bottle. With my non-dominant hand I place my fingers under the jaw and pop the tip of my thumb into the side of the cria’s mouth to open it up. Then I place the tip of the teat into the cria’s mouth. This will usually cause the cria to suckle but not always. If it doesn’t, try to move the nipple back and forth. If this is unsuccessful, squeeze a little milk into the cria’s mouth to try and stimulate a response. Do not overdo this in case the cria aspirates the milk into its lungs. Some crias will just swallow what you squeeze into the mouth rather than sucking but the aim is to get the cria sucking properly or the bottle-feeding will take a while! Figure 3 shows an approach to bottle-feeding a cushed cria. Again, the positioning aims to stop some of the wriggling that can occur when trying to bottlefeed. With either approach, or any other, try to keep the head and neck straight and in line with the rest of the body to maintain balance and also make it easier for the cria to nurse. WHAT MILK SHOULD YOU USE WHEN BOTTLE FEEDING? If the mother has died or has no milk, we normally recommend using goat’s milk as a first choice of supplement and this can be fresh (undiluted) or canned which needs to be diluted 50:50 with water since it is condensed milk. Or you can use the powdered varieties, made up using the manufacturer’s guidelines. Goat’s milk is the closest to camelid milk nutritionally. Cow’s milk is also pretty good as a replacement, and can again be fresh or reconstituted from powder. Remember that colostrum is vital to a newborn cria in order for it to develop immunity to common pathogens in its environment. A cria that does not get adequate colostrum in the first 12-24 hours of its life will have failure of passive transfer and if it does not receive a plasma transfusion will probably succumb to infections early on in life. If lucky enough to avoid these, then failure to thrive may be a problem later on. Therefore, if a cria is not willing to nurse after birth, the first consideration should be to milk the dam and feed this colostrum by bottle. If not enough is available then another source should be used – saved camelid colostrum or colostrum from other species. First choice would be goat colostrum, then cow. Have a supply of this 52
Generally I will try to immobilise the cria to some extent when first starting to bottle-feed an uncooperative recipient!
Figure 2. Bottle feeding a standing cria.
Figure 3. Bottle feeding a cushed cria. Kneel over it but do not sit on the cria! Having one knee each side helps reduce the wriggling and flopping sideways!
ready in the freezer in case fresh is not available from your local dairy. If you have a local farmer that you can ask for this, it would be advisable to ask whether they know if their herd is known to be free from TB, Johne’s or BVD. Since these diseases can potentially be transmitted to camelids, it is best to avoid colostrum from animals that may carry these diseases. Do not rely on powdered colostrum “supplements” which are not substitutes for colostrum. WHAT IF THE CRIA WON’T TAKE A BOTTLE? Tube feeding can be done initially if the cria is too weak to stand and nurse and not willing to suckle from a bottle as this will give it a little energy to get up and get going. Tube feeding should never be done in a cria that is unable to hold its head up as milk may flow back up to the mouth when the head is laid back down and then
be breathed in resulting in aspiration pneumonia. Also, never tube feed more than 90-120ml (3-4 oz) to a newborn cria in one feeding. Do not tube feed on more than two occasions as it can cause oesophagitis (inflammation of the oesophagus). There is also an increased risk of milk getting into the wrong stomach because the cria doesn’t swallow when tube-fed and because the larger volume given in one go can overwhelm the oesophageal groove which carries milk (and fluids) straight through to the third stomach compartment. You can try to simulate the volume of each swallow by giving just a little at a time through the tube in a pulsatile manner. If you have to tube-feed more than twice, there is probably a reason why the cria is not getting up and nursing for itself and you should seek veterinary attention. OTHER TIPS If you experience a problem with a newborn cria and are not sure whether the cria managed to take on board enough colostrum (and therefore sufficient passive immunity or antibodies acquired from the dam), these crias are good candidates for checking their IgG status. This is a measure of the transfer of passive immunity and you are looking for a minimum of 800 mg/dl, preferably 1000 mg/dl. Additionally, other crias that may be at increased risk and those that you should consider checking IgG are: • any cria born to maiden (first time) mothers • any cria born following a difficult birthing because they may be slower to get going • a cria born to a dam who had a problem cria in previous years • crias of low birth-weight (for alpacas, less than 7kg) • premature crias or those that may have the indications of prematurity but be born at full term on the basis of dates (dysmature crias) • crias born in inclement weather (less ideal conditions to get up and nurse – too cold, or roasting hot!). Camelid Veterinary Services Ltd is able to offer a cria IgG screening service. You need to get your vet to collect a blood sample (2ml total volume is sufficient) in a plain serum tube but we can also use EDTA or heparin tubes. The cost of testing is £25 per sample (+VAT). We are also able to provide feeding bottles, replacement teats and feeding tubes with syringes as well as lots of amazingly useful stuff (!), available on our website at www.ukalpacavet.com.
