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.