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April 2014



April 2014




Inside this issue…

Message from the President


What is Agritourism?


National Alpaca Day


Farm Visits That Say Welcome


Southern Field Days


A Sneak Preview – Overview of Processing


Let's Talk Quality – Part Two


Vaccinating Alpacas Against Clostridial Diseases Using 5–in–1 Vaccine


Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies and Toxicities


10 Tips for Taking the Perfect Paca Pic


The History of Alpaca Imports into New Zealand


Judges Workshop


Little River Fleece Show


Advertising Breeder Profile


New Member Profile


Kit Johnson

Marketing and Promotions Sub-committee COVER PHOTO: Courtesy of Molly Gardner

Heather Candler

Marketing and Promotions Sub-committee Cameron Holt

Caroline Newcombe



Jane Vaughan Dr Geoff Neal Chris Leach Kit Johnson

Showing and Judging Sub-committee Showing and Judging Sub-committee Michael and Louise Green

John Andrews and Amanda Warner





New Zealand Alpaca is printed on paper derived from resources which are managed to ensure their renewability for generations to come.


Editor Robyn Anderson

Website AANZ – All Enquiries Toni Soppet – AANZ Office Manager PO Box 6348, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8442 Phone (03) 341 5242. Mobile 021 368 994 or

Advertising AANZ Office Phone (03) 341 5242 Deadlines New Zealand Alpaca is produced three times per year. Deadlines for all advertising & articles for the next issue is 30th June, 2014.

AANZ Council Kit Johnson – President 68 Moodys Road RD 2, Kaiapoi 7692 Phone (03) 327 3020

Advert Sizes When producing artwork for advertising please use the measurements below.

Keenan Scott – Vice President 26 Donald Bruce Road Waiheke Island Phone (09) 372 5293

Business Card ¼ Page ½ Page Portrait ½ Page Landscape Full Page Double Page Spread

88mm × 55mm 88mm × 130mm 90mm × 264mm 180mm × 130mm 210mm × 297mm 420mm × 297mm

Advertising Rates All prices GST exclusive. All adverts full colour. Press Ready Artwork Supplied Business Card ¼ Page ½ Page Full Page Double Page Spread Special Positions Right Hand* Back Cover (full page) Inside Cover (full page) Inside Back Cover (full page) Specific Position* * Subject to availability

$55 $110 $220 $400 $700 +10% +25% +20% +15% +10%

Graphic Design Advert design service available @ $60 per hour, 95% of adverts will take an hour or less to complete. We will contact you with an estimate prior to commencing work if composing your advert will take longer than an hour. Please direct any design enquiries to Discounts A discount is available for advertising in three consecutive issues. The full rate is paid for the first two adverts and a 30% discount is given on the third advert. This is equivalent to 10% per issue. Please don’t send payment with advertising material – an account will be sent on receipt of your advertisement. 2

Martyn Ellwood-Wade – Secretary Wayne Allison – Treasurer Frank Walkington – Southern Region Rep. Heather Goffin – Central Region Rep. Mary-Ann Pruden – Northern Region Rep. Willem Alblas – Northern Region Rep. Liability Whilst all efforts have been made to ensure accuracy of information this Association accepts no responsibility for any errors contained in advertisements or text. Views expressed by advertisements and contributors are not necessarily endorsed by this association. Copyright All material appearing in NZ Alpaca is copyright. Reproduction in whole or part is not permitted without the written permission of AANZ.

“I wish to take the opportunity to thank all the volunteers who help make our association function. Their countless hours of unpaid work is often overlooked and yet without them, we would not have an association.”

Message from the President The autumn shows are amongst us and we must remember that shows are a very public way of promoting our breed and industry for a minimal cost. I am saddened when I see only about 30% of our membership attend shows on a regular basis. They are losing sight of the bigger picture. Many of our members first saw alpacas at an A & P show and yet they fail to understand the importance of showing and promoting their business to a captive audience. Are these the people dropping out of our industry I ask? National Council has recently made the decision to proceed with developing an export protocol with China. The Ministry for Primary Industries is currently working on our behalf to establish the protocol – the AANZ has little actual involvement.

the regional subcommittees, the various subcommittees reporting to National Council and of course my fellow National Council colleagues. If you are unhappy with the work that these people do – why not join them and see if you can make the difference that you wish to see.

Kit Johnson President, AANZ

An export protocol is a Government to Government agreement that sets out the terms and conditions in which animals can be sent from one country to another. Without a protocol in place, no animal can leave the country. There are existing protocols for the USA, Australia, the EU, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It is National Council’s firm belief that opening the door for exports of alpacas to China will create some wonderful opportunities for our members. It is pleasing to hear that more and more members are making sales both locally and internationally and that prices for good quality animals are reaching good premiums. I also wish to thank members who have made a real effort with their fibre. The recession has certainly caused more and more members to rethink what they do with their fibre. There is now a scarcity of good quality fibre available for sale and the number of buyers is increasing. Please pay attention to the skirting and sorting of your fibre. National Alpaca Day is not far away. Members are reminded to contact Toni and have their farms recorded as participating for National Alpaca Day. Details are on the AANZ website. I wish to take the opportunity to thank all the volunteers who help make our association function. Their countless hours of unpaid work is often overlooked and yet without them, we would not have an association. In particular, I am thinking of the show convenors, the editor of our magazine,


What is

Agritourism? In broad terms Agritourism is any agriculturally based operation or activity that brings visitors to the farm. Generally speaking the tourism aspect is built on an already existing agricultural business, providing an additional income stream. Bed and breakfasts, farm stays, beach walks, farm shops, farm tours, seminars and specialised alpaca education programmes are just some of the enterprises that form part of this growing industry.

Nevalea Alpacas Our alpaca journey started in July 2007 and along the way we have experienced the joys and also the heart breaks that come with owning these majestic beauties as they form a strong bond of being part of your life. From the initial thoughts of having a couple of pets, the idea of having alpacas grew into a couple of breeding females, then a couple more. Males then came into the equation, colour, genetics and before you know it we were addicted. The fibre designer from the wool/possum days was rekindled and the quest to turn this exquisite alpaca fibre into garments began. Out from the cupboard came the knitting machine. All the fibre from our alpacas is used in the garments and products in our farm and online shop. Be spoilt by choice with the collection of clothing through to homeware, this brings diversity to our traditional sheep and

Nevalea school visit 4

cattle farm income streams, which is proudly 100% New Zealand grown and made. As demand has grown I have been happy to teach others the skills of working with fibre to produce luxury end products, they now form part of the team here at Nevalea Alpacas. While we have a large herd, farming over 400 alpacas we do know each and every one of them, which ensures not only their wellbeing but gives us the confidence of their behaviour amongst visitors. We have resthome residents that visit. This forms part of our giving back to the community, the residents have in their younger days been farmers or craft people, they enjoy the interaction with the alpacas and the alpacas are very gentle and patient with the elderly. Large groups of pre-schoolers through to primary school children come for educational outings. Farmer groups have visited,

Visit from South American farmers

interested in learning about how alpacas can be part of a traditional farming system. We have found our existing knowledge of animal husbandry a huge benefit in caring for our alpacas. With the numbers we farm, we have come across most scenarios, this enables us to support other people in need. What we take for granted, is a pleasant and inspiring encounter for visitors to our farm. We hold a couple of Open Days a year, including National Alpaca Day, have a presence in social media, but ‘word of mouth’ brings many visitors to our place called home. Visitors are blown away with how friendly alpacas are, their social interaction is enjoyed immensely, I tell people that trust is earned, it is not a given, as with any animal, be kind

and you will be rewarded. Some are in awe of the hills when coming from countries like Sweden, the visitors are thrilled by the friendly alpacas that love to meet and greet them. It is with pleasure we welcome people to our farm to get the ‘ultimate alpaca experience’ within a working farm that showcases the true rural New Zealand way of life. Neville and Leonie Walker run sheep, cattle and alpacas on their 351 hectare farm just north of Taumarunui. Between them they have many years of rural industry experience including stud stock and rural finance, and with particular emphasis on stock husbandry. In June 2007, Neville and Leonie started their herd of Huacaya alpacas with two breeding females with cria at foot. Their herd currently numbers around 400 and is still growing. Their attraction to alpacas was not only for the animals themselves, but for the luxurious fibre they produce.

Shamarra Alpacas “Being in the right place at the right time” is not what crossed our minds on February 22nd, 2011 as we steadied ourselves on the fence while the ground beneath us rocked and rolled. It was not long after the devastating Christchurch earthquake that Akaroa became the port of call for the eighty cruise ships that were rerouted after extensive damage to Lyttleton Harbour. Having lived in a tourist destination for 20 plus years before moving to New Zealand, it was almost a forgone conclusion that we take advantage of this tourism opportunity on our doorstep. Shamarra Alpaca Experience Akaroa – our farm tour enterprise, kick started in October 2011 at the beginning of the cruise season. A section of our newly built barn was converted into a shop and stocked with alpaca products. One of our business interests back in the Caribbean was retail, so armed with over 15 years experience in the rag trade, we had a good idea of how to run the retail side of our new venture. Akaroa is a very popular tourist destination and we diversified our marketing by targeting the stay over tourists coming to the area Naturally, we attract animal lovers, many of whom have never seen an alpaca in the flesh. We never tire of the response we get from visitors – absolute adoration is the typical reaction. Our herd has grown very used to visitors mingling with them and many will let people approach and touch them in the paddock. Of course our cria offer the ultimate in ooohhs and aahhhs of absolute delight from young and old.

In addition to our alpaca farm tours, we offer accommodation in a luxury suite, with separate access from our residence. Because of its spectacular location, we have attracted a variety of international guests, seeking something exclusive and different. Of course the alpacas are a big attraction too. 5

Guest Suite at Shamarra Alpaca Farmstay, overlooking Akaroa Harbour.

Our eco-tourism operation runs in conjunction with our alpaca breeding programme, with our focus firmly on fibre. Trait selection has taken on a whole new meaning as we now breed specifically for fleeces that will allow us to produce superior alpaca garments and accessories. We are fortunate to have sufficient acreage to support a herd that will produce the bulk of our fibre requirements in the future, although we will still be purchasing fibre from select breeders. Showing our alpaca is another important part of our business, which enables us to market our genetics and compare the outcome our breeding programme to others. We sell animals to breeders both domestically and overseas. Our foray into alpaca farming started on a whim, as a hobby, like so many of us do. Ten years on, we are full time alpaca breeders taking advantage of all the alpaca has to offer. We owe a lot to our wonderful alpacas. Frank and Anya Walkington own and operate Shamarra Alpacas, Shamarra Alpaca Experience Akaroa and Shamarra Alpaca Farmstay overlooking beautiful Akaroa Harbour. They moved their herd from their lifestyle block north of Auckland after purchasing a property at French Farm, Banks Peninsula in 2010.

Alpacas in Spain Agritourism – getting people to visit your farm. As alpaca owners we need agritourism. We need visitors to our farm, whether that is people looking to buy their first alpacas or an experienced breeder looking for stud services. It could be that we run a farmstay property or B and B and we need visitors for that, or an alpaca trekking business and farm shop. All of these things need people to know about your farm. So that gives rise to a new type of Agritourism, Virtual Agritourism. I am based in Spain, where the alpaca industry is in its infancy. We thought we would be able to sell the alpacas, and our living would come from that, but people here don’t even know what an alpaca is. We had to diversify. We now provide self catering holidays and also do ‘Meet the Alpaca’ days out for expats who want a day out from the coast. I have written two books about our life here. People all over the world like to follow our day to day lives. 6

Visitors enjoying the alpacas on a beautiful Spring day at Shamarra.

We post a lot of pictures on our personal Facebook pages. Lorna and I both blog. Social media has become the virtual marketplace. This resulted in a mass farm visit this weekend just gone. Lorna and I had been out for a walk as it was a fine day, and on our return we found about 50 or 60 local Spaniards outside our gates. There were about 30 cars lined up along the side of the track that passes for a road here. None of these people spoke any English and our Spanish is terrible, but we invited them in to meet the animals. The kids were lined up to feed our boys, and the parents were taking hundreds of photographs. They weren’t here long, maybe half an hour, but that evening photos started appearing on Facebook, and word was spreading about the alpacas. The only way these people could have known about our alpacas is through Facebook. It isn’t as if we have passing traffic. With the advent of Facebook and Twitter I have friends and contacts all over the (alpaca) world. I talk to people in New Zealand and Australia, Canada and the US. I am also in contact with farms in the UK, France, Holland, Germany and Norway (and probably others I have missed). If I have a problem cria, there is a high possibility I can get advice in treatment within five minutes through social media, and maybe save that cria’s life. It takes me an hour to get a vet here.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no better feeling than having a family come to your farm, enjoy your facilities and your animals, but I believe you can help spread the world about these animals through the new ‘Virtual Agritourism.’ I am Alan Parks, and I live in Cordoba, southern Spain. I moved here in 2008 with my partner Lorna and we decided to start breeding alpacas. I have now written two books about our life here in Spain with these amazing animals. The first one, Seriously Mum, What’s an Alpaca? has been a best seller on Amazon, both in the UK and the US, and at the end of 2013 I published the sequel, Seriously Mum, Where’s that Donkey? I now share my life with eight alpacas, five dogs and varying numbers of farm cats and chickens. You can follow our adventures on Lorna's blog

“The only way these people could have known about our alpacas is through Facebook. It isn’t as if we have passing traffic.”


On Farm Quarantine Facility Setting the Suri Standard

Ch o i c e Quality

Affordability All Colours Â


Ian and Angela Preuss Strathbogie, Victoria, Australia, 3666 PH: +61 3 57905394 Mobile: 0407931789 Email:



Sunday May 4th, 2014 by Marketing and Promotions Sub‑committee

National Alpaca Day is the AANZ’s premier promotional event of the year. With the support of generous subsidies from the AANZ, members have a wonderful and inexpensive means to promote their stud through local and national media. The combined effect of all this is a nationwide media coverage of everything alpaca. By working together with your fellow breeders and the AANZ, we have the extra bargaining power of obtaining substantial editorial in addition to our advertising. To maximize your day, we have prepared some suggested guidelines:

Signage at gate Have you finalised your “OPEN DAY” sandwich board so that the public can locate your farm easily. The public need to know that your farm is open to them on this day. Place some alpacas in the front paddock near your entrance.