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LETTER FROM FRANCE
Nigel and Ginny Cobb of Europa Alpacas write about new life and expectations
â€œla vie nou
LETTER FROM FRANCE
Getting ready for the show ring
e have had fantastic results with Lili, who is the 10 month old weanling we wrote about in the last issue of Alpaca World. She suffered terribly with damage to her bone growth caused by rickets. This was caused by neglect by her previous owners who were experiencing their own traumatic events health-wise in their lives. Lili had surgery which included insertion of screws to force the bones to grow straight and pieces of her ulna were removed to allow time for her radius to catch up growth-wise. The poor angulation in her front legs was such that she found it difficult to walk and she in fact used to trip over her left foot. She has had her screws removed and you can see what an amazing job they have done. She
Lili with her straight legs
is now walking normally, is out of pain and is playing with her friends. It’s a wonderful story and we are really delighted with the help we had from the surgeon, Dr Karine Pader who studied alpacas in USA. A GOOD SHOW After 18 months France was eventually able to hold an alpaca show. The show, organised by Gillian Howard Evieux (www.alpaga-attitude. fr), was held at an equine centre near Lyon at the end of April, with 80 alpacas from around France. Though Gillian was helped during the show the success of it was down to her and the work she put into it beforehand. She is to be congratulated and it is good that she was supported by a good number of the bigger breeders here in France and some newcomers. Nic Cooper did the honours as judge and managed to keep his sense of humour throughout the two days, with a relaxed judging style which suited the event perfectly. Not an easy task as the weather was atrocious and the temperature peaked at 2ºC. The light was appalling and he needed to use a builder’s spotlight to see into the fleeces. All this was exacerbated by the airline that had managed to lose his luggage somewhere in Rome when flying in from New Zealand. The ring dress code went to pot as we all put on as many layers of clothes as possible, but most participants managed to keep smiling. Pride of place went to Catherine Bochaton of Alpagas de Leman. She won the Supreme
Gillian Howard Evieux and Ginny with their adult males
LETTER FROM FRANCE Champion with Bigboy, an adult brown male and reserve Champion with Palma du Leman, a junior beige female. We were very happy winning the all-important male progeny class again, with Arunda Lorca. Godswell Monte Cristo, who lost his mother at three weeks took first place Adult White Male and Reserve Champion White. He was beaten by Garance des Pres du Marsault, owned by Pascal Aubert. Garance is a grandson of Rural Alianza Wiracocha. We took Trinity Locomotion, EPC and Inca genetics, to the show for a new breeder in France, Lynn Fletcher, of Trinity Alpacas. She lives about an hour south of us and this was her first entry at a show. We were agisting her girls and cria for the winter whilst she was in the UK and persuaded her to enter Locomotion into the junior grey male class. She was not to be disappointed as she won the class and was Reserve Champion in the grey and black class. I am sure we will see more of him in the future. WELCOME TO THE (WET) WORLD Birthing has started here on the farm, though in the rain, wind and cold. Summer has yet to get going, but with cria coats and much attention our three girls and one boy are doing well. It’s a lovely time of year, with new life and expectations. Though Ginny has commented that she is not getting to know them as well as normal because none of us can spend much time sitting and watching them testing their legs out running and
Summer has yet to get going, but with cria coats and much attention our three girls and one boy are doing well Elvira and her 2015 cria Edana at Elvira’s 19th birthday party
Catherine Bouchaton with Bigboy
pronking. The weather is just far too wet. We have just celebrated the 19th birthday of Elvira, our very special black female who is due to give birth in August. As we do every year we gave her the opportunity to decide for herself if she wanted a ‘bonk’. In the last seven years she has only had two years off. Surely this must be her last? Now our attention is turning to the class of ’15 where we have 11 maidens to get pregnant before the end of the year, if they are ready. They are lucky girls as we have some great males from which to choose so we will try over the next three months or so and wait if not. VITAL STATISTICS Birthing has led me into an exercise to see whether there is any correlation between birth weight and gestational times. With over 100 births for us here during our time in France, I have tried to do a statistical exercise on this data, using my mathematical skills learnt over more than half a century ago. I have failed, so if there are any statisticians out there, do make contact and I will willingly give the data to you.
