Busy time ahead for alpaca breeders

Rural Life 
By: Rural Life
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Rural Life

Alpaca breeders are set for a busy couple of months.

The National Alpaca Expo, held at the Christchurch RDA Pavilion at Canterbury Agricultural Park earlier this month, was just the beginning. Several alpaca classes will be held at A&P shows over the coming months.

North Canterbury alpaca breeder Martin Bennett of Oak Ridge Alpacas said as the popularity of alpacas has grown, the quality of the animals entered in shows has improved.

''I suppose these days, generally, breeders are a lot more selective about what they put in the shows.

''Breeders are more educated about the breed and we all have access to similar genetics, so there's not much in it between first place and sixth place in most classes.

''It's all about selective breeding and genetics. There's a much greater access to top-end genetics and we are definitely seeing that in the show ring.''

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Alpaca co-op hits major milestone

Wollondilly Advertiser
By: Ashleigh Tullis
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Wollondilly Advertiser.

Bargo farmer Mick Williams’ alpaca fleece organisation notched up a major milestone last week.

The Waratah Alpaca Fibre co-op, which was established in June, buys fleece from alpaca breeders and sells it to buyers, including a Chinese manufacturer.

Mr Williams celebrated the co-op’s first big sale since its inception.

Eleven tonnes of raw alpaca fleece was packaged in a shipping container and sent to China.

“It is full steam ahead,” the alpaca breeder said.

“I was part of every process of this sale and shipping. I helped pack the container with three others and we triple checked the order.

Read the rest of this story and view the photo gallery at Wollondilly Advertiser.

Drought crisis: Alpaca farmers warn recent rain not enough to turn things around

SBS News
By: Omar Dabbagh
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from SBS News.
Relief has finally arrived for drought-stricken farmers, with rain in some affected parts of eastern Australia.

That reprieve over the past week has been welcomed by farmers, but many warn it is not enough to turn things around.

There is moisture in the air on the New South Wales south coast, and, more importantly, on the ground.

Twenty-five millimetres of rainfall was recorded over seven days at Consolation Creek in Cambewarra - the location of Coolawarra Alpaca Farms

The greener pastures for the 150 alpacas on the 100 hectare property has offered new-found optimism for their owners, as creeks that were dry for months start to fill with water.

"We've seen an instant improvement over the past couple of days,” farmer Ian Davison told SBS News.

“We've had just less than an inch of rain and we can already see some of the effects of that. But the countryside is crying out for moisture."

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at SBS News.

Zoe's Alpaca control hands her victory

Stock Journal 
By: Renae Laubsch
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Stock Journal.
Once again, the Alpaca junior handlers competition proved popular with spectators as students wound their alpacas through hay bales, over a ramp and into a pen to demonstrate their handling abilities.

Returning judge Perry Wheeler, Prados Alpacas, Hindmarsh Valley, had the difficult task of picking a winner from a strong, and large field of competitors, with Zoe Altus, Tarlee, named champion.

He made the note that ‘this girl knows how to work with an Alpaca’ after her performance.

In a class with 17 competitors, Mr Wheeler said Zoe didn’t have the most behaved animal, but there was no doubt she was in charge.

Read the rest of this story and view the photo gallery at Stock Journal.