Mail drop A mail drop to lifestyle farms in your area is a great way of promoting your open day. Remember to include road directions and a photo of an alpaca in your flyer.

Have you updated your homepage to promote your open day. Place a link to the AANZ page for National Alpaca Day. Have you registered with the AANZ to add your listing to the National Alpaca Day page? is a popular site offering free listings for events.

Facebook Promote your open day through Facebook and other social media forums.

Local A & P shows/market days Take your promotional flyers along to the local A & P shows and market days leading up to National Alpaca Day.

Focus on alpaca Have you got good supplies of the Focus On Alpaca magazine? Remember there is no advertising in this publication, just good sound advice about farming alpacas.

Sale kits Have you prepared a list of animals for sale including good quality photos, prices and pregnancy status. People do not generally buy on the day – having your sales information available on the day, will greatly assist in securing sales later on.

Fibre and product If you have fibre and/or product for sale, have it ready on display in an area near your alpacas. Make it colourful, informative and attractive as a display. Like any retail outlet, a well stocked shop will encourage sales.

On the day Animal pens Have your animals ready in their pens and close to where your home or sheds.

Puzzles and Colouring–In picture are available for download from our website (see Kids Pack)

Promotional displays Set up your promotional display early in the morning. Have your flyers, sales kits, business cards, Focus on Alpaca magazines and all other promotional material available. Helpers Do you have a team to assist you who know something about alpacas? Make sure your team impart the same message and that there are no inconsistencies. Car parks Have signs erected directing the public to the car park. Have you allowed for say up to 20 cars at any one time? Signage Get all your signage out early in case of any early arrivals. If you have crossroads nearby where the public may get confused, erect extra signs so that you maximize the number of visitors. Toilets/water Have you erected signs directing the public to the toilets and/or to get water in case it is a hot day. Take notes Have a diary to write down names and addresses of potential clients – do not rely on them to phone or email you. Write down what you have promised to provide. Follow up Always follow up on any potential sales lead. This is absolutely essential. If you don’t, someone else may get the sale. A phone call is always better than an email. Deliver Finally and possibly one of the most important, always deliver on what you said you would do. Word of mouth advertising is still the single most important sales tool. You all know what a happy customer will do. Best of Luck!



“WELCOME” Thoughts of a recent visitor

by Heather Candler – Oak Hills Alpacas

It was not that long ago that we were satisfying our curiosity and doing our preliminary research as we visited farms across Ontario (see Camelid Quarterly, March 2010, “The Great Alpaca Tour”). During that tour we experienced every sort of visit one could imagine. The warmth of the greetings, the happiness of the families who chose alpacas, and the knowledge that each alpaca farmer imparted was inspiring. These experiences, and several farm visits since, solidified our resolve to raise alpacas. These are the moments that cultivate the growth of our industry. At the very least, if you have not inspired a new farmer by the end of a visit, you should have created a new convert to the use of alpaca fibre in their art or craft. Consider how you might make every farm visit comfortable for your guess and successful for you.


y family have been alpaca farmers for a short two years now. There are days it seems like years that we have been enjoying the antics of the herd in our backyard. But we have never forgotten what it felt like to see these animals for the first time as we visited farms. One of the many things we enjoy about alpaca farming is welcoming guests to the farm and introducing them to these beautiful animals. We enjoy explaining how this unique livestock can fit into their lives and meet their business aspirations, large or small scale. And regardless if we make a sale or not, we have done our part to grow the industry and promote its product: fleece.

We have learned many lessons in these first two years of farming. During that time we have tried never to forget what it felt like to be a newcomer - to be approaching the farm gate with great curiosity but little sense of entitlement to be there wasting that busy farmer’s time. I remember feeling sure that each farm we approached dealt only with seasoned alpaca ranchers buying quantities of animals at top price. Then we arrive with only a modest start up budget and pages of tedious questions. Let’s face it. We all have our strengths. And if dealing with those tedious questions or unexpected visits is not your strength, make it clear at the point of initial contact – which is usually your website marketing materials. Advertise farm visits by appointment only and greet unexpected guests in your driveway with a smile and a card, along with an explanation that you are in the middle of an important task but invite them

Allow guests to make observations before entering pens. 10

to call you later and book a visit. Glaring frustration may be more honest, but could also be enough to terminate not just the visit, or the sale, but possibly even the guest’s interest in a farming lifestyle that has clearly taken its toll on the good humour of their host. Once the guest is pulling up your driveway – be it unexpected or booked in advance – there are some keys things to remember to make their experience comfortable and positive. Offer a smile and welcoming wave when guests arrive. Don't assume you are sending an "open for business" message by simply having animals in the pasture. Farms are private spaces. Roll out the welcome mat by hanging a sign. Do all you can to ensure that the approach to your farm is friendly and welcoming. Don't start in the barn. Have a chat to get to know the customer and their goals. Don't waste their time or confuse them by showing them a group of animals that don't meet their needs. Any discussion should start by identifying where the guest is at in the process of research, which could range from selecting a particular genetic trait or quality in one animal to kicking the tires on the whole farming experience. Remember, your role today may not be selling animals, but selling a lifestyle instead. Many times when we visited a farm our hosts would ask us what our goals and objectives were in starting an alpaca farm. That was a very difficult question to answer for us so early in the game. We could certainly identify the financial and lifestyle objectives we hoped to meet, but we were ill-equipped to identify our herd development goals. Remember, it can take years to understand what your strengths are and how you want to focus the development of your farm and herd. In a recent Alpaca Education Seminar a group of alpaca farmers ranging from newcomers to veterans listened to Dr. Brett Kaysen of Colorado State University explain the livestock model. You could see light bulbs going off above the heads of both veterans and newcomers alike who were hearing this message for the first time. My husband and I spent hours discussing the concept that night and began to refine our goals. This is a topic warranting an enlightening article from a knowledgeable and experienced livestock management expert. As guests arrive at your farm gate, remember they may not yet be in a position to articulate their goals and objectives, so be prepared to identify their needs yourself through friendly discussion and then focus their tour of your herd on animals that will get them off to a good start.

A neat and tidy appearance draws guests in and gives them confidence in your animal care practices.

them to catch the next animal and be there to support and steady the animal. If guests have travelled any distance to see your animals you won’t see them again unless they saw and felt something liked in an animal. Make that easy for them. Too many options can be overwhelming too. Though you may know each animal in your herd well, and your guest may know what they are looking for in an animal (or not!), it is difficult to recognize these attributes in a large herd of animals on the move and in full fleece. Save everyone’s time by identifying the specific animals you feel best meet the needs of your guest, or segregating those animals into a confined area so they can be individually inspected and assessed. And then there’s price. During a recent farm visit a guest asked very frankly, what is the difference between a $500 and a $5,000 animal? We spent time showing him an animal that was boarding on our farm as part of a herd liquidation and was classified as hobby farm stock. And then we took him to one of our show animals considered to be top quality and demonstrated the difference, primarily in fleece characteristics, but also in other body characteristics. It is important to be prepared to explain the assets and liabilities of each animal to garner the confidence of the guest and help them to identify which animals meet their needs. This will also help you to justify your pricing and help your guests to evaluate their options. Explain the rationale for each value, and in the process help your guests to determine how to best apply their budget to their purchase. The result may be that their purchase will not take place on your farm. But the next one might!

Don't overwhelm newcomers with animals. Remember your guest may not have experience with livestock. Although alpacas are very quiet, gentle creatures, a herd of 40 running toward you believing it is feeding time can be overwhelming to someone who has never set foot in a stall with an animal before. Guide your guests to an area where their approach to the herd can be staged and their movement amongst them paced to their comfort level.

Most importantly, set a price for each animal, and be ready to share it when asked. Though some are not comfortable with the numbers side of business, nothing makes a discussion more uncomfortable than a customer ready to buy, with a budget in mind, and a seller who won’t put a number on the table. Establish your pricing, be confident in your asking price, and be comfortable discussing that at any time. You will make a sale.

Don't assume others are comfortable handling or catching your animals. I remember countless occasions when our hosts told us in a friendly manner, “just get in there and grab them.” But these were not our animals, so it was not comfortable to catch them in front of their owners. Hands on is important, so make sure you catch the first few animals and take them through a nose to tail inspection, pointing out what to feel for and look for. When you see their comfort level rising, invite

If you find it difficult to transition to business, remember, make each visit a teaching experience first and a sales experience second. The guest will give you an indication as to when they are ready to talk price. I leave a sales list hanging in the barn and refer to it while we review the animals, offering it to guests to see photos of sires and dams, review fibre stats, etc. And right there alongside that information is pricing. This often starts the conversation. 11

clipboard in the barn for guests who like to take notes as we wander. Some guests have even arrived with their own! And we consider the first visit to be the first of many, so we don’t cram too much information into a limited visit. We’re always available to answer questions later by telephone or email. One way to manage the information overload is to have takeaway information prepared (see sidebar). I recall countless hours spent pouring over some of the terrific kits we were offered at farms. Your kit can range from a single page fact sheet to a portfolio filled with herd profiles, fibre samples, marketing material and magazines. These resources are lasting reminders of your farm and useful resources to newcomers. Isolate animals of interest so assessment is simplified.

While you teach, pace yourself. There is nothing worse than information overload. In your enthusiasm for your hobby or profession you may be a veritable fountain of information. Offer this knowledge up slowly and systematically, pausing to allow your guest to ask questions and keep focussed on their needs. We keep a

Recommend Resources to Provide Guests • • • • • • • • • •

Websites Magazines Reference Books Other Mentor Farms Nearby Experienced Veterinarian Shearer Local Fibre Mills Associations Events Shows

Things to Demonstrate to Guests • • • • • • • • • • •


Tack Feed Quality Hay Equipment Fencing & Livestock Protection Contents of Medical Kit Catching & Holding an Animal How to Inspect Teeth, Body Score Evaluation of Fleece Characteristics Components of Conformation Shorn Fleece & Fleece Products

Make sure your advertising reflects the product. We recently had guests visit the farm from some distance away. They shared with us a recent visit to a farm that involved a 6 hour drive. When they arrived to look at an animal it was clear that the cria photo used to advertise the 6-year old alpaca was not a fair depiction of the animal they were considering buying. They felt deflated and misled. They even pointed out a discrepancy in our materials that reflected the difference in just a few weeks of change on our farm. In this information age we have to be diligent in updating our materials. And what do they say? You never get a second chance to make a first impression. So keep the barn clean and tidy. It's a reflection of your animal care and business practices. Always make it a good impression. You will notice that throughout this article I have identified your farm visitor as a “guest”, not a customer. The lasting impressions made on us during our farm visits were made at those farms who treated us like welcome guest, and not prospective customers. The tone is unmistakably set when you arrive and begin your tour. Lasting professional relationships and friendships have been made with those who made us welcome and at ease. Sale or not, these relationships pay off in a growing industry. We now find ourselves referring customers to these friends when we cannot meet a guest’s needs. It’s great to return a favour.

Heather Candler, co-owner of Oak Hills Alpacas (OH Alpacas) with husband Michael and daughters Samantha and Ruby lives in Stirling, Ontario, Canada. Their sustainable farm is home to 10 alpacas, a livestock guardian dog and family dog. Heather works as general manager of a development corporation by day and Michael is a monument craftsmen. Their alpaca farm is their commitment to slower living to balance their busy careers and full family life. All members of the Candler family play an active role in farm life. Visit or contact the Candlers at Photography by Heather Candler – Oak Hills Alpacas Reprinted with the kind permission of International Camelid Quarterly www.llama–, March 2011 issue.

Fleece Statistics

Forestglen Seth

1st Fleece: 15.6 m, 2.9 sd, 19.1 cv, 100% cf

is an outstanding dark fawn huacaya male, with an exceptional fleece.

2nd Fleece: 16.8 m, 2.9 sd, 17.2 cv, 100% cf

He is widely regarded as the best fawn male ever

3rd Fleece: 17.07 m, 3.1 sd, 18.2 cv, 99.7% cf

seen in New Zealand. As

4th Fleece: 18.18 m, 3.36 sd, 18.5 cv, 99.8% cf

the Supreme Champion

a reflection of his fleece quality, he was awarded Huacaya Fleece at the first International Fleece

5th Fleece: 19.6 m, 3.6 sd, 17.9 cv, 97% cf

Show, held in Sydney, Australia, in March 2008.


Forestglen Seth is now producing stunning offspring, many of which have already gone on to be show champions. We are now able to offer a limited selection of offspring for sale - call us for details.

