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Dunreyth Alpacas > News & Blog

News & Blog

Weddings &  Assistance at weddings

Alpaca Ring bearers, or Alpacas just to mingle with your guests .

Bride and Groom

Baron with the bride
Baron with the bride

More Alpaca facts.

Do alpacas spit?

Alpacas are very gentle and inquisitive creatures that pay attention to the entire goings on around them. Spitting is a natural defence mechanism that is only used when the animal is under extreme pressure. It is very unlikely for a human to become the target.

1) There are only two breeds, the huacaya (wuh-kai-ya), which has fluffy hair akin to a teddy bear, and the suri (pronounced like Katie Holmes’ daughter’s name), with long wavy hair that hangs off its body.

2) Like their cousins the llamas, alpacas spit when angry or annoyed. Faith Perkins, who owns Quarry Ridge Farm in Salem, New York, where she and her husband, Herb, have a herd of 25 huacayas, says the animals usually reserve this activity for each other when quarrelling over food, but may let one fly in your direction if you happen to be giving them shots or trimming their nails.

3) Alpacas have soft pads on their feet, which don’t churn up the ground like a cow or horse’s hooves do.

4) When alpaca eat grass, they snip off the top of the plant unlike some other animals that pull the grass up by the root when eating. (Which is why they have a reputation for being good lawnmowers?)

5) They “cush” when seated, meaning they fold their legs under their body making them easy to transport in a smaller vehicle.

6) Alpacas’ tails are used to express feelings to each other. If they’re bothered by something they will twitch it back and forth. If an animal is being submissive it will raise its tail over its body and crouch down.

7) The animals have interesting pooping habits. “In the middle of the barn we have a box that looks almost like a kitty litter box but not as deep. They do all their business there,” says Perkins, who adds the behaviour is “a throwback to their days in the high desert down in South America,” which allowed a stud to more easily determine which group of females was ready for breeding. The male would sniff out whether any of the ladies had high oestrogen levels cluing him in on which group to check out for receptive females.

8) Mothers almost always have their babies in the morning. Perkins says this is also related to life in the high desert in South America where temperatures are very cold at night. By having their babies in the morning, the little ones will have the whole day to dry off, begin walking around, and nursing from the mother before the temperatures begin to drop.

9) Females have an 11-month gestation period and about 90 per cent of the time doesn’t need help in the delivery of the babies. “They just go into labour and deliver the baby within an hour,” says Perkins.

10) Alpacas love to sunbathe. “You’ll come home and all the alpacas will be laying out in the field. They lie down on their sides, stretch out and soak up that sun,” says Perkins. She admits “it’s pretty scary if you don’t know what they’re doing” since they kind of look like they’ve dropped dead

Baby boy, lovely colour

First Cria of 2017

Just Born and then half hour later.

Baby girl

Great day for a walk
Another great vist

What is their breeding rate?

Alpacas usually have one baby called a cria every year. Twins are very rare, with one set being born in every 10,000. They have a gestation period of 11 to 11.5 months and are remated 12 to 14 days after a normal birth. Alpacas are induced ovulators, so they can be mated at any time of the year. There is currently no artificial insemination available in the United Kingdom so all females and herd sires need to come together for a supervised mating. Embryo transfer has been carried out here in the UK but is still in very early stages of development.

Can you graze alpacas with other animals?

Alpacas are often kept with other animals and they happily graze alongside most common livestock. It is quite common to see alpacas living amongst a flock of sheep, or horses or with cows. Once the alpacas have settled into their new home they will become tolerant and get used to their owners’ dog.

Can alpacas be used as sheep and chicken guards?

Australian sheep farmers are the pioneers in using alpaca wethers (geldings) as sheep protectors. Alpacas are very good at guarding the flock, especially in lambing season and will see off single dogs and foxes that are approaching the flock. Chicken farmers are finding alpaca wethers to be a great success at keeping foxes away. Not only are chicken deaths greatly reduced but egg production remains high as well. This behaviour by the alpacas remains when the alpacas are kept in herds.

Why do we farm alpacas in the UK?

Alpacas are farmed in the UK for their fleece and for pedigree bloodstock. Research recently revealed that only a small percentage of the world alpaca fibre market is being met. This demand is driven by the Italian, Chinese and Japanese fashion houses and is currently being partially met entirely by Peru.
Like Australia, America and New Zealand the UK and European alpaca industries are stud stock based. This means that these countries are building up the numbers of pedigree alpacas while improving productivity through selective breeding. Australia now has 300,000 alpacas and their fibre company Australian Alpaca Fleece Limited are now making real headway to becoming a fully commercial fibre industry.
Until the UK reaches approximately the same number of alpacas (about 10 – 12 years from now as there are only 35,000 alpacas in the UK) the alpaca will be rare and all breeders will make money from breeding and selling to new people joining the industry.

