Aus­tralian Al­paca Week re­turns due to pop­u­lar de­mand!

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Community News -

Those who vis­ited an al­paca farm in 2015 en­joyed them­selves so much that it is be­ing done all over again! The week of April 30th to May 8th has been deemed “Aus­tralian Al­paca Week” in the Hawkes­bury and Hills dis­tricts.

Dur­ing this pe­riod, farms in the area will be host­ing Open Farm days for the pub­lic to come and see these en­dear­ing crea­tures and their ba­bies graz­ing in their pad­docks, as well as in penned en­vi­ron­ments. Al­paca breed­ers love to talk about al­pacas, so vis­i­tors are wel­come to ask ques­tions and learn what is in­volved in rais­ing and man­ag­ing these an­i­mals, whether as herd guards, pets or for breed­ing. En­try is free. Most farms will have warm, soft al­paca prod­ucts for sale.

What a great op­por­tu­nity to get Mum a gor­geous al­paca prod­uct gift for Moth­ers Day!

The fol­low­ing studs will be invit­ing free vis­its on the fol­low­ing days: Re­gal House 31 Darcy Place East Kur­ra­jong - Sat 30th April Walk­ley Fields 43 Tier­ney Road Kur­mond - Sat 30th April War­ralinga Stud 364 Spinks Road Glos­so­dia - Sat 30th April and Sun 1st May ➢ Wool­paca Farm 111 Cattai Ridge Road Glenorie - Sat 30th April and Sun 1st May Gunnamatta Stud 16 Mans­field Road Galston - Sat May 7th and Sun May 8th Madi­son’s Re­treat 1880 Bells Line of Road Kur­ra­jong Heights - Thurs May 5th to Sun May 8th

Al­pacas are recog­nised as en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly live­stock. With their soft-padded feet, they are very kind to frag­ile Aus­tralian soils as well as be­ing hardy and adapt­able to most con­di­tions. Al­pacas are easy to man­age and in ad­di­tion to pro­duc­ing a soft-han­dling fleece are also ex­tremely ap­peal­ing an­i­mals to own. Most peo­ple who start out with a cou­ple of al­pacas, even as grass-eaters, are soon on the look­out for a few more to com­ple­ment their herd. Al­pacas are farmed pri­mar­ily for their fleece and many farms will have raw fleece, spun wool for knit­ting and fin­ished gar­ments on dis­play and for sale.The fi­bre is in high de­mand over­seas and is also very pop­u­lar with hand spin­ners. The great range of nat­u­ral colours means that dy­ing is un­nec­es­sary, leav­ing the fi­bre with its orig­i­nal silky han­dle.

Peo­ple come along for many rea­sons, some for a day out with the fam­ily, and oth­ers who are think­ing of own­ing their own al­pacas. What­ever the rea­son for vis­it­ing, the op­por­tu­nity to meet the an­i­mals and chat with their own­ers, many of whom have been in­volved in the in­dus­try for 15-20 years, is very ben­e­fi­cial.

More in­for­ma­tion on al­pacas can be found at www.al­paca.asn.au. For more lo­cal in­for­ma­tion, con­tact the re­gional sec­re­tary on 9653 2277 or al­[email protected] (See ad on page 5)

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