Alan and Lyn Skilling 12 Maratoto Road RD4, Paeroa 3674 Ph: 07 862 4646 Email: 13 39 Website:

Waters Edge Alpacas Introducing: EP Cambridge Invictus Winner of Supreme Champion Huacaya at AAA National Show 2012

Toni, Greg & Lisa Charteris. Karaka, South of Auckland. phone: 09 292 7895 Email: 14 20



by Marketing and Promotions Sub‑committee

Photo Photo courtesy courtesy of of Lynn Lynn Edens, Edens, Our Our Back Back 4040

The 2014 Southern Field days were held recently at Waimumu (just outside The weather was not at its best for the Gore). With over 800 three days but this did not seem to Your M&P sub-committee would deter visitor numbers. The first day of exhibitors this is the biggest the event, Wednesday 12th February like to thank Phil Geary (local coordinator, Gordon Baird, Butt, The The Vogue Vogue Live Live Knitting Knitting Show Show advertises advertises itself itself as as “the “the ultimate ultimate knitting knitting experience. experience. ” Featuring ” Brian Featuring saw approximately 12,000 visitors event on the farming Margaret Cockeram, David Taylor through the gates, 12,000 on Thursday a adesign designcontest, contest,many manyeducational educationalevents eventsand anda arobust robustmarketplace marketplacewhere whereone onecan canpurchase purchase and Dapeal MacAskill members for their and a further 14,500 on Friday. calendar for the South Island anything anythingrelated relatedtotoknitting, knitting,the theJanuary January18-20 18-20show showoffered offeredananopportunity opportunity for foreveryone everyonewith withany any willing help for both the set up and The AANZ trade was set up to for interest ininpremium premium yarn yarn totocome come together together ininastand aforum forum designed designed fornetworking networking and retail retail success. success. breakdown ofand the trade stand, and for andinterest the second largest field provide visiting public with information manning the trade stand during the days in New Zealand, held on alpaca and to also promote entire event. to the Association. The Our Our Back Back 40’s 40’s Lynn Lynn Edens Edens was was there there atmembership at String String Yarn Yarn their their own own brand brand and and seek seek outout thethe best best yarns yarns year year round. round. bi-annually toMarketplace alternate with alpaca onspedisplay the Shop Shop NYC’s NYC’s Marketplace booth booth toto introduce introduce a very a very spe- throughout Every Every yarn yarn is is specially specially selected selected byby Morse Morse toto ensure ensure that that event were a great draw card to our receive the South Island Field Days cial cial yarn yarn made made from from Huacaya Huacaya alpaca alpaca fiber, fiber, Ne Ne Plus Plus Ultra Ultra herher customers customers receive thethe highest highest quality quality and and thethe most most stand for both existing alpaca owners (say: Nay Nay Plews Plews Ultra). Ultra). sophisticated, sophisticated, saturated saturated colors. colors. Morse’s Morse’s business business strategy strategy at(say: Lincoln, Canterbury. and folk who had never encountered She She unveiled: unveiled: is is toto “get “get a customer a customer and and keep keep them them forever.” forever.” For the first time AANZ had a trade stand at this event which was manned by volunteer members from the deep south.

alpacas before. Members were able to answer questions, provide some helpful advice and promote the AANZ, making it a worthwhile endeavour for all. Also on display was AANZ literature and beautiful alpaca fleece.

The TheIntroduction Introductionof ofOur OurBack Back40 40Yarns Yarns at atthe the2013 2013Vogue VogueLive LiveKnitting KnittingShow Show

• An • An ultra ultra royal royal grade grade eight-ply eight-ply cable cable worsted worsted made made with with 1818 micron micron (or(or lower) lower) fiber. fiber. •A •A three-ply three-ply sport sport weight weight that that measures measures between between 1818 and and 2020 microns. microns. String String is is a yarn a yarn boutique boutique located located inin New New York York City. City. It It was was rated rated byby Zagat’s Zagat’s 2009 2009 Shopping Shopping Guide Guide asas thethe #1#1 Knitting Knitting store store inin New New York York City City and and featured featured inin major major publications publications from from Vogue Vogue Knitting Knitting toto Interweave Interweave Knits Knits toto Formerly Tai-Tapu Wool Carders & Spinners Better Better Homes Homes and and Gardens. Gardens. Owner Owner Linda Linda Morse Morse notes, notes, Available for your alpaca requirements - are washing & cash“Fifty “Fifty percent percent ofof the the sales sales inin our our store store are 100% 100% cashcarding, blending with wool and spinning. We can not spin mere.” mere.” String String is is committed committed toto providing providing thethe best best fashionfashionstraight alpaca, it has to be blended 80/20 alpaca-wool mix. forward forward knitting knitting projects projects that that marry marry traditional traditional knitting knitting Pricing available on website: techniques techniques with with a tailored, aour tailored, modern modern sensibility. sensibility. They They have have



InIn addition, addition, Morse Morse is is thethe author author ofof Luxury Luxury Knitting: Knitting: The The Ultimate Ultimate Guide Guide toto Exquisite Exquisite Yarns: Yarns: Cashmere*Merino*Silk. Cashmere*Merino*Silk. AtAt thethe time time she she wrote wrote it,it, she she says, says, she she "rated "rated thethe best best yarns yarns available, available, many many ofof which which areare now now unavailable." unavailable." She She wishes wishes she she could could have have in-included cluded NeNe Plus Plus Ultra. Ultra. Morse Morse notes, notes, “Many “Many yarns yarns from from Italy Italy areare commercommercially cially manufactured. manufactured. Really, Really, yarns yarns areare a by-product a by-product ofof thethe fashion fashion industry. industry. If If I buy I buy yarns yarns outout ofof certain certain mills, mills, I know I know what what I’m I’m getting. getting. Some Some areare good, good, some some areare bad. bad. With With alpaca, alpaca, that’s that’s notnot thethe case case – it – it is is notnot yetyet standardstandardized.” ized.” ByBy joining joining forces forces with with Edens, Edens, she she knows knows exactly exactly what what she she will will getget and and that that it it will will bebe thethe quality quality herher store’s store’s reputation reputation was was built built on.on.


A Sneak Preview – A Definitive Guide to Alpaca Fibre Chapter 10: Overview of Processing by Cameron Holt

Figure 10.1 Applying an anti-static formulation to aid processing.

Figure 10.2 Hank winder.

In 1995, well known alpaca breeder Roger Haldane donated a large quantity of alpaca fibre for experimental work on the carding and spinning of Huacaya fibre.

was abandoned. At a later stage the textile department processed this fibre successfully with some mohair as the machine was altered to different settings and was run slower.

The first job was to class the fibre. The majority was around 25 microns with the 26–28 microns removed into a second line. It was interesting that this coarser line had quite low crimp frequency and high lustre; an in-between fibre that we sometimes referred to as “Huasu.”

Processors are secretive about their machinery settings as the art of setting the machines is what guarantees a good yarn.

The machines were set for a merino, Polwarth fibre run and the process began. Figure 10.4 End product.

In the mid 1980s, the Author was preparing samples for a cashmere educational program. After scouring samples which needed to be measured and due to time constraints, the samples were de-haired slightly damp. It was interesting to find that the cashmere had de-haired much better than when fully dry. There was less static electricity and better separation of the guard hair from the down fibre due to the uptake of moisture in the medulla of the guard hair, consequently giving good separation. 16

Figure 10.3 Finished hank.

Remembering the experience of the cashmere, the fibre was dampened with a blend of anti-static formulation and water to reduce static electricity and increase adhesion between the fibres. A lot of liquid was required, but the fibre processed fairly well (Figure 10.1). The fibre was put through the woollen system using a double card and ring spinner and made into hanks. The hanks were soft to touch and enjoyed by the craft people that knitted with them (Figure 10.2,10.3,10.4). Unfortunately, when the second line was used on the same settings, the high lustrous fibres would not behave in the machine and this trial

As mentioned in the introductory chapter, alpaca, cashmere, mohair and wool are not only protein fibres but share similar characteristics in their fibre structure. These fibres require similar classing and are processed not only on the same machinery, but have similar processing requirements. Alpaca seems more likely to be processed on the “woollen system” along with the “semi-worsted” system (not combed) than the “worsted” process. The semi-worsted system is particularly suited for blends; however it cannot produce yarns of the same fineness as that produced in the worsted process. The semi-worsted yarns are thicker (bulkier), less regular and weaker. Best results are obtained when there are 80/120 fibres in the cross-section of the yarn.

Figure 10.5 An overview of alpaca fibre processing.


Figure 10.6 Peruvian style classing.

There is limited pure alpaca (Huacaya) worsted spinning carried out. Most worsted spun alpaca is blended 80-20, 70-30, usually with finer merino wool. This helps with adhesion and regularity within the yarn construction. Huacaya has been known to have blends with nylon, acrylic and viscose with a content of alpaca as low as 48%. Some quality golf sweaters that the Author has seen for sale had a cotton content of 80% with only 20% baby alpaca. Suri fibre is usually processed on the semi-worsted system as well as some on the worsted system. Different machine settings are used to that of the Huacaya. The card is also reduced in speed. Suri is mostly used for woven goods (brushed fabric). Mohair is sometimes blended with Suri up to a maximum of 20% (80-20 alpaca). The term worsted comes from Worstead, which is the name of a village in Norfolk where cloth makers in the early 14th Century developed methods for production of superior and fine cloth.

Figure 10.7 Australian style classing.

Today there are two main worsted systems, the English (oil-combed) system involving the Noble combing (now becoming obsolete) and the French (dry-combed system) with Rectilinear combing.

Processing Flow Chart Refer to Figure 10.5 on previous page for an overview of fibre processing.

Processing Fibre Sorting Before processing, alpaca fibre grading and sorting has to take place. The fibre is normally graded for fineness, length, colour and the removal of any skirtings or coarse guard hair. Stain and heavy vegetable matter is also removed. In Figure 10.6 Peruvian classing is shown. Breeders should prepare their fibre correctly on the farm/property before sending to a classing house or cooperative. Understanding the parts of the fleece and what is to be separated is most important if maximum returns are to be achieved by the breeder. In

Figure 10.8 Blending alpaca fibre to yarn specification in Peru. 18

Figure 10.7 an example of Australian classing is shown, where various grades are allocated to matching bins prior to pressing into bales. Blending The processor may blend the various fibres to be used to make the yarn at this stage. Blending can be used to create a natural colour blend, or a mixture of microns that fit into the specifications of the top maker. Although in very cheap blends great variation in micron may be seen. Most top makers would keep the variance to a maximum of around of 3–4 microns. These are usually pretested before blending (Figure 10.8). When blending alpaca with another fibre, for example, fine merino, blending can take place before carding if it is in the “staple� form, or if in a top or sliver form, can be blended during the gilling process. Classing is carried out to a set of industry standards and blending, carried out by the processor, is based around their product specifications.

Figure 10.9 Scouring alpaca fibre.

Scouring This is the first stage of actual fibre processing. Opening - Prior to scouring, the alpaca fibre goes through an opening process that allows excess dust, some vegetable matter and guard hair fibres to fall out. Scouring is then carried out to remove the dirt, wool grease and suint that remain. The fibre passes through the scouring hopper which spreads and opens the fibre further before going into the scouring process. The fibre usually passes through a set of four bowls during the cleaning process (alpaca can use three scouring bowls due to its low grease content, making it more environmentally friendly). Here it is washed with warm water and detergents and rinsed in the final bowl. Alpaca fibre has a very low grease content. Vegetable matter still remains in the scoured fibre (Figure 10.9). Drying After washing, the fibre is passed through rollers to remove the water content. The fibre then is passed through a drying system where it is dried at around 48 degrees Celcius. The alpaca is normally dried to the equivalent of a 10% moisture regain (Figure 10.10). Alpaca fibre is traded like the other animal fibres mentioned earlier in the scoured form. The total trading weight of fibre is the scoured “oven dry weight” plus a 17.6 % regain. E.g. 100 kgs ODS + 17 .6% R = 117.6 kgs Research on alpaca fibre (Holt/Stapleton, 1993) has shown the laboratory regain to be approximately 16%.

Dehairing Guard hair in alpaca is its biggest problem not only in processing but also in the finished product, therefore de-hairing is required if alpaca is going to truly compete with cashmere and superfine merino wool. De-hairing is where a major problem occurs as the current technology appears inadequate for de-hairing below 22 microns in diameter and therefore is not successful in removing all the guard hair. This is common around the world. To adjust the machinery to achieve this could result in losing up to 50% of the original scoured product. Static electricity is a major problem not only in the de-hairing process but also all the way through the carding and spinning system. When fibres are in contact rubbing together, they become negatively charged and adhere to the machinery. To overcome this there are four possible remedies, often used together: they are humidity, anti-static lubrication, air conditioning and ionizing.

than they do with their originally intended fibre, cashmere, and general processing loss is high. The alpaca industry needs a purpose built de-hairer for the longer alpaca fibre. There are however very few specifically built alpaca dehairers around the world. The de-hairer (Figure 10.13) has numerous sets of spiked rollers running at different speeds throughout the box. This particular machine is using three groups of rollers. The first set will remove the guard hair and any vegetable matter, which is still in the fibre passing the balance through to the next set of rollers. This set is programmed to remove the very coarse alpaca fibre with the balance going through being the fine and medium fibres that remain for the final pass. An alpaca de-hairing machine, compared to a cashmere de-hairer, requires greater opening at the hopper box (start), a greater distance between rollers

De-hairing is normally carried out in a closed room with a number of “humidifiers,” like this small water spray (Figure 10.11) to create a high humidity in the room to enable moisture absorption for good separation of the guard hair and alpaca fibre as well as reduced static electricity. See Figure 10.12 for a typical carding/de-hairing machine used in China for dehairing alpaca fibre prior to processing. A lot of the de-hairing machines similar to the one pictured (Figure 10.13) are modified cashmere de-hairers. Cashmere de-hairing machines tend to tear alpaca fibre a lot more

Figure 10.12 A Chinese cashmere dehairing carding machine, used in the de-hairing process. A number of passes are required. The slats at the top (A) remove most of the guard hair. The de-haired product is at the bottom of the machine (B).

Figure 10.10 Dried, scoured alpaca being examined by the author.

Figure 10.11 Using a fine mist to keep fibre moist.

Figure 10.13 Modified cashmere de-hairing machine. 19

Figure 10.14 Opening the fibre for better separation.

Figure 10.15 Guard hair, very coarse fibre and vegetable matter from the first pass.

Figure 10.16 Coarse alpaca fibre from the second pass.

Figure 10.17 Fine to medium alpaca fibre from the third pass.

because of the longer length of fibre and different speed settings. The scoured alpaca fibre is placed into the head of the machine where the staples and fleece in general are teased opened to enable better separation (Figure 10.14). The first separation shows guard hair and some vegetable matter, which has been removed on the first set of rollers (Figure 10.15). The second roller set has removed the very coarse alpaca fibre leaving it mostly free of guard hair (Figure 10.16). The remaining fine and medium fibres are seen virtually free of guard hair. This alpaca will now go to the carding machine for alignment and then into sliver or slubbings to continue onto the end product (Figure 10.17).

Carding is the first major stage in yarn production. The alpaca fibre again goes through an opening process and is also sprayed with a water/ anti-static formulation to try and minimise static problems which the alpaca fibre has during processing.

Carding The output from a carding machine can be:

For the worsted and the semi-worsted processing, the sliver is taken from the card and is canned and taken to the gilling machines (Figure 10.19).

Web funnelled into a sliver; semi-worsted and worsted carding.