Pascal Aubert with his Monty cria at the Spring show
However, I can say from our 107 births, the following: • The lightest cria to survive weighed in at 3.2 kg after 303 days gestation • The heaviest cria weighed in at 10.35 kg after 338 days gestation. • Most cria weigh between 6 and 8 kilos. • The longest pregnancy was 371 days • The shortest pregnancy was 303 days So that is over two months’ difference in the gestation periods and the heaviest cria is over three times the weight of the lightest. Quite a range! It might be interesting to see if later in life there is any correlation between birth weight and adult weight, though clearly environment and health can play havoc with such statistics. Finally we are very lucky to have the help of Chris Sands who came here when we had a holiday earlier in the year and looked after the alpacas, dogs, chickens and cats, plus the house. He did a wonderful job and has stayed on to help. Not least because I have had to have a shoulder operation and next month I have another operation on my back. We could not have survived without him. Chris bottle feeding Chrissie
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FLUENT IN ALPACA
â€œFLUENT IN ALP
FLUENT IN ALPACA
Ian and Joanna Storie of Griezites Alpakas are both English but have lived in rural Latvia now for eight years. They first went there in 2000 to help out with children’s camps and they just kept coming back...
arious career opportunities took us to Copenhagen in Denmark for three years, then Colorado in the USA for two and finally Latvia. We have around 13 hectares, 32 acres, of land made up of grassland, forest and swamp and an old ski hill from Soviet times where we cut our hay. On our farm there are currently nine alpacas, four sheep plus three lambs, around twenty chickens and two cats. We grow the vast majority of our own food and love to experiment trying to grow different things, there is a large, 18m x 6m, greenhouse for grapes, tomatoes, peppers etc. in the summer and it doubles as a shelter for the caravan and chicken arks in the winter. For the last four years we have had the great pleasure of caring for our alpacas. We first came across alpacas while on a trip to Australia for our daughter’s wedding, during a visit to a place called Denmark near the south west coast. We went into a shop that sold alpaca products and Joanna, who is into fabrics, was in heaven. This planted a seed in our heads, could we keep alpacas on our land? A few days later we went to an alpaca farm and saw them for the first time. We talked to the owner about what was involved in keeping alpacas. Both of us had no experience of keeping animals apart from the three chickens and a cat we owned when we lived in England. I was worried about how the alpacas would cope with the sometimes harsh Latvian winters, -30oC and over 1 metre of snow is not unusual. She helped put our minds at rest and on returning to Latvia we started doing a lot of research into alpaca keeping; what type of shelter do they need, how much and what type of feed do they have, SUMMER 2016
could our land support alpacas if so how many, what about medical issues, shearing? Many, many questions and the biggest perhaps, could I cope with looking after the alpacas. Both of us have scientific backgrounds and as I have already mentioned love to experiment, so we decided to go ahead and get some alpacas and see what happens. SERIOUS BUSINESS Maybe we would be the only people in Latvia to have alpacas we thought. Through the Internet, a wonderful thing, we discovered there was an alpaca breeder in Latvia but communication with him was not very forthcoming so we decided to look elsewhere to get our alpacas. Finally a breeder in Sweden not too far away from Stockholm was found who had three males we could buy, Tellus a stud male, Turbjorn and Herkules both castrated. So a hasty overnight ferry trip from Riga to Stockholm was booked so we could see our new alpacas and I suppose to also prove to the breeder we were serious about buying. He was very, very helpful and gave us lots of information about taking care of them. Turbjorn
FLUENT IN ALPACA It just so happened there was a lady near to him who had an international horse transport company, she had never been to Latvia and was willing to transport our new boys. So at 3 am one July morning we set off on the six hour journey to the port of Ventspils with our horse box to meet the ferry. We made the transfer in the ferry car park and then set off for home. Once the boys were safely in the paddock we sat down with a cup of tea, very English, watching them and thought, “Oh crumbs what have we done”. Of course at first they were very wary of us and trying to get them into the alpaca house was not going to be easy, many an evening was spent chasing them around the paddock. After a week though they quickly caught onto the fact I would come with some trays of food and they would follow me in. I do like to lock them away at night, as there are occasionally wolves and lynx in the area. Over the next few months I read books and articles from the internet on alpacas and alpaca care, then spent a lot of time just watching them and their behaviour trying to match what I was seeing with what I had read and trying to spend time with them so they got used to me and I with them. “FUNNY HAIRCUTS” We live in a very rural part of Latvia and the alpacas were something unique. I watched many cars slow down as the passing drivers were staring and remember thinking “I wonder how long before there will be an accident”. Luckily it is not
