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Huacaya Alpacas

With their smaller size and quizzical faces, it’s easy to understand why many people raise alpacas for companionship and as a part of enjoying a rural lifestyle.  Indeed, they are so beautiful to look at and a great deal of fun to live with.

Alpacas are social herd animals that live in family groups consisting of a territorial male, females and their young. They are gentle, elegant, inquisitive, intelligent and observant. There are a number of different types of alpaca. 

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In Australia, the Suri and the Huacaya are the most commonly seen.
Huacaya (pronounced wah-KI-ya) are intelligent, intensely interested in the world around them, and somewhat aloof.They have a highly developed sense of self-protection, and their unique vision and awareness of prey animals make non breeding or neutered male alpaca ideal flock guardians.  Alpaca feed and care requirements are very similar to sheep, so they are easy to pasture together.  We only use wethered males as guardians. Young alpaca are used on Quatre Saisons as livestock guardians with our rare breed poultry and newly separated calves and lambs close in to the house.
Mature alpaca are also used as flock management on other parts of the property, especially during lambing.

Alpacas are clean, safe, quiet, intelligent, and disease resistant. Clean up is easy since alpacas deposit droppings in only one or two places -- very tidy and very convenient for the veggie garden! They have a charismatic manner, do very well on small acreage, and produce a luxury fibre that is in high demand.

Alpacas are originally from South America where the Incas bred them for thousands of years. They are a small and relatively easy livestock to maintain standing about 90 to 100cms tall and weigh between 70-90 kilos fully grown. Having evolved in incredibly harsh conditions, Alpaca require only basic shelter and protection from heat and foul weather. Alpaca graze and do well on pasture grass and having 3 stomachs enables alpaca to utilise their food more efficiently than other domesticated stock and to get all available nutrition from what they eat.
Alpacas do not have hooves so will not cause compaction of the soil to the same degree as other types of livestock. They have two toes, with hard toenails on the top of their feet and a soft pad on the bottom, much like a dog's foot.

Huacaya  are prized for its thick, soft fleece which features a short, dense, crimpy fibre and the lovely fleece is a bonus for us. Alpaca fibre has been known for centuries as "The Fibre of The Gods" and offers quality, versatility and rarity. In the fashion world, it is considered to be one of the most exclusive fibres, competing with wool, cashmere and mohair, and can be used as a sheer in the finest silks, or be woven thick and chunky to mix in with tweeds and wool. It dyes easily, makes the warmest batting, the softest felt, spins like a dream, and can be mixed with other fibres to combine textures and beauty. You can buy alpaca fleece  directly from us.

Contact us for more information, or to buy a livestock guardian for your animals.

Why do they cope as solitary animals?

 Baby Alpaca, called cria should never be separated from their dams too soon, as they will fret. Alpaca mamas do not lick their young in the manner of cats and dogs (and wolves and tigers...), so touch is not imprinted as a pleasurable sensation on the cria. Tolerating and accepting touch later on must be learned.  This trait also gives alpaca an inbuilt capacity to enjoy the seemingly solitary life with sheep or other farmstock.

Pregnancies last 11.5 months ± 2 weeks, and usually result in a single offspring or cria. Twins are rare and rarely survive. After a female gives birth, she is generally receptive to breeding again after 14 to 21 days. Crias may be weaned through human intervention at approximately 6 months or 30 Kg, whichever comes first. Alpacas generally live for up to 20 years and occasionally longer.