Here, the fibre is put through a series of rollers of different sizes travelling in different directions and at different speeds (Figure 10.18). The wire card removes entanglement of fibres caused during the scouring process (alpaca is usually less entangled than sheep’s wool due to its low scale protrusion). The fibre is partially aligned (short and long fibres) and delivers a carded sliver.

Web cross-lapped (thin layered); woollen carding.

A large amount of the burr and seed content is removed during this carding process.

Web cross-lapped (many layers); non-woven fabric.

For the woollen system, the fibre goes through a second carding with a

crosslapper at the start of the process (Figure 10.20). The web from the large drum of the original card is gathered into a wide ribbon of condensed web and moves onto the crosslapper of the second card and laid zig zag across a moving belt which travels to the second card. (This improves blending and also provides smoothing of cross-wise density variations that occur at the input to the main card. This helps improve variation in the final slubbings). A web comes off the second card and is split along its length and carries the “split web” onto the reciprocating aprons which impart a false twist onto the individual split lengths. The outcome is “slubbings” which are now strong enough to be wound up on bobbins and taken to the woollen spinning process (Figure 10.21). Wadding Fill A single layer of carded web is too light to make fabric. By superimposing layers of webs any desired thickness/ weight can be achieved.

Figure 10.18 Rollers at the back of the first card.

Figure 10.19 Silver from the card for worsted and semi-worsted process.

Figure 10.21 Alpaca slubbings wound onto bobbins.

Figure 10.20 Crosslapping in front of the second card.

Figure 10.22 Crosslapper machine for creating layers of continuous web.

Layering is obtained by cross lapping (Figure 10.22). The card continuously delivers the web onto a conveyor which, in turn, transfers it onto an apron operating at right angle to the conveyor. The layered continuous web is often rolled and used in the manufacture of: • Quilts  • Pillows • Cushions Ring Spinning (Woollen) NOTE: in the woollen system, the fibre goes through a second machine which produces a slubbing which then goes to the woollen spinner (Figure 10.23).

Figure 10.23 Woollen ring spinner.


Figure 10.25 Silver is straightened on the gill machine.

Figure 10.24 Mule spinner.

The ring spinner uses a continuous process, where the slubbing is drawn, twisted and wrapped onto the spindle in one action. Mule Spinning (Woollen) Mule spinning is another form of woollen processing. Used before the 1900s, it was the most common spinning machine used, and was still in use for fine yarns up to around the early 1980s (Figure 10.24). Currently, the mule is being used in some mills to spin alpaca fibre in the woollen system. It has virtually no static and is the preferred method of most high brands. Similar to the woollen ring spinner, the fibre goes through a process to produce a slubbing which then goes to the mule frame for spinning. First is the draw stroke, when the roving is pulled through rollers and twisted during the five foot stroke and on the return, the yarn is wrapped onto the spindle in a second action. Gilling (Semi-worsted and worsted) Here, the sliver is straightened and

various slivers are blended together to obtain a uniform sliver of thickness and weight (Figures 10.25 and 10.26). Making the slivers more uniform in size helps improve yarn regularity in the drafting and spinning process. Poor classing and settings on the processing machinery can cause yarn irregularities and when settings are not correct, poor fibre control can occur during drafting which tends to cause changes in the yarn count. Mean fibre diameter relates directly to spinning limits as do mean fibre length (a change of 10 mm in length is approximately equivalent to a one micron change in fibre diameter). C of V length distribution and C of V FD also can make a change. As mentioned in earlier chapters, for approximately each 5% change in C of V in fibre diameter, the spinning fineness changes to either a finer or stronger result. Combing (Worsted) Combing, not unlike gilling, is the process of removing those very short fibres (noil) and placing the fibres in a parallel formation. This produces what is called a “combed top.”

Figure 10.26 Blending silvers together to obtain uniform thickness. 22

Combing reduces hairiness, hence, a smoother yarn (Figure 10.27). During this process, any vegetable matter not removed during carding is separated from the fibre. The top may also go through a further gilling process to make it more even. Drawing Here the “top” (from the combing machine) is passed through a set of “drafting” rollers Figure 10.28. The front set of rollers has a faster surface speed than the back rollers. This has the effect of reducing the top thickness to a size that can be used in the spinning process. This is called a roving. This process is carried out a number of times until the desired thickness of roving is obtained. Spinning The spinning process continues the drawing process, usually bringing the thickness down to around 40-50 fibres in the cross section for worsted spinning. A twist is given to the fibre to give the yarn more strength Figure 10.29.

Figure 10.27 Combing, removing the very short fibres.

Figure 10.28 Drafting rollers.

Figure 10.29 Spinning continues the drafting and applies a twist in the yarn.

Figure 10.30 Dyed tops.

Figure 10.31 Hanks dyed in open vats hang to dry.

Figure 10.32 Commercial weaving loom.

Figure 10.33 Hand weaving loom.

As you move from a woollen yarn to a semi-worsted and to a worsted, the yarn is more regular and the returns in retail prices for finished goods grow geometrically. Yarn irregularities are more exposed as you move from woollen to worsted. These irregularities are usually due to substantial variations in the number of fibres in the cross section along the length of the yarn. Yarn irregularities can be a short period but they can also be a long period variation which is usually due to poor fibre control during drafting.

Dyeing When alpaca is to be dyed, it can be carried out at a number of stages in the processing chain. It can be first dyed after scouring and drying. In “stock dying,� the clean fibre is placed in a vat to dye. It is the most common way of dyeing in the woollen section. Dyeing can also take place in the combed top or sliver form (Figure 10.30). The top/sliver is placed in sealed vats and the dye is inserted under pressure, or it can be dyed in fabric form. Figure 10.31 shows

hanks that have been dyed in open vats prior to balling. A most common way of dying is in the yarn stage on a cone. The dye is passed, under pressure, through a perforated cone mounted on a spindle. Weaving Weaving is a production of a fabric by interlacing two types of yarn known as warp (runs parallel to loom) and weft (runs across the loom). A shuttle takes the weft yarn across the warp to interlace the yarns (Figures 10.32 - 10.35). 23

Figure 10.35 Washing of the woven cloth post weaving.

Figure 10.34 Fabric coming from the weaving machines.

Alpaca fibre produced on the worsted and woollen systems has certain characteristics in the yarn and fabric (Tables 10.1 and 10.2).

References • Alpaca Ultimate. Private correspondence Penny Pittard. • Bettinson, K . Toft Alpacas, United Kingdom, private interview, 2008. • Dickson, K, & Holt, C, Huacaya processing trial notes (not published) 1995. • Favari, R. Processor, Designer and garment manufacturer, Private correspondence. • Retallick, S. Softfoot Alpaca Stud in South Australia. Private correspondence. • Kitson, B. New Zealand, Private correspondence. • UK Alpaca Ltd. Private correspondence 2008. • Simpson, W. S. Crawshaw, G. H., Wool Science and Technology, Textile Institute, London 2002. • Williams, D. Wool trader, private correspondence.

Interviews with Processors • Singh, A., Manager Cashmere Connections. 2005. • Dickson, K., Manager,Textile Department. Melbourne Institute of Textiles 1993. • Pattheys, C., Project Development And Research Manager - Inca Tops Grupo Inca 1997. • Michell, D., Operations Manager – Michell & Cia., Arequipa, Peru. 1997 • And the Author’s own practical experience 24

Table 10.1 Worsted yarn and fabric characteristics.



Finer Smoother Stronger

Lightweight Harder to handle Cool in handle More durable

Fibre alignment

End product use Alpaca types

Fibres are parallel and twisted for strength, which creates a smooth appearance

Suiting Dresses General cloth Fine knitting yarns

Combing fibre Long staple fibre (usually over 80mm)

Table 10.2 Woollen yarn and fabric characteristics.



Thicker Hairier Weaker

Heavier in weight Softer to handle Warm to feel Less durable

Fibre alignment

End product use Alpaca types

Fibres are not well aligned and are given a “soft twist” (low twist) which creates a fuzzy and bulky appearance

Knitting yarns Bulky knitting yarns Tweeds Blanket fabric Alpaca carpets Upholstery

Carding wools Medium to short staple fibre (usually 30 to 80mm)

‘A Definitive Guide to Alpaca Fibre’ by Cameron Holt is the culmination of approximately fifty years work in the natural fibre industry. The extensive information and knowledge contained in this book ranges from modern fleece testing techniques to fleece skirting and classing protocols to shearing methods and shearing shed practice to alpaca fleece judging. A Definitive Guide to Alpaca Fibre is available for sale online from: Australian Alpaca Association website and Alpaca Culture Special thanks to Cameron Holt for allowing us to print this preview.

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Let’s Talk


PART TWO by Caroline Newcombe The Alpaca Company

In the last article I introduced a simple four part quality model that can be used as a basis for Quality Planning in all businesses, small or large. The model, as shown below, includes four components that should be considered in both short and long term business planning for helping to manage the quality of products and services provided.

Reduce Waste

Caroline has an extensive

Planning for Quality

background in quality, risk and safety management, primarily

Minimise Variability

Customer Satisfaction


in health related industries (animal and human). Caroline has a graduate diploma in Quality Systems from Massey University and has recently completed her Master’s degree in Quality Systems. In her ‘spare’ time Caroline, along with husband Simon, manages Sunstone Alpaca Stud just outside of Tauranga. She

I briefly introduced the two tangible components ‘reduce waste’ and ‘minimise variability’. To help reduce waste I proposed a critical examination of your business processes and suggested that the use of a simple process map may help you undertake this process. With regards to reducing variation I made a link to both the reduction of waste and increased profitability based upon understanding what your business goals are i.e. what your customer wants, and how you can achieve this. In this article I will offer a brief overview of the component ‘compliance’ before taking the concept of understanding your customers’ needs a bit further by taking a look at ‘customer satisfaction’ and what impacts upon this somewhat intangible component. In the final article I will pull everything together by introducing you to the Kano Model – a decision making tool that can be used to help you decide which features you want to include in your product or service. Firstly, let’s take a brief look at compliance and how that might affect the quality of the products and services you supply.

is also a director of The Alpaca

Component 3 – Compliance

Company, a company specialising

Goal – Safety!

in unique New Zealand made

Note: compliance has a neutral effect on profitability and customer satisfaction (more about this later).

alpaca related giftware and superfine alpaca knitwear.

Everyone shuts down when the word compliance is mentioned. Some of the more polite statements I hear on a frequent basis include: • Compliance stifles innovation • It’s all red tape designed to keep Government officials (and safety and quality professionals) in work • Compliance cripples hard working people who are just trying to make an honest living • Rules written by some bloke in an office who has never set foot on a lifestyle block etc Ok – perhaps there’s a grain of truth in some of the statements but generally there’s a good, and if not obviously good, then certainly well intended, reason for the rules and regulations. 27

From a quality management perspective (as opposed to health and safety management etc) the rules and regulations are generally in place to: • Help ensure unsafe products are not released for sale • Help ensure any marketplace safety issues can be dealt with efficiently and effectively • Ensure a company can prove (if investigated) that everyone did what they should have done – duty of care i.e. the company and its employees were not negligent While the above principles are based on manufacturing quality system standards and regulations the same logic applies to most products offered for sale. Given the variety of (often very innovative) products available for sale by association members there is no catch all set of standards/regulations that I can give you here however, I would advise you to do some basic homework with regards to the standards/regulations that may apply to your products. is a good starting point but be aware that different countries have different requirements so if you export your products (be it animals, fibre, knitwear, giftware etc) the associated rules and regulations may well be different. Health and safety legislation also needs some consideration. If you employ people to help you in your alpaca business there are regulations you need to be aware of that are associated with the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (again see Even if you do not employ people but you bring people onto your property to see your animals and/or on-farm shop you should seek advice with regards to your legal obligations if someone has an accident on your property. Insurance advice is also recommended. Again, the key is a good understanding of your own unique business and seeking the appropriate advice. While the chances of things going wrong are generally low, when they do go wrong they can go seriously wrong and time spent understanding the compliance issues that relate to your business and doing what is required is time well spent. As an introduction to the next section consider the quote:

“Quality is, what the customer says it is” — from Dr. Armand V. Feigenbaum Before you dismiss this quote as being yet another woolly statement designed to propagate quality as an unattainable and somewhat mysterious management technique understood only by a select few I would like you to take a couple of moments to review the following. Quality is a perceptual, conditional and somewhat subjective attribute.

Perceptual Attaining awareness or understanding by organising and interpreting sensory information Conditional What you are used to Subjective Emphasis on moods, attitudes and opinions rather than facts


While I agree that quality means different things to different people, and the management of quality is not a black and white business management technique (like finance management for example) there is still much that can be done to improve the quality (and hence the profitability) associated with the products and services you offer. The following section introduces some of the concepts of customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is all about expectations and differing perceptions and no, there is no magic formula for success. That said, there is much you can do to give your business an edge over your competitors. In the following section I will introduce you to some of these concepts. In the final article, in the next issue, I will present a model that you can use to help you put these concepts into a practical perspective.

Component 4 – Customer Satisfaction Goal – Happy Customers  – Increased Profit $$$ Happy, satisfied customers are the key to a profitable business. No surprise there. As stated in the previous article, in general, satisfying customers is very easy. Offer your customer a product with every conceivable attribute available and charge him half the price it cost you to make it in the first place. Easy – yes? The down side - don’t expect to stay in business very long. Quality management needs to be a twoway process. The goal of quality management is not only to achieve maximum customer satisfaction but to achieve it at the lowest overall cost to your company. The trick is to manage this balance. Customer satisfaction is a key differentiator between suppliers of similar products/services and it should always be a key element of business strategy. Customer satisfaction is assessed by how well products and services meet or exceed customer expectations. However, to meet or exceed customer expectations you need a very good understanding of what those expectations are. If you truly understand your customer(s) and the market(s) you want to target you can make solid plans to progressively increase customer satisfaction over time. One of the easiest ways to start looking at customer satisfaction is by splitting ‘quality’ into three different parts. These three parts are usually termed: • Expected quality or basic expectations • Specified quality or performance attributes • Exciting quality or excitement generators Attributes that contribute to expected quality are assumed to exist, so customers won’t ask for them. These unstated expectations need to be met or they will cause dissatisfaction. Specified quality – this is associated with customer specifications. These are negotiable expectations that once agreed need to be met or they will cause dissatisfaction. Customers experience exciting quality when products display characteristics over and above specified quality. Exciting quality provides competitive advantage however, the lack of exciting quality does not cause dissatisfaction. In the final article we will explore these three parts individually to determine how we can use them to our advantage in our plans to increase customer satisfaction. Then, with the help of a model, we will examine the three parts as a whole - this will clearly illustrate how we need all parts to achieve the objective of maximum customer satisfaction at the lowest overall cost to your company.

