Alpacas are native to South America, most common in Peru, Bolivia and Chile. They have been raised for thousands of years for their exceptional fleece that can be made into some of the world's most glorious garments. That fleece is highly sought after by the world's best fashion houses and clothiers. There are two types of alpacas: the Suri and the Huacaya. Suris have long fleece that hangs form their backlines and cascades down their sides in locks or pencils. People have often compared the suri fleece to dreadlocks. The Huacaya have a crimpy fleece that grows out form the body, much like that of a sheep. They are the more common of the two types, comprising over 90% of the world's alpaca population.
Alpacas have been in Australia for more than twenty years now, and in the past few years, they have become increasingly affordable. We have also made large gains in our knowledge about their health and husbandry since the first arrivals in the late 1980s. Today, the Australian alpaca population is well over 150,000.
In addition to the lovely and versitile fleece, the animals have gained popularity for a number of reasons. They are very environmentally friendly, and their soft, padded feet are gentle on the land. They are selective grazers and do very well on Australia's dryer, low protein pastures. They are inquisitive, intelligent, and very peaceful. Moreover, if you have the right infrastructure (catch yards and the like), they are very easy to look after.
Alpacas have also gained popularity as guard animals. They have good success in deterring and sometimes killing small dogs and foxes. Although they can be successful at guarding against larger dogs, care needs to be taken to ensure the alpacas are given a fair fight so they don’t become victims themselves. It is recommended that you talk one of our knowledgeable breeders before employing alpacas as guard animals.
There are many misconceptions about alpacas - the main one being that people believe that alpacas will spit at you. Though this is a possibility, alpacas spit rarely, and when they do, it generally is not at people. Females will spit at males as a way to reject their advances, and in some cases may spit when they feel they are in danger.
Any of the breeders on this website can assist you and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to give a ring!alpaca-related questions you may have. Just email or ring, and one of us will be more than happy to talk alpaca!