a very busy road. A good neighbour who used to be a vet in Soviet times who has helped us out on numerous occasions with the alpacas told us a friend of hers had asked “what are those animals with funny haircuts?” Our “official” vet also told us she had been asked numerous times, “have you seen those strange animals, what are they?” Our vet has been fantastic; it has not only been a steep learning curve for me but for her too. We did buy her a book on camelid veterinary care before we got the alpacas so at least she had some idea of the anatomy / problems an alpaca may encounter. However, this is rural Latvia and a lot of the things mentioned in the books are not easily available, so it’s been a “let’s try this and see approach”, and of course there is always the Internet as a resource. The first winter came and went and the boys were fine. Phew! As April approached we began
to think about shearing but we did not want to use local sheep shearers, as we had been told stories about how by the end of the day they could be inebriated by the generous consumption of vodka. I was not letting anyone like that near my alpacas. So I bought my own shears and with help from two friends from a nearby sheep farm, one of them had at least sheared two sheep in the past, we did, one of our boys. Then two weeks later Joanna and I sheared, well hacked actually, our other two boys. Two hours per animal and not a pretty sight but at least it was done and with no skin cuts. The experiment was deemed a success so the decision was made to get some females, a new alpaca house was built and in October we headed off to Riga ferry terminal to meet our new arrivals. Transfer made again in the car park this time with the police taking great interest. Veronica and
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FLUENT IN ALPACA
The girls when we first got them
I am a great believer in co-operation and sharing information and experiences; I think the alpacas we care for benefit greatly from this approach 62
Snowdrop, 10 and 9 yrs, who were both pregnant, Estelle, 2yrs, and Alicia ,18yrs, who we got for free to give her a retirement home. The girls settled in much faster than the boys, maybe due to the fact I was much more at ease and confident with handling them. UPS AND DOWNS The following years have been times of great joy and sadness; we have lost four cria and three adults one with heart problems, one to liver cancer and another to heat stress. It really has felt as if we take two steps forward then one backwards. I remember saying to Joanna “I wanted to be an alpaca breeder not an alpaca undertaker”. But all of the losses were not in vain as we learnt so much that has been put into practice with the remaining animals. We helped our vet perform autopsies so that both our vet and we could learn about alpaca anatomy, we learned how best to deal with a bottle fed cria, dealing with mites, giving injections and taking blood. I used to work in a large haematology laboratory so am used to taking blood, just not from alpacas. The highlights have been the births of Agnese who we had to supplement feeding with goat’s milk, she was our first cria and then the following year of Brencis the first to be conceived and born on the land. In November last year we got three new alpacas from Estonia, Peedo a black male, and two females, Chanel a chocolate brown and Mari who is white with brown patches, all were two years old. We wanted to introduce some new
genetics and colour into our herd. There were very few problems with acceptance, Veronica the old lady took exception to Mari at first, but we think it was due to the fact Mari was multi-coloured and Veronica had never come across one before. Joanna is studying for a PhD at Tartu in Estonia and a fellow student, who is mad about alpacas, put us in contact with a breeder in Estonia, Wile farm. Wile Farm organise the Estonian Alpaca Association and so we were also put in contact with another Estonian breeder, Alpakafarm. So last year we went to meet both breeders and it was such a joy to meet fellow alpaca lovers and share each other’s experiences, hopes and plans for the future. I am a great believer in co-operation and sharing information and experiences; I think the alpacas we care for benefit greatly from this approach. I am told there are probably around 120 alpacas in Estonia. Here in Latvia there are probably around 80 with maybe five owners, there was a Latvian Camelid association but that has folded. We have close links with Rakši Zoo who also have camels, llamas as well as alpacas and they have been very helpful especially in our early days of alpaca ownership. I think there are many more alpacas in Lithuania and it would be my dream to see all three Baltic States working together to promote alpacas and their products. ON THE MAP What about our little place, “Griezites Alpakas”; griezites is Latvian for corncrake, the bird, and is the name of our land and yes alpacas is SUMMER 2016
