Home' Smart Farmer : April 2010 Contents APRIL, 2010
WHEN buying alpacas, there can be some
strong emotional feelings attached to the
Firstly, you need to work out for what purpose
you want your alpacas -- pet, herd guardian or
breeding stock. Secondly, you need to decide what
colour you fancy and how many to get.You will
need to decide if you are prepared to hand feed
when grass runs short and what the desired age of
your herd is to be.There will be so many options to
choose from when you arrive at your purchase
point, that buying animals won't be an easy job.
Alpacas are herd animals, so they do need to be
bought in pairs at least so that they have company.
You can buy any number, odd or even, but you must
get at least two.This eases stress caused by moving
to a strange area -- if they are on their own, they are
likely to develop behavioural problems because
they have no-one to bond with other than humans.
Alpacas require regular care and attention to
ensure they remain in good health.You may need to
worm and vaccinate them at regular intervals and
also have their toenails trimmed.They also require
shearing once per year, so keep all these
considerations in mind before committing yourself
to buying your first animals.
Breeders in your local area will be able to steer
you in the right direction and offer advice. Never be
afraid to ask.
Buying a pet alpaca is fairly easy.
You just need to pick out which
colours you like and animals that
take your fancy. Get two animals
that are similar in age and which
know each other. Check if they are
halter trained. If not, ask if they can
be or ask to be shown how to train
and put a halter on correctly. If
buying a male alpaca, ask if he is
castrated and if not, how you go
about having this done. Some breeders include this
in the price so check with the breeder.
If you want to buy a herd guardian, it is very
much like buying a pet. A guardian alpaca does
need to be castrated. An entire male can be okay
but they will ride the sheep, as they would a female
alpaca.The guardian animal needs to be more than
two years old for him to work properly. He will
need some time to get to know you before the
lambs/goats/livestock start arriving. It is advisable to
have two so that they can be on the lookout for
problems, one to watch a sick or injured animal
while the other keeps guard over the others. Barren
females can be good for this job too, but a female
with a cria at foot will not be so effective because
she will protect her cria first and foremost.
If you want to buy breeding stock and possibly
get into showing, your limitations are your
imagination and your budget.
Once again, you will have to find a colour or
colours that you are happy with. Selection of stock
should be done over a couple of visits to several
alpaca farms, so that it eliminates emotional buys
and secures quality animals to meet your needs.You
should always buy animals you are happy with, not
something you have been convinced to buy.
Ask as many questions as you can. Have they been
shown? Are they halter trained? Have they had any
cria? If so, how many and can you see any of them?
What are their fleece statistics? Are they pregnant?
If so, are they due and to what males were they
mated? Does the sale include a free mating for non-
pregnant females? Is the mating guaranteed and is
there a live cria guarantee? What does the live cria
guarantee? Most females will have had at least one
cria by the time they are three years old. If not, ask
why not.You don't want to buy someone else's
If buying a stud male, ask if he is certified? If not,
can he be certified and does he come with a
guarantee that he can pass certification? What after
sales service do you provide?
Two other things to keep in mind are whether
the breeder is a registered member of AAA
(Australian Alpaca Association Ltd)
and are the alpacas registered.To
buy unregistered females is fine if
you don't want to join the
association or show them, but if
you do want to further your
breeding, showing and sale of
animals, it will be a costly exercise
in the long term to register animals
retrospectively. It is not a great way
to start out.
Any reputable breeder will be
happy to answer your questions and show you
progeny or fleece samples if they are available.
Listen to the breeder. Explain what your goals are
and what your plans are to reach them. All breeders
start at the same place, and the knowledge and
understanding of the industry from established
breeders can be invaluable.
A reputable breeder will also inform you of any
problems arising from the lineage, so that you can
make an informed decision.
However, if the breeder does not want to help
you find out these details or
gives no guarantees or
support, it is best to be polite,
go home and not return.You
want to be able to contact
your breeder for advice and
support so that you can do
the best for your animal. You
do not want someone who
takes your money and runs.
Remember this is your
investment -- make it work for
There are many alpacas for
sale. It is up to you and the
breeder selling them to find
the right ones for you.The
majority of breeders are
registered, reputable and are
willing to help new people
find their way into the
industry and the world of
NOT JUST A PRETTY FACE: Alpacas can be a delight to
own, but before making your choice you should become
familiar with many different aspects of their selection and
Need to know more:
Australian Alpaca Association
Breeders in your local area will be
able to steer you in the right
direction and offer advice.
Never be afraid to ask.
To start up: take advice, choose carefully
National Alpaca Week -- Open Farm Days
Quality Alpacas for sale
Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th May, 9am - 4pm
Water St, Murray Bridge
(08) 8532 3029 • 0438 072 383
Free Alpaca Workshops
Thinking about alpacas? Already have some?
Gain a wealth of knowledge at
free workshops during open alpaca week
Susan Haese -- Yaringa Alpacas -- 0418 846 271 -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Jane Wray -- Classic Alpacas -- 0411 703 687 -- email@example.com
Yaringa Alpacas & Classic Alpacas • Your one stop shop for all things alpaca!
Please contact Susan or Jane to register or go to the website
www.yaringaalpacas.com.au for more information
THREE ELITE COLOURED ALPACA STUDS
ALPACA SPECIALISTS -- ANDEAN GOLD
NAW Special -- Females from $550 inc GST
Open National Alpaca Week -- Sun 2nd, Sat 8th, Sun 9th May, 10am--4pm
Sect 140 Kevin Herrmanns Rd Mt Torrens SA
Phone Glenn --(08) 8538 7253 or Rosalie -- (08) 8524 6805
Adaminca A paca
Pyrites Road, BRUKUNGA (via Nairne)
Sue & Trevor 0417 841 099
HUACAYA & SURI ALPACAS
10am to 4pm or by appointment
ALPACA CLOTHING, BEDDING & PRODUCTS
See us at the Oakbank Area School Sat 1st May 2010
and the Rundle Street Markets each Sunday
0417 828 753 or 08 8389 7199
Alpacas For Sale
-- Meet the Alpacas
National Alpaca Week
OPEN DAY -- Saturday, May 1st 10am--4pm
15 Studs on display at Oakbank Area School • Onkaparinga Valley Road, Oakbank
For fur ther information visit www.aasa.com.au
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