….selective breeding = distinctive suri alpacas …...growing lustrous fibre to produce distinctive products.


…... visit our website…...we will have alpacas , scarves, wraps, shawls and other alpaca products to suit your requirements.


Vaccinating alpacas against clostridial diseases using 5‑in‑1 vaccine by Jane Vaughan – BVSc PhD MACVSc

Background 5-in-1 vaccine protects against 5 different but related bacteria known collectively as clostridial diseases. These bacteria can cause sudden death in your alpacas. They are identified individually as: 1. Tetanus (Clostridium tetani) – animals often found dead soon after shearing/castration/dog bite wounds/where inadequate disinfection of castration equipment used or castration performed in unhygienic conditions (dirty yards, wet weather). 2. Pulpy kidney/enterotoxaemia (Clostridium perfringens Type D) – sudden death in multiple livestock being fed large quantities of highly digestible carbohydrate (think lush pastures, cereal grain and cereal grain-based pellets). Often affects the largest weaners in a mob. 3. Black leg (Clostridium chauvoei) – caused by infection of wounds from shearing cuts/rough handling in yards/females following difficult birth/navel infection soon after birth/castration. Infection causes local inflammation (red and swollen tissue), gas under the skin, blood poisoning and rapid death. 4. Black’s disease/infectious necrotic hepatitis (Clostridium novyi Type B) – spores lie dormant in the liver and can be activated by migrating liver fluke, leading to toxin production and sudden death. 5. Malignant oedema (Clostridium novyi Type A, Clostridium sordelli, Clostridium septicum, Clostridium chauvoei) – often associated with fighting/infected wounds from shearing/castration/difficult birth/dog bites, leading to blood poisoning and death. The bacteria are often concentrated around yards and in and around dung piles, and spores can survive in soil for many years.

How does the vaccine work? Efficacy of 5-in-1 vaccination relies on the administration of 2 doses of vaccine, injected under the skin 4-6 weeks apart to produce active immunity. The first dose is known as the priming dose and it stimulates the immune system of your alpaca to produce antibodies against the diseases in the vaccine. The second dose is known as the booster dose because after this second dose is given, the immune system recognises the recently given vaccine and produces more antibodies for a more prolonged time, as depicted in Figure 1. 30

A booster dose every 6 months thereafter is required to maintain a protective level of antibodies in your alpacas. Timing of injection of this twice yearly booster in your females should include a booster 4-6 weeks prior to parturition, so that antibodies produced by the female enter the first milk or colostrum, and are drunk by the neonate in the first 12 hours of life. The antibodies are absorbed across the gut wall, enter the blood stream and circulate around the body, thus providing protection to the cria against clostridial diseases for approximately 8-12 weeks. This is known as passive immunity because the neonate did not make the antibodies itself.

How to use the vaccine? Read the instructions that come with the 5-in-1 vaccine and look after the vaccine so it maintains its efficacy. Take an esky and cold brick with you when you buy the vaccine so you can keep it cool and out of direct sunlight after purchase en route to placing it in the fridge when you get home. On the day/s of use, carry the vaccine in an esky containing a cold brick to the yards and place the vaccine back in the esky during breaks such as lunch to maximise life and efficacy of the vaccine. At the end of the day, remember to put the vaccine back in the fridge and not leave the pack/s hooked on a nail in the woolshed or rattling around in the back of your vehicle. Write the date you opened the vaccine on the plastic container. Vaccine should ideally be discarded 30 days after opening. Vaccine that was opened last season should not be used this season! Shake vaccine container well before use. If you are only injecting a few livestock, you can use a needle and syringe to draw up the vaccine. Swab the rubber bung with alcohol before inserting the needle. Remove air bubbles from the syringeful so each animal gets the correct dose. If you leave the needle in the top of the vaccine container for filling multiple syringes, place plastic vaccine pack upright (so it does not leak!) in the esky between uses to keep dust out of the needle hub. Do not leave container with needle in it sitting up on a fence post in the sun. Otherwise, use a clean vaccinator gun with a new needle at the start of each day. Replace the needle when it gets blunt. Avoid getting air bubbles

Antibody response to vaccination

Protective level

Level of immunity

Months 1st dose 2nd dose

Booster dose

Booster dose

Figure 1. Antibody response to vaccination.

in the line/syringe so all livestock get the appropriate dose. The appropriate volume of vaccine to administer varies according to manufacturer so read the label carefully. Alpacas should be given a sheep dose if not specified on the label. Alpaca owners need to be aware that few vaccines are registered for use in alpacas. Consult your local veterinarian for advice on vaccine use in alpacas on your farm. Vaccine should be injected under the skin (subcutaneously), NOT into the muscle (intramuscularly). To facilitate this, use short needles. Insert the needle at a shallow angle at the base of the neck in front of the shoulder blade where there is loose skin on the side of the neck (Figure 2). Do not inject too close to the dorsal mid-line to avoid the large ligament that supports the neck. Do not inject too close to the ventral midline to avoid the trachea and major nerves and blood vessels in that area. Do not pick up the skin with your other hand to avoid self-injection! If administering other medications at the same time, make sure you use different sides of the neck so there is no accidental mixing of the different treatments under the skin, which could lead to inactivation of the different products, and therefore waste the dollars you have just invested.

When to vaccinate? 1. Crias should be vaccinated at 8 weeks to provide a priming dose, when the protection from mother’s milk is starting to decline. 2. Crias should be vaccinated again 4-6 weeks later to provide a booster dose thus ensuring maximal effect of vaccine. 3. Pregnant females should be vaccinated 4-6 weeks pre-parturition to ensure high concentrations of clostridial antibodies in the colostrum. 4. Twice yearly vaccination of all stock prior to high-risk periods (e.g. start of grain feeding). 5. ANY new stock onto the property: Vaccinate twice, 4-6 weeks apart to ensure been boostered properly, then as per home-grown livestock.

Figure 2. Site of subcutaneous injection in alpacas in front of the shoulder blade.

What’s in 6-in-1 and 7-in-1 vaccines? 6-in-1 vaccine is designed for use in sheep, goats and alpacas and protects against the 5 clostridial diseases discussed above, and another bacterial disease known as cheesy gland/CLA/caseous lymphadenitis (Corynebacterium ovis). The organism is picked up by animals that have not been vaccinated, through shearing cuts/infected combs and cutters/dipping after shearing/close yarding. Infection leads to abscess formation in lymph nodes around the body and carcass condemnation at the meat works. Vaccinate according to manufacturers directions and avoid dipping for lice until shearing wounds have healed. 7-in-1 vaccine protects against the 5 clostridial diseases discussed above, and 2 types of leptospirosis. The latter 2 organisms can affect cattle, sheep, goats and alpacas and is spread by urine from infected animals contaminating pastures, water and feed. Humans can also be infected. Clinical signs of leptospirosis include abortions, reduced milk output, red urine, ill-thrift and may cause death. Speak to your veterinarian about using 6-in-1 and 7-in-1 vaccines in your alpaca herd.

Summary Vaccinating your stock correctly against clostridial diseases is a cheap and effective way to prevent many of the causes of sudden death in all ages of stock in your herd. It is imperative that livestock receive a booster dose 4-6 weeks after the priming injection, followed up by an annual booster timed appropriately (females 4‑6 weeks before giving birth, other stock prior to going onto grain/pellet supplements). Websites with more information on clostridial diseases include: • Clostridial-diseases • • file/0004/179860/sheep-vaccination-programs.pdf • file/0010/111250/beef-cattle-vaccines.pdf 31

Australian Alpaca Excellence Conference 2014 9-11 May 2014 CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS


An action-packed conference agenda is booked, with essential new information on every aspect of Australian alpaca ownership. Highlights include:

Cria Birthing

Introducing our Key Note Speaker:

Understanding Suri Genetics... or, How to Win at Cards

Adrienne Clarke of Ambersun Alpacas births 400 to 500 cria each year at her Fleurieu Peninsula stud. Adrienne will take you through how to assist at a birth, and share her expert practical knowledge.

This session is aimed at those who feel overwhelmed with the terminology and concepts surrounding suri genetics. It is an interactive, hands-on session which will demystify terms like “homozygous”, “heterozygous”, “dominant” and “recessive” – to name but a few. Fiona devised this very visual representation of what happens genetically when we mate suris or huacayas, or cross the two together, to explain some complex concepts in a way that is unforgettable – a previous participant once described it as “a light bulb moment”.

Dr Chris Cebra Topics: (1) Rickets (2) Coccidiosis (3) Exploding the myths about gastric ulcers: causes, diagnosis, treatment, prevention (4) Other gastrointestinal calamities (5) Skin conditions (6) Practical tips to keep your alpacas healthy

Fodder Selection & Quality

Dr Jane Vaughan is one of Australia’s few expert alpaca veterinary specialists with many years at the technology forefront. Dr Vaughan invites you to bring along samples of the hay, chaff and grain you feed your herd for analysis and advice on this major input into the health of your animals.

Lectures Speaker Update: These expert speakers join our previously announced exciting conference agenda. And there are yet MORE to come! Check the website for latest updates... Kerryn Caulfields/Luis Chaves

Delivering the Fibre of the Gods to Global Consumers

Ian Frith & Melanie Smith

Alpaca Meat

Dr Ian Carmichael


Dr Laura Hardefeldt

Assessing the sick neonatal cria, weight loss and lack of thrift in young camelids

Dr Simon De Graaf

Artificial breeding technologies

Robyn Betts

Commercial uses of Suri fibre

Who should attend? Alpaca owners and non-owners considering Alpaca industry investment. Alpaca industry channel partners – fleece, meat & hide distributors, marketers, buyers & sellers. Alpaca handlers & judges. Primary producers considering converting to or adding alpaca to their land management strategies. Rural media, consultants, and advisors. Rural & large animal veterinary science specialists and students. All others interested in the Australian Alpaca Industry.

FARM TOURS : 12 May 2014 100 Coloured Huacayas in stunning McLaren Vale Wine Region Co-owned stud sires for carefully selected genetics Farm Walk, morning tea & local wines












20 years breeding champions 1000 stud animals on prime rural land Australia’s largest Leopard Appaloosa herd Lunch & tastings from Fleurieu Prime Alpaca

300 acres with sustainability focus Environmental husbandry and shearing innovation Commercially relevant stud with purpose-built handling facilities Gourmet Bush Food served

Specialising in coloured Huacayas with champion bloodlines Large herd managed with small enterprise ideals Winning fleece and on-site yarn project

Australian Alpaca THE SMART FUTURE

...Whether you’re a smallholding alpaca producer, a larger scale operator, an associated industry partner, or you’re just thinking of entering our expanding industry, the Australian Alpaca Excellence Conference 2014 is for you. Michelle Malt President - Australian Alpaca Association

To register go to: - or - call (03) 9873 7700



The AANZ is again launching the BAFINZ competition awards

BEST FLEECE PRODUCER At the end of the show season, select your highest fleece score sheet from each of six different individual animals. i.e. One fleece per IAR No. This competition is designed to reward the depth of quality within a breeder’s herd. There is an award for both Suri and Huacaya fleeces.

BEST COLOURED FLEECE At the end of the show season, select the highest scoring fleece from the same animal, entered in three shows, in the same colour class. i.e. One IAR No. from three shows (Must be the same fleece) There will be a winner from each colour for both Suri and Huacaya fleeces, including fancy fleeces.


Now is the time to prepare for this year’s competition. There were 24 entries last time, so we should be able to do better than that this time. Like before there are two separate sections to the competition. You can enter either one or both of best fleece producer or best coloured fleece sections. This year the competition runs from 1st August 2013 through to 31ST May 2014 KEEP ALL YOUR FLEECE SCORE SHEETS

THE AWARDS WILL BE PRESENTED AT THE 2014 AGM This is a free competition. Your entry form and copies of your fleece score sheets must be submitted to or AANZ, PO Box 6348, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8442. Any Queries please email BAFINZ convenor John Bush at

Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies and Toxicities by Dr Geoff Neal BVSc

Geoff Neal, born and bred in Te Kuiti, completed his veterinary training at Massey University before starting his veterinary career in 2000 working with Manawatu Veterinary Services. He currently works for Blockhouse Bay Veterinary Centre mostly dealing with smaller animals. Geoff presented this paper to the Alpaca Veterinary conference in Napier in 2010. Vitamin and mineral excesses or deficiencies have not been reported in the native environment of the Altiplano of South America2 in alpaca. Calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and sulphur are the six major macro-minerals of interest in alpaca. Toxicities or deficiencies of the macro-minerals are rarely seen in alpaca unless owners are supplementing with Ca/P powders or insufficient vitamin D3 is being supplied in the diet. Selenium, copper, zinc, and cobalt are four of the most important of the micro-minerals in alpaca nutrition in New Zealand. They have functions in metabolic pathways that can result in toxicity, deficiency or potentially both depending on the concentrations in the diet.

Selenium Selenium is required in very small amounts in the alpaca diet, It has roles in alpaca fertility (male and female), immune function and muscle growth and function. Elemental selenium is required in the diet at 0.1mg/kgDM. In practice this would equate to about 1mg Se/adult alpaca/day.

Between 1973 and 1989, an average of 33 cases of selenium poisoning per year were reported by Animal Health laboratories in New Zealand. This number has remained constant through the 1990’s and 2000’s even though all selenium containing products are now clearly labelled as potentially toxic. All animals are at risk of acute selenium poisoning, including alpaca. Most cases of selenium toxicity arise either through administration of an excessive single dose or concurrent administration of multiple selenised products resulting in excess. The minimum lethal oral dose of selenium in ruminants is between 2.0 – 10mg/kg and between 1.0 – 2.0mg/kg for injection/parenteral doses. Selenium is absorbed through the gut and from subcutaneous/muscle tissues very rapidly and accumulates in the liver. The absorption of selenium from muscle is even faster than from subcutaneous tissues, so accidental intramuscular injection can cause toxicity whereas subcutaneous administration of the same dose may not. In most cases the appearance of toxicity depends more on the route of administration and rate of dosing on a given day, rather than accumulative dosing over a longer period of time.

