Posts Tagged ‘alpacas’

New Products at The Alpaca Place

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Our products for sale section is now up and running with our first featured product being luxury alpaca throws. Keep an eye on this page, we will be adding many more products over the coming months as our on-farm store is being developed. Watch out for scarves in the near future – wonderful winter warmth that looks classy too.

Winter is here!

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

After a delightful, long autumn, winter has finally arrived, with cold wind and rain. Yesterday we filled all the feeding stations with hay so our alpacas can help themselves whenever they are feeling cold and hungry. Our “feeding stations” are simply a shed in each paddock which will keep the hay dry. This means we can feed out  bale or two at at time, and cuts down on the time required to feed out each day. Some of our alpacas will also go in the sheds to keep out of wind and rain, so it serves a double purpose.

National Alpaca Day

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Thanks for coming! – National Alpaca Day

To support National Alpaca Day we held an Open Farm on Sunday 1st May. This was a time to join a guided interactive tour of our farm, enjoy meeting  our  70+ friendly  alpacas, and hear some interesting alpaca facts and tales.  We had lots of positive feedback, and some new converts to “all things alpaca”.

Alpacas on Holiday

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

We have some visiting alpacas at the moment – one with a young cria who has suffered from rye grass staggers.  Getting him on to endophyte free grass will be a big step in his recovery.  While he is here his owner is taking the opportunity to have his mum remated and she has brought along a friend who also will be visiting one of our studs while here.  Hopefully the couple of months or so that they are here will see Marco well on the road to recovery.

Vaccinations, Sparkles update

Monday, March 28th, 2011

We recently vaccinated our herd with 5-in-1 vaccine . This ia an annual event, so if you purchased your alpacas from us, it is time for you to think about vaccinating your herd too. If you have a small herd, buy your vaccine from your vet, but for larger herds, you can buy this from many farm supplies stores.

 Sparkles is now completely recovered. We have moved her into our “maternity paddock” where whe has the company of 4 or 5 adults and 2 other cria, and she is now happy and playful. She obviously feels much more secure in a small herd, than with only one or two others. She has the most incredible appetite, and now comes when she is called to have her bottle.

Nightshade took advantage of a few hours on non-supervision on Friday to have her cria – a very big (9.2kg) boy. Nightshade is our champion black female whose photo feature sat the top of this page, and Devados is her first cria. We are very excited about his future, as his bloodlines are impeccable.

Abandoned Cria

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

On the 10th March, we discovered a new born cria in our maternity paddock with no mother in attendance. None of the 5 “pregnant” girls showed any interest or signs of recently having given birth, and we were left trying to figure out who “mum” was. The most important thing was to get some food into the cria, so we gave her a bottle of milk – she was ravenous, but a lovely strong cria.

We managed to narrow potential “mothers” down to two, with a strong leaning towards Caprice as mother. We had the vet verify for us the next morning that Caprice was indeed Sparkles mother. Over the next couple of days, Caprice showed a mild interest in Sparkles, who tagged along behind her, but we continued to bottle feed her as Caprice refused to do so.

However, on Monday, Sparkles lost energy and her breathing became laboured. Suspecting pneumonia, I called the vet who confirmed my suspicions, and gave Sparkles an anti-biotic. She has slowly recovered, but her lack of energy has meant she has stopped following Caprice, who has correspondingly taken even less interest in her. So it looks like Sparkles will continue to be bottlefed.

Masterton A&P Show

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

The Inaugural Masterton A&P Alpaca Show was held on 20 February 2011. This coincided with the A&P Showgrounds 100th Centenary, so was an excellent start for what promises to be a very popular alpaca show. Our judge was Paul Garland, who was delighted with the quality of the 50 fleeces exhibited, and impressed with the quality of the 37  alpacas on show. The Alpaca Place had an excellent day, starting with a 1st ribbon in the Junior White/Light Fawn fleece for Huari Cracker, which was a great win in a tough class. Cracker went on to take 2nd place in the Intermediate Male class. Cracker is now for sale as a potential stud – see our for sale page.

Other high achievers on the day were Huari HollyAnna, Champion Black, and Huari Nightshade, Reserve Champion Black, who also went on to take 2nd place in the Get of Dam competition. Giovanna (dam of Holly and Nightshade) will be available for sale later this year, so if you are looking for a quality black female, you have found her! Another champion on the day was Huari Eclipse, our young grey male, and a future stud. The Alpaca Place had entries in every colour section, and all came home with a ribbon.

Facial Eczema prevention

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

We have been busy the last few weeks spraying our paddocks with fungicide to prevent the growth of the fungus that causes facial eczema. Spraying usually takes place over several weeks, as we can only spray about 2 paddocks at a time, as the alpacas can’t be returned to graze those paddocks for a week, so we have to cycle around the farm doing a couple of paddocks at a time. We have discovered that, for us, spraying is the only viable option, as if we feed zinc pellets to a herd of 50, the greedy ones eat too much, and the shy ones get none at all. We also do spore counts from time to time to ensure the spraying has been effective.

Website Back-end Upgrade

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

The Alpaca Place website has been recently migrated to WordPress, to allow easier management, provide consistent style across the site, and make it easier for you the viewer to navigate.

There is a now a ‘breadcrumb’ trail which appears on the top of every page that allows you to see what pages you have come from – this allows you to easily jump back one page or several. If you experience any issues, please feel free to contact us – there may be a few teething issues in the first couple of days!

New Years Day

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Cria - BrackenWe had two dramas leading up to News Years day. On 30th December, Lily gave birth to a strong, bouncing baby boy. Everything appeared to be well, and as we had to go out for the afternoon, we left him in the care of a cria “minder”. However, it was an extremely hot day, and Lily kept him in the full sun all day, and although our “minder” shifted him into the shade a couple of times, he quickly followed Lily back to the sun, and it would appear he was not feeding either, with the result by the time we returned late afternoon, he was suffering from heat stroke, and was going downhill fast. We tried to give him bottled milk, but he was too weak to suck, it was clear he would die. Fortunately, we had some plasma in our freezer, so we thawed it out, and Liz and I administered this to him. It didn’t have the fast result we often see with plasma infusions, but by the next morning he was suckling from a bottle, and by the end of the day feeding off his mum. Phew!


Then on December 31, I noticed Panache was starting to become a little restless, and at 2:30pm she had passed a bag of Cria - Pandorafluid. As we have known of cria drowning in intact water sacs we caught, and in the course of doing so, her waters broke naturally, so we kept her in the raceway so we could watch the progress of her parturition. By 4:20pm, she had made not much progress at all, and as it was getting late in the day (remember the golden rule: late deliveries almost always mean a problem birth), I called our vet, who suggested we wait a further hour before calling the duty vet (this was New Years Eve, remember). During that hour, Panache started strong contractions, without any apparent progress, so yes, another vet call was in order. It took the duty vet 45 nail biting minutes to arrive, but just as well we called for help, as an internal examination determined the cria was in a breech position, with hocks first. There was no way this cria could be born! Our experienced vet manipulated the cria into a rear feet position (instead of hocks), and eased our little female cria out. Now named Pandora, she is doing well, as is her mother. In ten years of breeding, this was our first breech birth – alpacas really do normally have trouble free births, however, without intervention, we sould have lost both mother and daughter. (Ask about attending one of our birthing seminars so you recognise the signs of normal and abnormal births. These seminars are free to our customers, but non-customers can also attend on payment of a fee.