HOAX IS THE NEW STUD ON THE BLOCK

Find out about Rose­mark Farm,

Central and North Burnett Times - - FENCEPOST - Erica Murree erica.murree@cnbtimes.com.au

DUR­ING re­cent weeks, Rose­mark Al­paca Farm’s herd has dou­bled in num­bers and is now home to 27 head.

Own­ers Mark and Tr­isha Wright are babysit­ting Tr­isha’s par­ents’ herd.

Mrs Wright, who had been in­volved in the in­dus­try since 2008, said al­pacas were a stoic an­i­mal so you needed to know the breed.

“You need to be able to read the signs as you don’t nec­es­sar­ily know if an an­i­mal is sick,” she said.

The Wrights were for­tu­nate their fenc­ing was up to scratch so they had no trou­ble hous­ing the ex­tra num­bers.

They also re­ceived some rain in De­cem­ber to add some pick for the an­i­mals.

With the present hot con­di­tions, the grass has dried off.

Mrs Wright said be­fore they would use half a bale a day, but that has now dou­bled.

The Wrights are able to source their lucerne hay and chaff from Chris Blanch at Mon­dure.

The cou­ple started their joint ven­ture into al­pacas on their 3.05ha prop­erty back in 2012.

They started with three al­pacas – a dam and her off­spring and pur­chased a stud male and two dams.

Mrs Wright said all the al­pacas had names.

“To be reg­is­tered they need to have a name while some have been named after fam­ily mem­bers,” she said.

The prop­erty was Rose­mark, us­ing Mark, along with Tr­isha’s mid­dle name.

A new ad­di­tion to the fam­ily is the stud male named Hoax be­cause of the mis­lead­ing colour of his coat.

His coat looks brown but when you part the fi­bres it is rose grey.

“He will make us some nice ba­bies,” Mrs Wright said.

The Wrights are ex­cited they will be wel­com­ing three new crias (baby al­pacas) to the herd this year.

The ges­ta­tion pe­riod for al­pacas is around 11½ months. This will vary de­pend­ing on the sea­son. There has been in­stances of them go­ing for al­most 13 months. Most breed­ers will use be­tween 337 and 345 days for cal­cu­la­tion of their due dates.

Buddy, their maremma, keeps a close eye on the herd and the prop­erty when the Wrights are away.

Ev­ery­one steps in to help with 18-month-old daugh­ter, Roslyn bring­ing up the rear with her own lit­tle spade and bucket to help with the feed­ing.

Son Ben’s job is to rake up the ma­nure into a wheel­bar­row be­fore off load­ing away from the pens.

Mrs Wright said the ma­nure made an ideal fer­tiliser for the gar­den.

Any­one want­ing some are wel­come to come out to their 248Woowoonga Hall Rd prop­erty.

Shear­ing takes place an­nu­ally in Septem­ber, be­fore sum­mer.

“Shear­ing helps keep the an­i­mal cooler in sum­mer and also helps keep the fleece healthy,” she said. “It’s a bit like get­ting a hair­cut.”

Tr­isha sells the raw fleece to lo­cal spin­ners to turn into beau­ti­ful gar­ments.

“The end prod­uct is light, softer and warmer than sheep fleece and has no barbs or lano­line,” she said.

“The fleece also makes com­fort­able stuff­ing for pil­lows.”

The cou­ple is look­ing for­ward to Agro Trend at Bund­aberg in May where they will en­ter the hal­ter class and fleece judg­ing.

The Wright fam­ily is keen to share their al­paca ex­pe­ri­ence and wel­come vis­its to their farm.

Phone 0409 840 402, 0434 763 004 or email rose­mark.al­pacas@gmail.com to book a visit.

Rose­mark Al­pacas has mer­chan­dise avail­able for sale in­clu­ud­ing t-shirts, key rings, stick­ers and mag­nets.

PHOTO: ERICA MURREE

SPE­CIAL TREAT: Tr­isha Wright, of Rose­mark Apla­cas, gives her an­i­mals a spe­cial treat of some car­rot.

Mark Wright takes de­liv­ery of some hay from Chris Blanch.

Rose­mark Al­pacas come in a va­ri­ety of colours.

Ben Wright's job is to rake up the ma­nure.

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