Relaxation Workshop: Amazing Alpaca Sits on Tideline, Enjoys Ocean Breeze

Sputnik News
By: Sputnik News

Original content from Sputnik News.  

Sometimes our life becomes really swift and stressful, and the only prescription is to stop the race, stop thinking about the countless problems – and watch at an alpaca. Because, why not?

This is Alfie, a pet alpaca from Adelaide, South Australia, and Alfie really knows how to relax properly. Look how calm he is, lying in the water, watching the tide rising and falling… This little animal is quite the philosopher, always ready to sit down and chill out.

Read the rest of this story at Sputnik News.

Sixth national title for NC alpaca

Rural Life   
By: Rural Life
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture 

Original content from Rural Life.

Age proved to be no barrier for a North Canterbury-bred alpaca in claiming a sixth national title.

Chris and Liz Strack, of Ohoka near Rangiora, might have retired champion white Huacaya male Stoneleigh Valentino to stud, but that did not stop him winning supreme champion huacaya fleece at the National Alpaca Expo in Christchurch earlier this month.

Mrs Strack said the fleece was from Valentino's last shearing last year when he was nearly 7 years old. Valentino will turn 8 on February 14.

Stoneleigh Drama Queen, sired by Valentino, won champion adult female Huacaya and champion white Huacaya and has been sold to a breeder in Britain.

At the other end of the age scale, the supreme champion Huacaya alpaca ribbon went to Banks Peninsula couple Frank and Anya Walkington for their junior male Shamarra Diesel, while the top Suri alpaca and fleece ribbons were won by North Island alpacas.

Kaiapoi couple Kit and Sheryl Johnson of Silverstream Stud, won nine champion ribbons across the animal and fleece sections for the Huacaya alpacas, while in the Suri section West Melton couple Sheryl and Lindsay Riddle of Sherlin Stud won 10 champion ribbons and Temuka couple Anne and Neil Godfrey of Fairhaven Alpacas took home five.

Read the rest of this story at Rural Life.

Ed Sheeran and Pancake the alpacas bring joy to patients in Queensland hospital

ABC News 
By: Rachel Riga
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from ABC News

Alpacas are being used as therapy pets in a hospital in south-east Queensland to help bring the joy of animal companionship to patients.

Ed Sheeran and Pancake visit Beaudesert Hospital, south of Brisbane, once a month and work their way through the hospital wards visiting patients at their bedside.

Nursing and midwifery director Jacquie Smith said the hospital's pet program ended earlier this year, so staff were on the lookout for friendly animals they could recruit for the job.

"We were searching for something different and a little bit country because we're in Beaudesert and then we were put onto the alpaca farm," Ms Smith said.

"We invited them down, got everything approved, and it's been a big success."

Ms Smith said the animals have had an instant impact on patients and staff, as well as long-term wellbeing benefits.

Read the rest of this story and view the photos at ABC News.

Hawkesbury stud Dunbar's Run Alpacas breeding elite Australian alpacas

Hawkesbury Gazette  
By: Sarah Falson
Photo: Courtesy of Alpaca Culture

Original content from Hawkesbury Gazette

DID you know that a baby alpaca is called a ‘cria’? Alpacas live up to 20 years, and the gestation period for a cria is approximately 11 months. Another fun fact: alpacas are shorn every 12 months, usually in the spring.

The Gazette learnt a lot about alpacas while visiting breeder Emma Timmony of alpaca stud, Dunbar’s Run – not least of all, that there is a market for alpaca meat in Australia.

But Dunbar’s isn’t part of that industry. Instead, they breed their alpacas for their fleece and genetics, and all 114 members of their herd have names!

“Every one has its own personality,” said Emma, adding that they also use a handy tagging system to keep track of who’s who; every animal has a number and these are all posted on a national database run by the Australian Alpaca Association.

Breeding elite

Emma’s (35) and Sean’s (40) goal is to breed elite alpacas in two types: Suri, which has longer dreadlock-type wool that hangs from the body; and Huacaya, the wool of which is more like that of a marino.

They attend regular shows, and their animals recently won a swag of awards at the Australian Alpaca Spectacular in Bendigo.

Read the rest of this story, view the photos and watch the video at Hawkesbury Gazette.