Country’s premier alpacas on show
About 338 of the finest alpacas in the nation put their best camelid foot forward at a national show in Manawatu¯ .
The loveable alpacas with their cute ears, short velvety noses and cheeky temperament were show stoppers at Manfeild Stadium during the weekend.
They filled the big stadium, munching on food, and chewing their cud while they waited for their time in the showring.
Alpaca don’t come cheap with a high quality stud male can go for more than $3000 on top of the cost of trailers to take them to shows, halters and shearing costs. They also come in the more affordable pe range of $200 to $400 depending on their gender and fibre.
Alpaca breeder from the Alpaca Place stud in Masterton, Liz Barnes said she had 50 animals and had been working with alpacas for 16 years making her an ‘old hand’.
‘‘They are easy to manage and they don’t get flystrike or footrot. They are quiet, so people on lifestyle blocks, without experience of handling any animals, can cope with them and like them.’’
She had 36 breeding females and eight males at her stud.
‘‘The females ovulate when a male is around. They don’t have a breeding season. They can breed all year round. We single mate them. Most people in New Zealand like to have young around in spring or autumn.’’
Banes said twin cria (young) were rare and most females only had one cria although there had been occasions when she had to hand raise some young alpaca .
‘‘When I feed them, they stay part of the herd. Otherwise when they get bigger, they have no fear of you and try to dominate you.’’
She said alpacas were super sociable and had a pecking order in the herd, which could change.
She had about 10 alpacas at the show.
‘‘I like coming to these national shows. You see the best in the country which you don’t normally see at local shows. So you know what the national standard is which you should be breeding towards.’’
Alpaca Association New Zealand event manager, Toni Soppet said there were almost 340 alpacas on show, including the huacaya (fluffy) and the siri (finer dreadlock) animals.
‘‘As well as 243 huacaya and 93 siri alpaca, we have 200 fleeces and finished garments in the show as well.’’
There were alpacas that came from Auckland to Timaru, with many on the road for hours.
An alpaca at the national show at Manfeild, in Manawatu¯ .