Here at Apple Tree Farm we love our herd of beautiful pet and breeding alpacas and they bring smiles to all our visitors’ faces too. Alpacas are herd animals, the smallest members of the camelid family, which includes llamas and camels. They were domesticated in South America countries some 6,000 years ago and, coming from the Andes, they are very hardy creatures. There are two types, the Huacaya and the Suri, the only difference between them being the way their fleece grows.
These endearing though shy creatures will give you lots of love once they get to know you. That’s why we work our alpacas to provide therapeutic sessions for children and young adults with a range of disabilities, as part of our care farming activities. Each summer everyone looks forward to our pregnant alpacas giving birth to their gorgeous young, which are known as crias.
Why keep alpacas – and how do you start?
We breed our alpacas not only for their therapeutic role but for their fleece (see below) and to sell. They are in demand not only because of their many attractive qualities – these quiet animals require very little upkeep, their soft padded toes are gentle on the ground, so it doesn’t get churned up easily. Because they are herding animals it’s important to keep at least two, though three or more are preferable. You can keep up to 5 on just one acre, though a little more space would allow for grazing rotation. And they do need some kind of shelter from the summer sun. If you are considering starting your own alpaca herd we can arrange to offer you taster days and farm visits. And we can arrange to deliver any alpacas you buy from us. Our animals are registered with the British Alpaca Society and bred from the highest quality pairs.
Alpaca fleece and yarn
Alpaca fleece is highly sought-after due to its hypoallergenic features, because it is durable and silky and also much softer and warmer than sheep’s wool. Lacking lanolin, it is easy to clean too. We can supply raw fleece in a variety of natural colours for crafters and wool spinners.