Alpacas in all colours

   
Developing the NZ alpaca industry since 1989 with top genetics, for studs and sales.

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Phone us for
advice and help
(03) 318-1917

Our clients have access to our
FREE 0800
phone number.

 

We can inspect and select alpacas for you, marrying our knowledge and industry contacts with your animal requirements.

 

 

Getting Started in Alpacas          

Alpacas are great animals to have. Even if you have not had stock before, you can soon learn how to manage them.

Alpacas are herd animals and hence you need to have a minimum of two alpacas as company for each other. People often start with two wether alpacas - young boys who are not going to be used for breeding. Do make sure that they are physically wethered, as otherwise when they get older the testosterone will rise and they will act as males and start fighting.


If
you buy a mum and her baby, called a cria, mum will still need another adult alpaca to keep her company and together they will protect the cria.  Most females are sold pregnant, so you do not need to buy a male alpaca. When the female has had her next cria, a stud male can come visiting to get her pregnant again.

Males and females are kept in separate paddocks. You can paddock alpacas with horses, cattle, sheep, kune kunes. Keep dogs away from alpacas.

Paddocks  

You need at least half an acre to keep two alpacas. They are equivalent to one stock unit  which is the amount of space and feed a sheep and lamb eats. Although alpacas are bigger in size than sheep, they are more efficient eaters. So if you have room for a a few sheep, you have room for a couple of alpacas.

Alpacas are kept in normal farm paddocks, with usual height 7 strand fence.  They are at home on rough hilly ground, as well as flat pasture. They like to have room to roam around, and are not happy in small paddocks or pens.

Alpacas are hardy, coming from Peru and Chile, where the temperature varies from minus15 to plus 15 degrees Celsius. However they are not used to constant cold rain, so do provide shelter— trees, a hedge, or a shed. They will decide when they want to use it!

Feed

Grass paddocks provide adequate feed for alpacas. You may need some hay in winter, or in summer droughts. A supplementary "alpaca nut" or pellet gives added vitamins and minerals that alpacas are naturally deficient in.

If run with sheep, be aware sheep can crop the grass too low for alpacas to be able to graze it. Toxic plants are the same as for sheep and cattle, but alpacas are inquisitive and will try most things, so be careful.

Mustering

Alpacas are moved by walking behind them with outstretched arms. They prefer not to be mustered by dogs, but they do get used to dogs on the farm. Alpacas love cats and will follow them, and will also come when called to a feed bin.

Alpacas are also easy to train to walk on a halter and a lead.
 

   

Preventative Care - see our Farm Information webpage
 

   

Considerations in Buying Your Alpacas

When you are buying alpacas, there are a number of things to consider. 


Phenotype - what it looks like
Bravo fleece
  -  No conformational fault
  -  Fine Fibre, and lots of it

Pedigree - what it inherits and should pass on
All our alpacas are registered on the IAR, which is the Australasian alpaca registry.

Progeny - what it actually does pass on
You can see families of alpacas on our farm.

Health - Good health, and good breeding capability
We offer fertility and pregnancy and live birth guarantees.

Price - what can you afford - we have alpacas in all price ranges and colours

To read more about these attributes, see our article on Considerations in Buying Alpacas
 

   

Support and After Sales Service

Find out what is being offered by the seller.

Price - does it include GST (usually not) ? Does it include delivery ? Local delivery is usually included; delivery between islands may not be.

Our prices do not include GST. We deliver to a wide driving area from Christchurch, and arrange delivery to other areas of New Zealand, and also overseas.

Pregnancy - is there a guarantee, like a live birth guarantee, for a pregnant female ?
If the female is young and not pregnant, is there a fertility guarantee that she will get pregnant by a certain age ? What will happen in the rare case if she doesn't get pregnant ?

We offer live birth guarantees for all our matings - if your cria is not born, or born alive, or does not survive the first week, provided it is given all due care and attention, we will provide the next stud mating free of charge.

Our young females and young stud males carry a fertility guarantee. We guarantee that they will be able to breed within a certain timeframe, else the animal is replaced.

Is a pre-sale vet check included ?  A vet check is usually needed for insurance on alpacas.

We do a vet check on all females and their cria and all stud males sold. We advise new owners to take insurance for at least the first year.

What support is offered ? Will the breeder assist you in getting started, by teaching you alpaca skills and offering advice ? Do they have expertise and knowledge themselves ? Are they easy to contact for help ?

We offer a 24 hour 0800 phone line to our customers. We have been involved with alpacas since 1989 and we share our knowledge, running seminars and workshops on a regular basis, including with guest lecturers. We welcome your involvement on the farm to learn basic alpaca husbandry skills.
 

   
Buy from people you feel comfortable with
 
Updated March 2015 Nic Cooper and Linda Blake
Main West Coast Road, West Melton, RD1, Christchurch, New Zealand
Phone 0064 3 318-1917 | fax 0064 3 318-1927 | email alpacasnz@xtra.co.nz