Buying your first alpacas
We recommend you research your alpaca journey prior to buying your first alpacas. AAA members are an excellent resource and many are willing to mentor new alpaca owners. A perfect resource is the “Managing Alpacas In Australia” publication which has been designed as a quick reference for new and prospective alpaca owners in Australia It describes the basic care and maintenance of alpacas including on farm requirements, general herd management, husbandry and breeding. This booklet is available in the AAA shop.
Please purchase your alpacass from a registered AAA breeder who will mentor you in husbandry requirements. Alpacas are not domestic pets! They are generally docile with a strong herd instinct and should not be kept as individuals in isolation. Cria that for any reason require bottle raising should always be kept in a herd environment and not treated as domestic pets as this can lead to serious behavioural problems in adulthood.
All alpacas in Australia should be shorn once per year, preferably in late spring when the coldest weather has passed.
Before purchase check the alpaca’s left ear (male), right ear (female), for the IAR brass tag. If the animal has an IAR tag in place, please check that it has been appropriately registered in eAlpaca and all the details are correct. If the animal does not have a tag in place, you will need to question the seller as to why. Please note that it is the owner of the animal at the time of birth must register the animal.
Before a full member can register any cria born to the females they have purchased, herd registration must take place. Registration tags can be purchased on eAlpaca and tag applicators can be purchased from the AAA shop. Only members of the AAA can register animals.
As a registered AAA member you can access the details of any registered animal. You can do this by logging into eAlpaca and tying in the name or the IAR tag number in the “search for an animal bar” on the top of the screen. This will bring up the animal’s profile which provides details of the animal including, breeders, owners, status (breeding dam/certified sire/wether), ownership history, pedigree and progeny.If buying a pregnant female, as part of the transfer process on eAlpaca, the seller of the pregnant female will provide mating details and the sire authority to ensure that when you are ready to register the cria.
If the animal you are buying is a pregnant female, proof of pregnancy in the form of an ultrasound may be requested.
You may wish to have any animal that you are buying health checked by a vet. This is your prerogative and you may have to bear the cost of this.
All transfers should take place within 30 days of sale and the vendor and purchaser should come to an agreement as to which of them will assume the responsibility to see that this takes place and that the correct fees are paid. There is an early bird rate which provides savings if payment is made within 30 days of the purchase date. You will receive an email from eAlpaca saying you have had animals transferred into your herd.
Membership, eAlpaca and Australian Alpaca Association (AAA)
On becoming a member, you receive one free herd code and prefix. The herd code is a 2-4 alphanumeric characters used to identify your herd. This code must be unique, and the system will not allow you to pick a code that is already in use.
The herd prefix is a maximum of 16 letters (including spaces) which is used as a prefix, and as part of the name of any animals your register. The prefix must also be unique, and you cannot use a single word that is already used in another prefix, for example you could not use Rose in there is a prefix Rosegarden. The prefix goes to the AAA office for approval and you will be informed if it is accepted or not and they can provide you with assistance to find a prefix that is available that suits your needs.
Your membership provides you with access to eAlpaca and the members area of the Australian Alpaca Association website.
eAlpaca is the pedigree database which contains all the information on registered alpacas and breeders and can be accessed at www.ealpaca.com.au
Once you have completed and paid for your registration you will receive an email with your username. In eAlpaca you can find all of your details, as well as search for details of other breeders and animals. There is a search animals button and a members button on the home screen. IAR tags are ear tags for the IAR which is administered by the AAA. The IAR number remains with that animal for its lifetime, they do not change. IAR tags are ordered though eAlpaca and ae registered to your herd code and prefix so only you can use them. To order IAR tags go to manage herd, then order IAR tags.
Each animal’s profile provides details of the animal including, breeders, owners, status (breeding dam/certified sire/wether), ownership history, pedigree and progeny.