New Zealand soils are generally regarded as very low is selenium and can be less than 0.01mg/kg DM and in many cases supplementation is necessary. Blood testing alpaca can determine their base selenium levels with relative ease. A blood serum selenium level of 250mg/ml is ideal. Whole blood selenium between 500-2000 is desired with breeding females ideally above 1000. Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx or GSPx) as a measure of selenium status is not as good as the other two tests and cannot be compared with overseas GPx results or reference ranges as the test parameters are not standardised between countries.

The symptoms of selenium toxicity in ruminants and alpaca are usually described as respiratory and gastrointestinal in nature. Dyspnoea (difficulty breathing), respiratory failure, colic, and diarrhoea are all common signs with selenium poisoning. They develop rapidly and in most cases progression from administration to toxicity and death is within 24 hours.

The options for selenium supplementation in New Zealand, if required, are as either injections, oral solutions or pasture prills. The prills contain 1% selenium in the form of sodium selenate and are usually applied to pastures at a rate of 1kg/ ha. Their application will usually provide adequate selenium via the diet for approximately 12 months. If selenium prills are routinely applied every year then residual soil levels can raise to adequate levels over time, negating the need for further supplementation. The time period for this to occur is estimated to be 20-30 years.

The most common forms of selenium used in alpaca are injections (either selenium on its own or in conjunction with vaccines), oral selenium (alone or mixed with worm drenches), and selenium prills applied to pasture. The injection forms of selenium are the most toxic and care must be exercised with their use. Many selenised vaccines contain 2.5mg/ ml of selenium and recommend a 2.0 – 2.5ml dose. Oral preparations can contain anything from 0.5mg/ml in the case of some selenised oral worm drenches through to 25mg/ ml pure selenium supplements. If selenium is needed on the

Treatment of selenium poisoning is difficult, expensive and comes with a very poor prognosis in all species. The antidote is acetylcysteine given intravenously and repeated every 6 hours, but unfortunately by the time a diagnosis is made, in most cases, it is too late to save the animal or it is already dead.


property and alpaca require supplementation then pasture prills are the safest means of delivering it. In alpaca, cria at weaning or first vaccination are the highest risk group for selenium poisoning. A 2ml selenium containing vaccine could deliver 5mg of selenium. Add to this a selenised oral drench at double the sheep dose (the correct alpaca dose) and a total dose of selenium approaching toxic levels could be seen in unweaned cria. A safety margin of under 3-fold exists with all injection forms of selenium in all animals. A miscalculation in dose or poorly calibrated administration device can easily deliver a toxic dose. Always take care with using injection forms of selenium in young, light animals and remember that concurrent administration of other selenium containing products can cause toxicity. Consider testing before embarking on supplementation programmes, especially if supplementation is going to involve more than pastoral prills.

Copper Copper is a micro-mineral required in the alpaca diet. It has a role in bone formation, hair growth, energy utilisation and immune function. It is required at 1.0-15mg/kgDM or 1.0ppm in total diet. Soil copper levels in New Zealand vary considerably. Usually there is not a lack of copper in the diet but more often an excess of other minerals that form insoluble complexes in the gut and prevent copper absorption potentially leading to deficiency. Iron, Molybdenum, Sulphur, Zinc, Calcium, and Cadmium can all interfere with copper absorption and long-term dietary administration of one or more of these elements can deplete the liver of copper stores. Any copper supplementation programme should be done with care and with an understanding of the factors leading to a need for supplementation on the property because excess copper can cause toxicity in alpaca. Copper toxicity in farm animals is generally classed as a rare condition. It is usually the result of overzealous supplementation to animals with already adequate copper reserves to try and prevent a perceived risk of deficiency from occurring. In alpaca, the most significant issue with copper toxicity relates to the high susceptibility they have to liver damage from Pithomyces chartarum (causing Facial Eczema) and the effect of a damaged liver on the metabolism of copper from the diet or supplements. Excess copper administration or rapid copper release from liver stores (as a result of acute damage) causes blood copper levels to rise. This excess blood copper causes red blood cell damage, anaemia, methaemoglobinaemia and death. In most cases the respiratory and heart rates rise, there is abdominal pain and diarrhoea, and death usually occurs within 24 – 48 hours. There is an antidote for copper toxicity, but once the diagnosis is made the prognosis is very poor. If one animal in the herd is affected, there is a strong chance that others in the herd may be in a sub-acute state and treatment of them may be beneficial. D-penicillamine and thiomolybdate are the usual binding agents used in the treatment of copper poisoning. They are expensive, especially if whole herd treatments are initiated after diagnosis in one animal and in addition overdosing of them can lead to a subsequent copper deficiency. Most copper supplements are in either oral or parenteral (injection) form. Copper injections should not be used in alpaca. They are very concentrated, highly irritant, and can lead to toxicity, especially where there is concurrent liver damage from facial eczema or other liver diseases. Liver disease results in additional copper being released from the liver into the blood stream and reduced storage of daily copper intakes. Oral 36

supplements are much less toxic but have to be used with care and are best only used after diagnosis of a deficiency, as they can be unpalatable and irritant to the gut. Knowledge of the individual circumstances of a property is required before any supplementation policy can be recommended. Just because the neighbour gives supplements, doesn’t necessarily mean that your animals require supplementation. In New Zealand the ‘Availa Cu’ minerals are options available for supplementation where competitive binders prevent absorption of copper ions from the fore-gut. They are bound to an amino acid and pass through the fore-stomachs to where they can be absorbed without binding to other minerals en route. The main feeds given to alpaca in New Zealand that are potentially very high in copper levels tend to be supplementary feeds. Some commercial stock pellets (usually designed for cattle) contain very high copper levels. Palm Kernel Expeller (PKE) is a stock feed primarily fed to dairy cattle as a high energy supplement to help overcome a period of energy deficiency. PKE has very high levels of copper within it and should be used with extreme care in alpaca.

Zinc Zinc has effects in the body relating to fertility, metabolism and skeleton formation. It is required in small amounts per day (20 – 40 mg/kgDM)2 and excess can result in toxicity. Zinc does antagonise with Iron and Copper and can interfere with the absorption of Vitamin A from the diet. Blood zinc levels of 0.75 – 0.9ppm are considered ideal for alpaca. Zinc is mainly given in New Zealand during the summer months as a protective measure against Facial Eczema. Because many alpaca receive zinc supplementation for facial eczema prevention, the incidence of deficiency is rare. Even those dermatological conditions believed to be zinc-responsive don’t appear to improve with zinc supplementation in alpaca. Zinc toxicity has been recorded in nearly every type of livestock and pet kept in New Zealand. Zinc does not accumulate in the body in significant quantities so toxicity is usually the result of ingesting large quantities of zinc over a very short period of time. Even in those animals where toxicity does not result in death, severe gastrointestinal damage and irritation can make them very sick for a long period of time. The signs of zinc toxicity usually involve the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems and are similar to most of the other heavy metal toxicities. Increased respiratory rates, dyspnoea, abdominal pain, excessive water consumption, lameness (joint pain) and death are common signs seen in most animals with zinc poisoning. Blood serum zinc levels between 50 – 100µmol/l in sheep and cattle are considered to be toxic. Toxic levels in alpaca could be assumed to be similar based on the similarity of other blood parameters. If testing blood serum zinc levels to confirm toxicity, a special blood tube is required. Normal red-top tubes contain zinc in the rubber bung and will artificially alter serum zinc results. Young animals (including alpaca) absorb more zinc from the gastrointestinal tract than adult animals. This is an important aspect of zinc toxicity, especially where zinc is being actively supplemented into the diet, such as over the period of facial eczema risk. Toxic levels of zinc in other similar species to alpaca (e.g. sheep and cattle) are recorded as being around 2 – 5g Zn/kgDM. This is quite a lot of zinc but when you consider than the average daily intended intake of zinc for a 75kg alpaca is 1.5g per day, it would not take much of a calculation error or mixing mistake to create an oral supplement that was close to toxic levels, especially in a young alpaca.

There is no antidote for zinc toxicity, only supportive care, so prevention of toxicity is important for the wellbeing of those alpaca being supplemented with zinc. Some alpaca owners do not use zinc because of the perceived risks of toxicity. The relative risk of zinc toxicity in alpacas does not outweigh the benefits of zinc when it is used as part of facial eczema prevention plan in this author's opinion.

Cobalt Cobalt is a micro-mineral deficient in soils in certain areas of New Zealand. It is required by the microbes of the foregut to make Vitamin B12 which is necessary for utilisation of microbial volatile fatty acids for energy by the alpaca. The requirement by alpaca for cobalt is 0.1 – 0.2/kgDM which usually results in serum vitamin B12 levels of >300pmol/l. If adequate fibre is present in the diet to allow normal function of the fore-gut microbes then Vitamin B12 deficiency should be rare. The exception to this may be on some of the volcanic soils of the central North Island and northern areas of the South Island where cobalt levels are very low. Under similar growing conditions, grass species tend to have lower levels of cobalt than legumes such as clover and lotus. Mixed pastures tend to give better overall dietary cobalt levels than pure grass swards. If supplementation with cobalt is determined to be necessary on a property then it can be given directly to alpaca as oral cobalt sulphate or as injections of vitamin B12. Both are very safe and very effective in raising blood vitamin B12 levels and liver stores of cobalt. Another option for treatment of cobalt deficiency is the application of cobalt directly to the soil/pasture. Cobalt sulphate at 350g/ha applied annually to pasture will result in adequate cobalt intake in the diet, Repeated annually for 10 years or more, it can result in adequate soil levels that remain even if applications are ceased for a number of years.

B-Vitamins Vitamin B is a general term to encompass all the B-group water soluble vitamins. Of these Vitamin B12 and Thiamine are the two most significant. The fore-gut microbes that live in the C1+C2 compartments of the alpaca stomach manufacture all the B-vitamins that it requires on a daily basis (which is very different to humans). B-vitamins are not stored in the body and so long as sufficient fibre is present in the diet, deficiency is rare. The main exception to this is if there is inadequate cobalt in the diet to help synthesise Vitamin B12 or excess grain in the diet leading to acidosis and inadequate Thiamine production.

Inadequate Thiamine production leads to polioencephalomalacia, a brain degenerative disease commonly referred to as "Polio". "Polio" in animals is not the same as Poliomyelitis in humans despite both diseases being referred to as "Polio" and there is no vaccine for "Polio" in alpaca.

Vitamin D Vitamin D3 is probably the most important vitamin required by alpaca outside of the Altiplano. Vitamin D3 is produced by the action of ultraviolet light on the skin. A deficiency of Vitamin D3 can lead to Vitamin D3 responsive rickets in alpaca less than 2 years of age in New Zealand, classically seen as lameness and/ or joint pain in late-Winter, early-Spring. A blood phosphorus <1.0mmol/L is indicative of rickets in alpaca of any age. Vitamin D in vegetation still requires conversion by UV light to active Vitamin D3 so simply feeding more green feeds will not correct low Vitamin D3 levels. Supplementation via injection of Vitamin D3 products is the best way to ensure adequate Vitamin D3. All alpaca in New Zealand less than 2 years of age should receive supplementation late-Autumn and again in mid-Winter. Pregnant females should also receive supplementation about 4 – 6 weeks out from due birthing date to ensure adequate Vitamin D3 levels in the milk. My general supplementation regime was to give 150,000 300,000 iu VitD3 per adult alpaca and 100,000 iu VitD3 per cria. The usual drug used was Hideject (Bomar NZ Ltd) as this resulted in the least amounts of Vitamin A and Vitamin E given with the correct dose of Vitamin D3. Pure Vitamin D3 supplements are not currently available in New Zealand but are in Australia. NZ1092313-Nexus Investments:NZ1076557-Nexus Investments

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Vicky Tribe alpaca gear: halters, leads, books, DVDs and CDs. Shop online at alpacas for sale: top quality, easily managed animals available now training clinics: how to choose and fit a halter, leading, learn the ‘toolkit’ – wand, catch-rope and herding tape, trimming toenails and other maintenance, managing difficult behavioural traits

Ask about hosting a CamelidynamicsTM Clinic. Register your interest when a course is in your area by emailing or phoning.

Contact Vicky Tribe, Gear Girl: email website



Stud Services; Products; Quality Female & Young Stud Males for Sale A. 42 Dalziel Road, Dunedin 9010 | P. 021 452 111 38

| E.


For taking the Perfect Paca Pic “A Picture paints a thousand words” Whether you want to sell animal, stud services, make Christmas cards or feature on the cover of the Alpaca magazine the ability to take a reasonably good photo of an alpaca is essential. By following some simple guidelines you can improve your adverts, enhance your websites and even add $$$$’s to the value of your animals.

1. Tidy Animal Would you try to sell your car when it is covered with dirt, has a flat tyre and the bumper hanging off? Present the alpaca in it’s best possible condition. Spend some time before you start to photograph, ensuring that your animal is looking it’s best. TIP: Imagine you are taking the animal into the show ring and prepare accordingly.

by Chris Leach

Things to consider: Fleece length: Not too short. Avoid freshly shorn animals Not too long: Over fleeced animals look as though they have a short neck and stumpy legs Dirt: People like to see clean animals and a dirt patch may be mistaken as a multi coloured animal Vegetation/contamination: Straw, shavings, hay leaves and dried dock seeds are not a good look! Wet animals: Unless you want to try and sell your Huacayas as Suri, make sure that the animal is dry. Even heavy dew will darken a fleece colour and flatten a top knot Shearing: There are a variety of shearing styles out there, legs on, legs off, fluffy tail and bouffant topknots. The choice is yours but regardless of the style ensure that it is tidy.

Think Show Ring.

Fleece length – not too long, an over‑fleeced animal will appear to be dumpy, too short in the neck and legs.