Along with camels and llamas, alpacas are classified as camelids. Of the various camelid species, the alpaca andvicuña are the most valuable fiber-bearing animals: the alpaca because of the quality and quantity of its fiber, and the vicuña because of the softness, fineness and quality of its coat.

During Inca times the vicuña was a protected species, and only royalty were allowed to wear clothing made from its wool, but when the Spanish arrived vicuña hunting was deregulated. This situation continued until 1964, when the global population reached an all-time low of around 6000. Nowadays there are around 350,000 animals in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and the northern parts of Argentina and Chile, but the vicuña remains an endangered species. To prevent poaching, wild vicuñas are caught and sheared every year. Their wool can fetch prices of $3,000 and is even more desirable than alpaca wool.

Image result for alpaca poem

Are alpacas intelligent?

Yes, they are amazingly alert animals who quickly learn to halter and lead. They constantly communicate with each other through body posture, tail and ear movements, and a variety of sounds. The sound heard most often is a soft humming, a mild expression befitting a gentle animal.

What is the difference between a llama and an alpaca?

llamas have long banana-shaped ears while alpacas have shorter spear-shaped ears. There really are a lot of differences between llamas and alpacas. The llama is roughly twice the size of the alpaca. ... They have been used as guard animals for Alpacas

Do alpacas have hooves?

Alpacas have soft, padded feet with 2 toes. They do not have horns, hooves or claws, incisors, or upper teeth. Alpacas have a 3-chambered stomach; eat grass and chew their cud.

Where do alpacas live?

The alpaca originated from Peru. They were thought to be domesticated by the Indians of the Andes Mountains. They live in the high mountain foot hills.

Now Vicunga pacos can be found all over South America in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile. Because they have been imported for their fleece they can be found in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. They are found all over, because they live on alpaca farms. They are kept as pets and also for their fleece.

The Camelids are found along the Andean Zone in Bolivia between two ranges, the Cordillera Oriental and the Cordillera Occidental.

They can be found in all different areas including Altiplano, the Salar de Uyuni, around the hydrographic basins of Lake Titicaca and Lake Poopó, the Desaguadero River, temporary lakes, and in a number of valleysThe llama and alpaca are found in the Altiplano range.

This stretches from the bottom of Peru, Bolivia, the Eastern edge of Chile and Argentina. The both live in an area of high altitude where the temperature can change rapidly and the ground can be frosted over half the year.

The alpacas live in the humid and wet ecological niche of the North and West Altiplano, while the llama lives in the cold, dry East and South.

There is no agriculture where the alpaca lives; the economy is based on livestock.

Herd of alpacas

In Peru, alpacas are sometimes kept with herds of sheep. They help protect the sheep when they are out grazing in the Andes. The alpaca is tall and can see predators coming towards the herd. The alpaca will protect the sheep by chasing the predators away; they are like policemen this is why the alpaca is named Vicugna pacos because pacos means policeman.

Alpacas were domesticated thousands of years ago.

  1. They're ancient

Alpacas were domesticated by the Incas more than 6,000 years ago and raised for their exquisite fleece. Due to its quality and all of its superhero characteristics, alpaca fiber was reserved exclusively for the elite and nobility.

  1. They're trendy

Queen Victoria even had some. Comedian John Bishop has some.

There are many herds in the UK at the moment.

  1. They grow superlative, hypoallergenic fleece

Alpaca fiber is softer than sheep’s wool and warmer, not itchy. It is lacking in lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic and also allows it to be processed without the need for high temperatures or harsh chemicals in washing.

Alpaca wool has many interesting qualities.

  1. They're flame-resistant!

Well, technically their fiber is flame-resistant, as stated in the USA .Green builders and home builders do use the Fibre as insulation in the UK.

  1. They're water-resistant

Like wool, alpaca fiber is water-resistant, but it can wick away moisture because of its unique ability to mimic cotton in moisture regain. These attributes are what make alpaca feel lighter than wool but warmer than cotton in cool and damp climates.

  1. They come in many hues

Alpaca fiber comes in 22 colours and hundreds of shades, from white to light rose grey to dark fawn, in addition to the blends that can be made from those, thus minimizing the need for pollution-intensive dying.