FLUENT IN ALPACA spelt with a “k” in Latvian. Well we are now on the local tourist map and have had visits from pensioners’ groups, choir groups, school groups and kindergarten classes. As I said alpacas are very rare in Latvia so there is a lot of interest. To my great shame I still can’t speak the language. Languages were never one of my strong points, three attempts to pass my English O level, plus I spend all my time out here on the farm so don’t hear it much. I keep saying, “I can’t speak Latvian but I am fluent in alpaca.” Seriously though this is a big problem, as of course it is impossible to communicate with non English speaking visitors, but we do have a friend who is willing to translate if we need it. We have had many different ideas and one of them was to offer English lessons where children can come and learn about the alpacas and learn English as well. This worked well with the school group we had and the children listened attentively and asked questions in English. I have learned how to spin wool and we have a friend who is an excellent knitter so she is currently doing socks and hats that we can sell. We have our first felting course with Galina Blazejewska a wonderful felter from Poland organised for July using our alpaca fleece. An area I would love to get into is the use of alpacas as therapy animals, as I see a great need for that here in Latvia. We are now also on Facebook at Griezites Alpakas and have a web site www.griezitesalpakas.lv
Agnese and Brencis
CUTTING TIME I finally admitted that the two hours per animal to shear and a hacked fleece was not good enough so I decided to take an alpaca shearing course at Classical MileEnd Alpacas in the UK. When I came home I invested in the pulleys for restraining, bought some new shears and a tool for cutting teeth. This time I was down to 30 minutes per animal including teeth and toe nail trimming, I am sure the alpacas were relieved. I mentioned this to the two breeders we met in Estonia and it was then mentioned at the last Estonian alpaca association meeting; from that I started getting emails asking if I could come and shear. So most of May was spent travelling around Estonia shearing around 70 alpacas. We met some gorgeous alpacas and some wonderful owners and spent way too long talking. It is okay shearing your own animals but it was so nerve wracking shearing someone else’s alpaca. I would love to thank all the owners especially the two breeders for letting me loose on their animals. I will admit I have succumbed to the lure of alpacas. I think they are wonderful animals; they are like part of the family, each with their own personality. I won’t say it’s been easy over the years and I think we have had some hard lessons, but the joys have far outweighed the sadness. So I think our alpaca experiment has worked and in answer to the big question posed earlier “can I cope with the alpacas,” I think it is now “can I cope without my alpacas.”
It was so nerve wracking shearing someone else’s alpaca. I would love to thank all the owners especially the two breeders for letting me loose on their animals.
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BREEDERS DIRECTORY Book your space in the Alpaca World Breeders Directory now by telephoning Heidi Hardy on 01598 752799. An entry is priced at just £35 to cover FOUR issues.
Rushmere Alpacas Jo Parker & Neil McAndrew, Little Cuppers, Rushmere, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire LU7 0DZ. Tel: 01515 237416. Fax: 01525 234068. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.rushmerealpacas.co.uk Quality herd on the Beds, Bucks and Herts border offering a superb service to new and experienced breeders. Pregnant/maiden females, stud and pet males. Free training and 24/7 support.
Pure Alpacas Jay & Hilary Holland, Torsend House, Main Road, Tirley, Glocs. GL19 4EU. Tel: 01452 780327. Email: email@example.com Web: www.purealpacas.co.uk A family-run herd of both huacaya and suri with a range for sale from pets and guards to elite breeding stock. Sensibly priced and all backed by professional, unrivalled support and advice. Our herdsires are all proven and available for outside services. We run a variety of courses which cater for all levels of experience. Exports to Europe a speciality.
DEVON Classical MileEnd Alpacas Rachel Hebditch & Chas Brooke, Vulscombe Farm, Pennymoor, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 8NB. Tel: 01884 243579. Mob: 07970 415638. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.alpaca-uk.co.uk Professional breeding farm with 18 years alpaca experience. Show winning herd sires with British, Australian and American genetics available for outside stud servicing. Wide selection of quality alpacas for sale as pets or breeding stock. We maintain rigorous management of on farm biosecurity including full farm perimeter wildlife fencing. Excellent customer support and training with visitors welcome by appointment.