Straw, shavings, hay, leaves and dried dock seed heads are not a good look!

Wet. 

Dry. 


When the sun is low in the sky – it softens the light, illuminates the side on the animal and throws the shadow behind the subject.

Soft evening light.

2. Time of day

4. Background

When photographing alpacas (and many other things) in “natural surroundings” without access to artificial lighting. Early morning or evening when the sun is lower in the sky is the best time to take photographs and get the ‘”professional look”. The light is “softer” at these times of the day and the sun will illuminate the side of the animal.

When selecting where you are going to take your photos, think carefully about what is in the background. Having a cluttered or distracting background will draw the viewer’s eye away from the subject and can lead to some comical illusions.

Beware, in the evening the sun sets quite quickly and you don’t have long to get the perfect shot. • Be prepared • Know when you are going to take the shot, move any other animals/troughs etc • Make sure your camera batteries are charged and that you have sufficient storage/film TIP: If unable to take photos in the evening light, a bright but cloudy day can reduce harsh sunlight and shadowing.

3. Shadow Stand with the sun or light source behind and slightly to one side of you. By doing this the side of the animal facing the camera is illuminated and the shadow cast by the animal is behind the subject. TIP: Be aware of your own shadows being thrown in the foreground or shadow from other animals or object falling on the subject.

Watch for your own shadow.

Things to avoid: • Other alpacas • Fence posts • Rails

•  Pylons •  People •  Sloping horizons

TIP: Shrubs and foliage are often the best back drop

• Have the alpaca clean and tidy beforehand


Avoid shadows.

5. Height of camera Adjusting the height of the camera in relation to the alpaca can dramatically affect the final shot. Camera too high: will give the impression of an animal with a short neck and legs Camera at alpaca eye level: Gives an accurate portrayal of the animal’s conformation Camera slightly below alpaca eye level: can give an impression of majesty. A useful technique when taking promotional stud shots Camera well below alpaca: Make the animal’s neck appear overly long and can make the animal look threatening TIP: Kneeling or standing slightly down hill from the alpaca is often best.

Avoid distracting backgrounds, such as trees and fence posts.

Camera held at eye level of alpaca.

6. Fill the Frame For most applications your subject is the alpaca, surroundings are immaterial and if you are not careful, are distracting and can detract from the animal. Filling the frame means that the photo is filled by the image of the animal. Don’t overfill the frame, don’t cut off the ears, feet or tails by being too close! Filling the frame can be achieved either by: • Moving your position in relation to the alpaca • Using the zoom function on the camera • Cropping the photo in post production TIP: Alpacas generally fit a portrait frame better than a landscape, so hold your camera sideways to take the photos.

Fill the frame – too far away.

7. Position the animal How the animal is positioned will depend on what you want the photo for. For information – side, head, rear, front and possibly fibre. A purchaser will want to know how the animal is conformed, that the legs are straight and the animal is correctly proportioned. For promotion – such as sales shots, stud services shots etc. Quarter the animal to the camera, ie stand with the animal at an angle to you. For decoration – natural positions kushed, browsing Photograph the animal at rest in a natural or alert pose; ears up, standing squarely on all four legs. NOT mid stride, pooping, peeing, mid chew or mid scratch!

Fill the frame – too close, legs cropped.

TIP: Be patient and use something visually or audibly, mildly threatening or unusual to cause the alpaca to prick up its ears and stand alert ie dog, coloured flag, mobile phone.

8. Resolution Resolution is a term widely used when using digital photography and tells us how detailed the image is. A picture is made up of coloured dots called pixels and a camera resolution is a measure of how many pixels there are in a given linear length – normally an inch, stated in pixels per inch or ppi. (Not to be mistaken with dpi or dots per inch which relates to print quality). The quality of the photo you take can limit what to do with the final photograph. A low resolution show will very quickly start to look grainy if you want to enlarge the photo or use the shot for print media. TIP: Get the highest resolution photo your camera will take. You can always reduce the size of the photo in post production if necessary.

9. Multiple Photos The only difference between a poor photographer and a good photographer is the number of photos it takes to get the perfect shot. Try different angles, different backgrounds, move the animal; sometimes only a subtle change in the angle at which the animal is holding it’s head can make the difference between an okay shot and a good shot. TIP: Take lots and lots of photos, then choose the best… if necessary go and take some more.

Correctly framed and classic pose – note the photo is taken in portrait to make full use of the frame. Alpaca is still and balanced on all four legs, standing at an angle to the camera, alert with eyes forward.


Take lots of photos, review, and if necessary… take some more!

10. Depth of Field Depth of field is a term used by photographers to explain what is in focus and what is out of focus in a photograph. For the “professional look” your aim should be to have the alpaca in focus and the background blurred. To achieve this narrow depth of field, you will need to use either a tripod, a bean bag or (if you have lots of money) a stabilized lens to avoid camera shake and a blurry alpaca. TIP: Position the animal away from any immediate background such as a fence or hedge; move yourself away from the subject. Use the zoom lens on your camera to enlarge the image and fill the frame. Focus the camera on the alpaca’s eye and take the shot.

Narrow depth of field = alpaca in focus, trees, trough and gate in background all out of focus and less distracting.

Putting it all together.

Join Alpaca Association of New Zealand • • • • • •

International Alpaca Registry Alpaca Conferences and Workshops Annual Alpaca Expo Three Magazines each Year AANZ Website Members Section Receive an Alpaca Information Folder

for all this and more… Phone: 03 341 5242 | Email: |


Cherry lane alpacas


Because alpacas are our passion

Experienced friendly service Quality assured Over 20 years shearing experience

We love alpacas, and we enjoy sharing our passion for alpacas with others. We have: -breeding stock -lifestyle pets -alpaca fleece -prize winning alpacas -for sale or to view

Phone Mike Morgan Home: 03 319 8778  |  Cell: 021 251 7742

Give us a call, email us or stop in for tea or coffee today. We would be happy to show you around our farm and introduce you to our alpacas and alpaca farming.

Contact us today! Ph Anne: (07) 3323445 email:

6 Sunnex road, RD2, Rotorua

AUSTRALIAN ALPACA FIBRE TESTING Dedicated to the specific needs of Alpaca breeders


Australian Alpaca Fibre Testing PO Box 246, Crookwell, NSW 2583, Australia Phone: 61 2 4834 2132 Email: Website:


THEHISTORY of Alpaca Imports into New Zealand THE ARPAC IMPORT Arpac was a Wellington based syndicate that had plans to import 5000 alpacas and 10,000 llama into New Zealand over a five year period in a deal worth NZ$16 million. A suspicious outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Chile just days before the animals were due to go into quarantine put paid to this very ambitious venture. The parties involved in the unlisted company were Murray Hamilton, Ron Inglis and Mike Lynds. In November 1986, ARPAC issues a prospectus to go public with an authorized capital of NZ$40 million. The search for an alternative form of agricultural production led ARPAC to target the llamas and alpacas as part of its growth strategy. The company’s operations are spread over four countries – Australia, New Zealand, Chile and the USA with the main emphasis on developing goat and alpaca studs. Arpac is later taken over by Charter Corporation who claim that ARPAC had an undergeared balance sheet and the promise of above average earnings in the medium term. ARPAC’s aims to bring in 500 animals initially which will be used in a research and breeding programme at Flock House, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries research centre at Bulls in the Manawatu. It was proposed to sell the majority of the alpaca offspring to farming and investment groups which would give the farming industry access to elite breeding animals, semen, embryo’s and other technical information. ARPAC had international associations with the goat industry and was heavily involved in embryo transfer and genetic research. The company was established principally to set up an exotic fibre producing operation relying initially on angora goats – the alpaca side of the operation was held up due to delays in gaining the export protocols. The programme was to be carried out in conjunction with the Chilean authorities who would use techniques developed in New Zealand to improve their own alpaca herd management. Alpaca numbers had been in steady decline and the Chileans were anxious to build up the industry to the same state as neighbouring Peru. In return Chile had approved the export of 1000 alpacas and 2000 llamas a year over the next five years. The outbreak of foot and mouth in July 1987, the loss of taxation benefits for investors to write off expenses against income from other sources, the 1987 share crash and other setbacks eventually brought about the collapse of ARPAC and in November 1987, the company was placed in receivership. 44

by Kit Johnson

ARPAC’s demise was extremely disappointing to all concerned. The aim was to grow the number of superior animals to New Zealand based on required traits like heritability of colour, fibre yield and thickness, fertility and feeding in improved environments. In the end not even the first 500 animals made it to New Zealand. Information sources: NZ Financial Review – May 1987 Christchurch Press – 05/03/87, 08/10/88 Farm and Station – 03/10/86 NZ Herald – 16/03/87

New Zealand Alpaca and Llama Research Company Ltd New Zealand Alpaca and Llama Research Company Ltd or NZAL Ltd was a privately owned company whose principals included Mike Lynds, Alan Laurenson and Ron Inglis. The company which was incorporated on 16 June 1986, was established for the purposes of importing alpacas from South America on behalf of a number of New Zealand investors. In 1989 NZAL Ltd was granted an import licence to import 300 alpacas from Chile. The animals are quarantined in Chile for ninety days and then flown to New Zealand via Tahiti on a North American owned freighter service. The animals left Arica in Chile via Tahiti on a chartered North American airline freighter and land in Wellington in December 1989. The animals are then quarantined on Soames Island in Wellington Harbour for ninety days before release to their new owners. Three blood samples are taken from each animal and the combined quarantine period is 10 times the incubation period of foot and mouth disease. Agricultural Ventures Ltd, a local stock and station agency, whose principals are Peter Johns and Mike MacPherson are engaged to help promote and sell the animals to local investors and farmers. The animals are offered in packages of three females and one male for $50,000 per package and there is immediate interest. Shortly after this promotion, there is an approach from Canadian interests and over 250 of this group are exported to Canada at prices well in excess of the original $50,000 offering. This group of alpacas left New Zealand in early 1991. The NZAL ltd import was highly profitable and offset the losses incurred in the failed ARPAC import.

AGRI VENTURES NZ LTD Agri Ventures NZ Ltd is a joint venture between a Chilean exporter and a New Zealand investment group headed by Peter Johns and Mike MacPherson based in Pahiatua. Agri Ventures import 284 alpacas from Chile – the animals are run on a Manawatu farm. The animals are quarantined for 90 days in Chile and face a further 60 days quarantine once they reach New Zealand. Three blood samples are taken from the alpacas and llamas during the voyage and in New Zealand quarantine. The combined quarantine time is 10 times the incubation period for foot and mouth disease. Most of the animals were owned offshore but would remain in New Zealand until import protocols were established overseas. 50 of the alpacas are sold to MAFTech for research at Flock House near Bulls. In 2002 Agri Ventures NZ Ltd is placed in receivership. Unfortunately I have been unable to find out anything more about this company other than they were successful in their endeavours to import the alpacas into New Zealand.

THE ALPACACORP SHIPMENT This was the last of the major shipments into New Zealand and controversial due to a false foot and mouth scare. The parties involved in the shipment included Rob Orchard of Glencol alpaca and llama farm, Steve Jenkins and Brian Vidler of Alpaca Corporation or Alpacacorp as it was known and an American partnership of Jurgen Shultz and Tom Hunt (The Pet Centre). Jenkins and Orchard acted as agent for the American owners of the herd. The import permit took four and a half years to be approved. The import of 288 alpacas and 40 llamas at a cost of NZ$10 million, came from the altiplano region of Northern Chile. The animals were flown to Christchurch on a chartered DC8 from Florida Air West on the 13th January 1992 and then to Wellington for a two month quarantine period at Somes Island. The animals spent seven months in quarantine in Chile due to difficulty in trying to get a clear negative result on one test for foot and mouth disease – the normal quarantine period is 60 days. During this time there were 15 births in quarantine. Routine quarantine tests at Soames Island, found the presence of antibodies to foot and mouth disease in four animals which were consequently destroyed. Samples from the animals were flown to London for tests at the World Reference Laboratory – if the results were positive to foot and mouth, all the animals at Soames island were to be destroyed. If the results were satisfactory, the owners were to be given the opportunity to get them out of the country.

The Australian authorities immediately slapped a temporary ban on all imports of NZ ruminants which included sheep and goats which caused an angry response from the New Zealand authorities. It took ten foot and mouth tests berfore the authorities were finally satisfied. By the time they did get a clear negative result, the foot and mouth test had expired and the whole exercise had to be done again. It was most likely that the Soames island test results had been a false positive due to stress after the animals flight to New Zealand. Chile was the only South American country free of foot and mouth but there were suspicions that the animals could have entered Chile from Bolivia, Argentina or Peru, all of which do not have a clear status. On appeal and after the confirmation from London that the animals did not have foot and mouth, the animals were released from quarantine and sent to Oxford in Canterbury for four months agistment. From here they were transported to Rob Orchard’s Glencol property at Mayfield in mid Canterbury. The delays and cost of quarantine are thought to have cost the owners nearly NZ$400,000. From this herd, alpacas were sold to Alan Hamilton and Wendy Billington in Australia, 40 were exported to the USA and a number sold to local breeders. This would be the last Chilean import for some time because Australian, British and Polish importers had lodged four or five applications for export with the Chilean authorities and each was likely to take three months to process. Sources: Christchurch Press 14/01/92, 29/02/92, 03/03/92, 20/03/92 The Dominion – 02/03/92 The Evening Post 29/02/92 The Southland Times – 19/03/92



Mesa Natural Fibre Mill is able to process from a few kilos through to larger quantities.

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Breeders of Top Quality Coloured Huacaya 293 Ararimu Valley Road RD2, Waimauku Auckland 0882 P: 64 9 411 9188 E: W:

Felting Quantities of carded or spun Alpaca for sale

Peter & Tessa McKay 18 Tait Road Maraekakaho RD1 Hastings 4171 New Zealand

p. 06 874 9093 e. w. MESA 6846


MUXLOW ALPACAS is a New Zealand boutique white and light fawn alpaca breeder where the best genetics, quality and consistency come together. We aim to continue with uncompromising attention to health and welfare to breed a further succession of premier supreme animals.