  1. There are two types of alpacas in this world...

Alpacas come in two types: Suri and the huacaya. The suri has fiber that grows long and forms silky dreadlocks. The huacaya has a woolly, dense, crimped fleece — like a teddy bear — giving it a very woolly appearance.

  1. They can mix and match

Alpacas and llamas can successfully cross-breed. The offspring they create are known as huarizo, which are valued for their longer fleece.

  1. They share a Toilet area

Alpacas use a communal dung pile (where they do not graze, thankfully). This makes poo picking the fields easy.

  1. They hum and orgle

Humming is the most common sound that alpacas make. Alpacas hum when they are curious, content, worried, bored, fearful, distressed or cautious. When startled or in danger, a staccato braying is started by one animal & then followed by the rest of the herd in the direction of the potential threat. During breeding, the male alpaca Romeo emits a unique throaty vocalization called “orgling.”



Now into 2017 .

All prices will remain the same for 2017 no increases are foreseen.
2016 has been our best year ever for sale of alpacas and visitors.

Walking with the alpacas numbers have increased substantially .
The Shepherds hut accommodation has become very popular and bookings are being made for the summer already .
We have received invitations to take our Alpacas to various venues including Richmond Park and Wimbledon Common .
Funtington Parish Council remain obstructive and objected to us building a new shelter for our animals but they were dismissed by the district council who have realised there is a problem with them!
Adsdean Park is looking forward to another bumper year for visitors and humans  allowing our Alpacas to take them for a walk.

We are nearing the last Christmas market for 2016. Chichester market is our last venue. It has been a bumper year so far for sale of our knitwear and also sale of Alpacas.

Visitors have been increasing year by year , also the variety of nationalities coming to see the alpacas or to do the walks has been amazing.The majority of visitors remain to be adults as the popularity of the adventure passes from word of mouth and of course our corporate visits.

Pet-a-Paca visits have been as far away as London and requests for this service near Cheltenham and Worcs.
Schools and homes for the disadvantaged have been keen visitors to the site again this year and we are avid supporters of this.

The shepherds hut has been closed for the winter but bookings are coming in already for next season .

We have just gained planning permission to build a new barn/alpaca shelter for housing the Alpacas during prolonged wet weather ,despite Funtington Parish Council objections Again!! Luckily the council and Southdowns park are aware of the PCs vindictive attitude toward us.
Adsdean Park is stunning at the moment with all the different colours of the leaveson the trees and hedges etc ,Pheasants and Deer roaming in the fields and across the tracks.All can be seen whilst out on the walks

We are now providing "Team building" facilities and walks for several local companies from our area.
We have onboard a large holiday camp company and a local hotel chain so far.

Our Pet -a- Paca service is becoming very popular and we are off to a Nursing home in London next week.
Many other Alpaca companies have started providing this service as it is now a proven therapy which I may say we started in this country.(could be proven wrong).

Due to the frequency and lengthy periods of rain we now have in the country we have applied for a large barn to be built, this would help us in the health and welfare of the alpacas during the winter months.
Strangely the only objections to this were from Funtington Parish Council who make it their mission to obstruct us in any way possible.

Pet-a- Paca

This is a service we provide to individuals,Nursing homes ,Residential Homes and schools. Alpacas can be taken into the establishments where people can stroke them .
Bed side interaction is also an option for the bedridden.
Alpacas are very calming and residents and patients enjoy the contact with these magnificent animals in the comfort of their own rooms.
A  writer and her chef husband came and walked with the Alpacas ,they then wrote about the experience,   A visitors write up

Due to numerous requests ,we now offer Shop gift vouchers  .
This add on will compliment our already popular walking vouchers.

Review of a special walk Valentine Day walk

Alpacas for sale see page

Baron with the Bride

Baron with the brideread more »

Published in the Chichester Observer

Published in the Chichester Observer

AN ORGANIC smallholding in Southbourne is hoping for some top quality produce after starting an ex-poo-riment using manure from alpacas. Tuppenny Barn Organics on Main Road has teamed up with Dunreyth Alpacas based in Funtington. Its owners Bruce and Peta Ives keep around 40 of the cute creatures and can take the animals for a walk in the country. It was during one of these walks that Tuppenny Barn founder Maggie Haynes got talking to Peta... read more »

Adsdean ,Children's Birthday Walks catered for

Adsdean ,Children's Birthday Walks catered for

A unique party consisting of a walk for groups. Please ring Peta on 07766 252310  for more details.read more »