Snowshill Alpacas Roger Mount, Snowshill Hill Barn, Temple Guiting, Cheltenham, GL54 5XX. Tel: 01386 853841 / 07711 044106. Fax: 01386 854791. Email: email@example.com Web: www.snowshillalpacas.com Breeders of prize winning Huacaya and Suri alpacas in Gloucestershire. We usually have alpacas for sale, from pet to show quality. Stud services available from a wide selection of proven sires. After sales support and advice. We also have fabrics for sale, all made from our own alpacas and spun, woven and finished in the UK. HAMPSHIRE
DORSET Alpha Alpacas Di Davies, Woodstock, Mapperton Lane, Melplash, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3UF. Tel: 01308 488661 / 07739 382483. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.alphaalpacas.com A small elite herd of Huacaya alpacas where top quality fibre, biosecurity and supporting our clients is paramount. The quality of our herd has been confirmed by their superb show record. Stud services available, breeding stock (male and female) and pet males for sale.
Pennybridge Alpacas Joy & Peter, Pennybridge Farm, Greywell Road, Up Nately, Hook, Hants RG27 9PJ Tel: 01256 764824 / 07801 132757 Email: email@example.com Web: www.pennybridgealpacas.co.uk The Pennybridge Herd & Stud. Alpacas for sale. Most colours available, even the rare appaloosa. Quality starter herds, proven and potential stud males, stud services, pets and sheepguards. Free advice and after sales support provided.
Watership Alpacas Keith Taylor, Greenacres, Thruxton Down, Andover, Hants SP11 8PR Tel: 01264 889206 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.watershipalpacas.co.uk Watership Alpacas invites you to visit and meet our prize-winning alpacas. We have all colours of BAS registered huacaya breeding females, young males, potential studs and pets for sale. Inexpensive stud services all with full support and guidance. NORFOLK AzSu Alpacas Nikki Lenk, The Low Farm, Letton, Thetford, Norfolk, IP25 7TB. Tel: 01362 820097. Mob: 07798 522178 Fax: 01362 821333 Email: email@example.com Web: www.azsualpacas.com Norfolk’s largest breeder offers potential and existing owners a friendly and complete service. High quality studs; breeding females and wethers for sale; practical training; caring agistment; fleece conversion; sound advice on all aspects of these magical animals. SOMERSET Tai Wind Alpaca Stud Lynn Pepper, Staffords-Mead Stables, Lower Rudge, Frome, Somerset, BA11 2QE Tel: 07790 674334 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.taiwindalpacas.co.uk Show quality black alpacas. Fast forward your genetics with our stud males. We have a selection of pregnant females and young stock for sale from our show herd. Import, export.
WARWICKSHIRE Toft Alpacas Rob & Shirley Bettinson, Toft Manor, Toft Lane, Dunchurch, Warwickshire, CV22 6NR. Tel: 01788 810626. Fax: 01788 522347 Email: email@example.com Web: www.toft-alpacas.co.uk Alpaca Stud Farm, est 1997. Pedigree stock for sale in all colours. Superior stud services. Stud males for sale or lease. Pets for sale. Introductory and advanced husbandry workshops. Fleece and fibre workshops. 24/7 advice and support. Holiday cottage on farm. Luxury alpaca products online and on-farm shop. WILTSHIRE Pinkney Alpacas Jay Holland, Pinkney Court, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16 OPD. Tel: 07789 257222 or 07778 020153 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.pinkneyalpacas.com Home to multiple supreme winning stud ‘Pinkney Dragon’. We are long established breeders of superb suri with an enviable reputation for supplying show quality stock from unrivalled genetics. YORKSHIRE Fowberry Alpacas Jenny MacHarg, Crambe Grange, Barton Le Willows, York YO60 7PQ. Tel 01653 619520. Email: email@example.com Web: www.fowberry-alpacas.com Supreme Championship winning herd, including the overall Championship winning Huacaya Sire of the biggest show in Europe (2012). We offer super-fine genetics; correct conformation and happy healthy alpacas; knowledgeable advice and after-sales assistance; regular introductory and advanced courses; on-line shop and as importantly, our support to achieve your alpaca goals.
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