You will ďŹ nd us at 57 Speedy Road, RD4, Pukekohe, New Zealand. email: website: Telephone: +64 (0)9 236 4227 mobile: +64 (0)21 641 572

MartinA Lifestyle Alpacas

Caramia Alpacas

FOR SALE Suri herd and 10 acre property with beautiful views located in South Gippsland Victoria - extensive shedding - clean pastures - good fencing - no house. There are currently 47 animals comprising: 24 breeding females some maidens - 6 certified sires 2 other males certifiable - 3 fleece wethers - and 12 weanlings. Nearly half are black and the rest include most other colours - many have been shown and awarded herd only $35,000 - herd and property included $200,000 wiwo. Ongoing help and support cheerfully provided. For info, photos, fleece samples, spun samples etc. Contact Karl and Barbara Kappes on 03 5664 4460 or

*Alpacas for sale, pets and breeding * Stud service mobile or on farm. We have your colours covered!

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Jenny & Martyn Ellwood-Wade, 306 Jones Road, Hunua ♦ 09 292 4334 ♦ 021 044 0033




WORK SHOP On the first day the judges placed classes as they would in a show. In addition to their placements, they were also asked to write down the fleece traits positive and negative that they observed in each alpaca. Although judges do not write down what traits they are seeing in a normal judged class, this was done with an express purpose. There was a lot of discussion around which traits were weighted more heavily and this discussion aimed to encourage consistency within the judging community. The afternoon was filled with judged fleece classes which then followed with further discussion again to help bring consistency to the judging process. The purpose of writing the fleece traits down in the morning session was that the judges did many classes and it was important that they did not have to rely on memory because the fleece traits they had noted in each alpaca would be important the following day. On the second day of the clinic, the alpaca (that had been assessed the day before) were shorn and the judges assessed each fleece coming off and again wrote down the important features of each fleece. They were then told which alpaca the fleece had come off from the line ups the 48

by Showing and Judging Subâ&#x20AC;&#x2018;committee

A judges workshop was held in Rotorua, in November, with a focus on fibre. The weekend encompassed line ups of judged Suri and Huacaya classes, Suri and Huacaya fleece judging and special attention to judging Suri fleeces. The aim of the judges clinics, is to foster learning in a supportive environment through education, practice, discussion and total immersion in alpaca for 2 days.

day before and on reviewing their notes, they were able to ascertain if they were observing the same fleece qualities on the alpaca as they did when it was off the alpaca. In the afternoon the judges then judged more fleeces with one particular fleece that had been assessed the day before, reentering the line up to be judged again. This was done so the judges could see if they were consistent with their scoring. The SJSC took advantage of having the judges and most of the SJSC together to have an informal meeting to discuss any developments happening on the committee and anything relevant to our judges. This was a great open discussion which was very helpful to the two groups topped off by a great dinner of fish and chips! The SJSC would like to thank MaryAnn from the JRP for attending and all the members who brought alpacas for the use of the judging clinic and those who spent a good deal of the weekend on their feet holding alpacas for our judges. Without you we could not run these valuable training weekends and we and the NZ judges appreciate your time, effort and alpacas for our training.

New Zealandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Alpaca Fibre Pool Fibre collection, sorting, scouring and sales of all microns, colors and quantities of Huacaya fibre. We consolidate all growers together and get economies of scale for sorting, testing, scouring and sale in bale quantity, for end use in various industries.

Mailing Address PO Box 28684 Remuera Auckland 1541

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We can provide discounted fibre testing rates. You are paid as the fibre is sold, less the direct costs. We have processed 14,000 kg of fibre as of June 2012. We can arrange pickup or you can ship to our Cromwell location. Contact Sam Gonzalez at (029) 770 0005 or (03) 445 1609 or email For more information visit:



FLEECE SHOW Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

Once again the Banks Peninsula fleece show at Little River turned out to be an excellent show with 138 entries. This year we had judge Lyn Dickson from Australia and she was impressed with the quality of the fleeces which was very pleasing as the last show she judged in NZ was the fleece section of our last Nationals. Because Banks Peninsula show is in January it was decided that running a breed section would not work. The fleeces would just be too short for a short fleece show and with the heat it was not suitable to ask people to leave their alpacas in fleece. As a stand alone fleece show it has been very successful. It is the largest fleece section outside of the Nationals and we really appreciate the

by Showing and Judging Subâ&#x20AC;&#x2018;committee

effort exhibitors go to, as entries need to be in just before Christmas. Entering shows at this time of year is really not a priority for most people!!!!! We like our show to take advantage of the fact that people do not have alpacas to look after and take care of during the show. The first year we had a great potluck lunch on the day of the show on the grass outside the alpaca fleece section. We presented the trophies and had a great time chatting and relaxing on the warm summer day. Sadly the following year our area was ripped up for a road to go through and this rather dampened our picnicking ability! This year we decided that we would run a fleece workshop with Lyn Dickson on the Sunday after the show. This meant that we could do our presentations and pot luck lunch without the crowds and enjoy each others company and then everyone could pack up the fleeces at the end of the day. The workshop was designed to be hands on so people got the best learning experience with a variety of tasks through the day. They ranged from explicit fleece trait recognition to visually assessing micron. Lyn also chose a fleece which was very poorly skirted and re- skirted and then re-scored the fleece. This was a useful exercise for everyone to see that the fleece gained nearly 20 extra points from being skirted properly. Thank you again to all the exhibitors who support our show and those who took part in the fleece workshop. Everyone seemed to have got a great deal out of the workshop and their attendance helped us cover Lynâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s costs. We look forward to seeing you all next year!


Reclass, Processing and Marketing Alpaca, Black and Coloured Wool and Specialty Fibres


Reclass, Processing and Marketing Alpaca, Black and Coloured Wool and Specialty Fibres

NORTH ISLAND CASH Philippa Wright PAID FOR FIBRE PhilippaALPACA Wright Wool Merchants 8 Coughlan Road, Waipukurau NORTH ISLAND Ph: 06 858Philippa 9434 orWright 027 242 2033 Philippa Wright Wool Merchants 8 Coughlan Road, Waipukurau Ph: 06 858 9434 or 027 242 2033

SOUTH ISLAND Lindsay Riddle Sherlin Suri Alpaca Stud Lawford Road, RD5, Christchurch Ph: 03 349 7524 or 0274 331 094

SOUTH ISLAND Alpaca Stud Services Lindsay Riddle Sherlin Suri Alpaca Stud Alpaca Breeders Lawford Road, RD5, Christchurch Alpaca Ph: 03 349 7524 or 0274 331Auctions 094

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FOR SALE Bonitas Raphael D.O.B. 04-Dec-2012 Young Herdsire Rare Genetics Sire: Warramunga Downs Kalarni Fleece 22Îź, 4.6SD, 95%CF 2013 Show Credits First Junior Black & Reserve Champion Junior Huacaya P. 027 248 9363 or 021 479 116 E. W. A. North Road, 2RD, Waitati, Otago


Advertising Breeder Profile: Our featured breeders were drawn from the pool of advertisers from the previous magazine. If you would like a chance to have your profile featured in the Alpaca magazine, make sure you advertise in the next issue of New Zealand Alpaca.


PROFILE Michael & Louise Green Bellaveen Alpacas by Michael & Louise Green

We had no idea that we would end up farming alpacas when we purchased our property. We purchased a block of land as Louise competes in horse events and we were going to run cattle and crop Lucerne. The horses are still here… the cattle are long gone… the Lucerne never happened… and the Alpacas were not planned. Bellaveen Alpacas was started ten years ago after moving to North Canterbury. While it was never our intention to farm alpacas it has turned out to be a most delightful and enlightening experience. Alpacas are the easiest, most docile animals we have ever had the pleasure of working with and while they do have some rather… unpleasant habits… the pleasant habits far outweigh the unpleasant. We have focused on the Suri Alpacas. At the time of deciding to farm Suri, we picked them for no better reason than they were quite different to their fluff‑ball cousins and the dreadlocked fleece, extremely soft handle and natural lustre appealed to us. Over the years we have purchased Stud services from some of New Zealand’s top genetic pool. This has given us a broad base of genetics to work with and some of the mixing and combining of the various “pools” is starting to produce some stunning animals that display all the expected traits of the Suri alpaca. We have also been able to produce more consistently fine fibre animals with one of our coloured stud males still holding 22micron at eight years old. We have been using him over animals with good density with encouraging results. Breeding animals has not been our only focus. In the early days we had such a small amount of fibre we didn’t do anything with it except store it. At shearing time Louise had bagged and labelled all of our better fleeces. As the herd numbers increased so did the fleece pile, and something had to be 52

done. We were selling some of the fibre but felt we were not really achieving the desired end result we were looking for. Having a creative flare Louise decided to do something with the fleece herself and after some research, trial and error, Louise has developed a range of scarves, wraps, shawls and more recently bags under the Groovie scarves label, uses the age old felting process using natural and dyed fibre. The garments are felted onto a silk base which gives strength to the product while keeping them light and supple. The time consuming rolling process that goes with the felting process has been replaced by a machine we imported. The machine has been designed and built to copy the rolling action when being rolled manually. The rollers are manufactured so they turn slightly off centre giving a pressure and release phase which copies the process if done by hand but oh the time that is saved with the machine. Now, one item can be in the rolling machine while another is being crafted. We have outlets in New Zealand, Australia, England and Holland and growth is steady. Where to in the future? We will continue the breeding programme we have followed in the past as this has produced well for us, while it is a little expensive buying services from quality animals it does give us broader choice from the pool available. Groovie scarves is continuing to grow and this enables us to use the best of our fibre to craft some stunning garments… all in all, the future looks bright with plenty of challenge.

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Design Spun Ltd â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Napier Commission yarn spinners experienced in the processing of alpaca fibre for application in a variety of end uses. Also converting wool , mohair, possum The mill is a worsted and fancy yarn spinner with specialist equipment installed some years ago specifically to improve the handling of alpaca. Yarn is available finished on cone , hank or ball and dyed to customers shades if required. Minimum batch sizes apply for spinning and dyeing. For further info please contact Peter Chatterton on 068433174 or Location â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5 Husheer Place, Onekawa, Napier , Hawkes Bay 4110

Also visit for online yarns


New Member Profile: Each issue AANZ profiles a new member, taken from a draw from the ranks of those who have joined the Association since the last magazine. This issue we feature John Andrews & Amanda Warner of Waikoukou Valley Alpacas.


PROFILE John Andrews & Amanda Warner Waikoukou Valley Alpacas

So, we are definitely going to buy 3 alpacas and we definitely want Huacaya females and we definitely do not want a white one. Two months later we have 4 pregnant Suri females, one chocolate, one dark brown, one fawn and of course a white one! We live on a 3.5 acre lifestyle block on Waikoukou Valley Road, Waimauku, north of Auckland and have just moved in together. John has been living in the 100-year-old farmhouse for the last 10 years before meeting Amanda 12 months ago. Despite the 2 dogs, 3 cats and 7 chickens, we had nothing in our paddocks after John moved his steers off a few years ago. After contemplating all the options (goats, sheep, pigs and even Amanda’s thoroughbred horse), we decided on Alpacas. We started off by visiting Hans Roecoert at one of his open days at Waitakere Alpacas in South Head. It was a great way to see the alpacas up close for the first time and Hans was ready to answer all of our beginner questions…what do they eat? how long are they pregnant? what can go wrong?… etc. As soon as we saw all the Huacayas & Suris together we both changed our minds straightaway and we were set on getting Suris. John was then very busy getting new fencing put in, strimming paddocks (ride on mower is now top of his 54

by John Andrews & Amanda Warner

wishlist!), cutting back privot, blackberry & more privot and tidying up the yards. We now have 4 good-sized paddocks to rotate the Alpacas & a small bit of bush with Natives, a stream & a swamp, which is great for walking the dogs. A couple of months later we went back to Hans to choose our girls – we picked out the first 2, then the 3rd & then Deborah, (the white one), walked straight up to Amanda, introduced herself & she was coming home too! So we have Deborah, Ganesha, Harley & Dolly. Now we have these strange alien/muppet like creatures living on the block & we are learning double quick how to look after them! Each evening we go out & sit with them to get them used to us & feed them Pro-fibre & Alpaca pellets. Debora & Harley are the two friendliest, Dolly is smitten with John & Ganesha is the baby of the group. They don’t much like the dogs, have chased the cats around the paddock & now don’t mind the neighbour’s sheep. We had our first check-up 2 weeks ago & Hans says they are doing just fine – body scores of 4-5, woops, we will need to cut down on the pellets! As expected parents, we are now awaiting our first cria due around Easter and the other 3 are all due by the beginning of June. Now we worry about shelters, hay, feed, rain, grass, cold, cria baby coats & of course baby names! Although we can’t quite see ourselves showing them we do want to breed some pretty awesome cria so plan to get them pregnant again by spring. Ultimately our herd will reach about 15… or more…!

Lallybroch Alpacas Our NZ made alpaca ornaments. The ornaments come as kits that you assemble into lifelike, beautifully conformed, alpaca models. Kits are available in two sizes 11 cm tall and 33 cm tall These kits are fun to build and you end up with a delightful ornament, which you can paint if you wish, although the natural colour is also really attractive

For retail purchases: Large alpaca kit: $48.00 Small alpaca kit:$20.00 Please email us at: If you have an alpaca shop we welcome your inquires for wholesale pricing and quantities

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If you’re new to living on a lifestyle block, you might not know that your body position has a big influence on the stability of a quad. That’s why, as the leading rural insurer, we’ve teamed up with lifestyle block experts and put together a handy owner’s manual for your property. It’s full of practical advice to help make your life in the country a little easier.


For your free FMG Lifestyle Block Owner’s Manual visit or call 0800 366 466.

• Winners of the World’s First Alpaca Shearing Competition • World Class independent Alpaca shearers setting the standard and leading in every aspect of the Alpaca Shearing Industry • Introducing new technology in handling & safety of your Alpacas • 9 Cut Free style alpaca shearing, including show shearing and show blankets • Mobile shearing specialising in large and small herds • Shed management

Enquiries to: Mike Banks M: 021 256 2839 E:

New Zealand Alpaca April 2014