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Little Owl Lodge

East Howle Alpacas                                           

Alpaca ThrowsAlpaca Throws

Our Alpaca herd contains both hembras (girls) and machos (males) - retired now, but most had an productive breeding life; we still have contact with an extended network of our home bred animals in their new homes across the country.

Our Lodge guests are able to help with feeding (if desired), and are able to spend time learning more about these fascinating creatures. All Alpacas have a unique personalities and the vast majority are charming creatures.

We have a selection of throws and pashminas for sale, high quality and finished to an exacting standard; all made from our own Alpacas’ fleece.

Large Throw (size) - various colours and patterns £195

Pashmina (size) - Black or Natural £165

Please CONTACT US for the sale of raw fleece

Why do people keep Alpacas?

The Alpaca is a pleasure to own, and can provide an income without slaughter, they are bred in a range of colours and grow a luxury fibre in exchange for daily care and routine husbandry.  They are relatively hardy, easy to manage and are equally suited to smallholdings
or larger farm situations.

What facilities do they need?

Paddocks or fields, free from poisonous weeds - allow enough space for rotation of grazing.  In a breeding herd enough space is required to separate males from females and for weaning of cria. Field shelters (barns/stables) are essential to protect their food and hay from the weather, and provide shelter to the animals from rain and wind, and summer flies. Fencing is standard stock wire with a top rail or plain wire.

Are they easy to look after?

They are gentle creatures and fairly easy to handle.  We vaccinate against clostridial disease and worm in accordance with fecal testing. TOE NAILS need to be trimmed regularly - a job easily tackled by 2 people. Some alpacas may need their TEETH trimmed occasionally (to keep them level with the dental pad) - this is best done when the Alpaca is restrained for shearing. SHEARING is best done May - August, pregnant females are done ideally between 6 and 45 weeks gestation.  Gestation is normally between 335 and 360 days.    

Geldings or breeding females?

A gelding herd will provide a regular fibre crop, and will give much pleasure.  The purchase of females is a much larger expense, but provides the opportunity to watch your herd grow, improving with each generation through careful and selective breeding.

Do they make good mothers?

Alpacas on the whole make excellent moms.  The majority of the times ‘criation’ (giving birth) takes place on a morning or afternoon, average cria (baby) weight is from 15-18lbs. Once the cria is on the ground, it is a good idea to dry him/her with a towel (mom does not lick the cria dry); give them a general health check, and attend to sterilizing the umbilical cord.  It is also good idea to check mom has milk - warm sponge her udder to clean away wax plugs and check the milk is flowing.  The cria should soon be up and about, and looking for the ‘milk bar’ - it is essential that the cria receives adequate colostrum in their first 12 hours. Cria are weaned ideally when they are at least 6 month old.

Anything else?

Alpacas are herd animals we recommend a minimum of 3 of the same sex be kept together.  Alpacas can be grazed with other livestock, but should be fed separately as they won’t compete at the trough with other species, also extra worming may be necessary. Caution is always advised with regard to horses.

Alpacas require a specially formulated Camelid feed to provide a base of vitamins and minerals, further mineral supplementation is usually also required.  Vitamin D supplementation is essential (this can also be given orally) deficiency can be a problem during the winter or in heavily fleeced animals, and can cause rickets, poor growth or lameness or brittle bones if intake not satisfactory.

 

We no longer sell Alpacas, but if you are interested in buying, acquiring quality stud services or attending a course to learn more about them - contact our friends Doug and Sam at Teesdale Alpacas  - they share the same principles as ourselves (long term commitment, exceptional service and knowledgeable back up assistance to any animals sold). Teesdale Alpacas also stock Alpaca tweeds, a wide range of hats and garments and also luxury bedding.