Farming alpacas

Alpacas are   now  an   established  and   beloved part   of  the   Australian    natural fibres,   breeding    and    farming    industries.  As the   second largest  alpaca  industry  in  the  world,  following the  Peruvian  alpaca  industry,  Australia  is  at  the forefront of breeding,   fibre  quality  and   development.   We  have  reached  record  prices  and quality,    and    are    moving    from    strength   to strength,  focused  on increasing  production  volumes and improving consistency. The Australian Alpaca   Association   plays    a   vital    role in the current strength and continued  development of the  industry by providing  education, communication, resources and marketing for the industry as a whole.

The international  export  demand  for  Australian quality  alpaca  fleece  far outstrips  demand,   so the   industry   has   great   potential  for  further growth. In support, the AAA encourages sustainable   husbandry   focusing    on   animal    health, breeding programs and herd development.

Building  on the  strength  of the  Australian  wool industry,   the   AAA  has  teamed   up   with   the AWEX   (Australian   Wool    Exchange)  to   establish    quality    assurance    guidelines  for   alpaca fleece  that  are  equivalent  to the  standards  of the  wool   industry. This means consistent classing, packaging and branding of Australian alpaca fleece.  This  move  will  enhance  the  commercial image  and  guarantee  a  consistently  high-level product through an  organised collection system for fleece production.

The Alpaca Lifestyle

Those     interested   in   commercial   breeding   and farming  of  alpacas,  are  entering  a  strong  industry that  provides  support,  guidelines  and    a    great reputation.  You  may choose to  focus  on  alpacas, or   diversify   your current  livestock  herds  by introducing alpacas.   These   animals    mix   well   with other ruminants,  and function  well  as herd guards for  smaller  livestock. They  are sustainable and environmentally friendly,  with soft footpads that create  minimal soil  damage,  and  their natural  fibre further  supports  the  green  natural  fibre industry. Alpacas are a great green fit for Australia’s farming climate,  as  they  perform  far  better  in  dry  conditions  than  most  livestock.  As  ruminants,  they  require  only  small  amounts  of supplementary  feeding.

The alpaca  lifestyle  extends  in  many directions, as alpacas are also ideal for small scale and home production,  where owners of small herds value-add to their  fleece   by  producing  fibre   products  themselves, such as felts and yarns.  However, the softness, lightness and warmth of alpaca fleece makes highly-desirable garments and can command great prices through commercial farming.

The alpaca  meat  industry  is  another  pathway    to commercial  alpaca  farming, and is growing  in popularity as alpaca  meat  is extremely lean,  highly  nutritious and flavoursome.  It  is  an  excellent  source of  protein  with  little  saturated  fat  or  cholesterol, and  is  environmentally  sustainable  to  produce.  Alpacas also offer a high yield with very little wastage.

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Alpaca FAQ

Have a question about alpacas you need answered? Head on over to our handy FAQ guide and find the answers you need.

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Alpaca care

Information on how to look after your alpacas

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Buying your first alpacas?

Are you just getting into the alpaca industry and not sure where to start? – check out our guide on buying your first alpacas

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The IAR Database

The Australian Alpaca Association runs an alpaca pedigree register – the International Alpaca Register (IAR). The IAR is recorded on eAlpaca – a bespoke online system designed and built specifically for the AAA.

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Vets with alpaca experience

We have a directory of veterinarians with experience treating a variety of alpaca related health issues around Australia.

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Alpaca meat

Alpaca meat is highly nutritious, lean and flavoursome. It is an excellent source of protein with little saturated fat or cholesterol and is environmentally sustainable to produce. As most parts of the alpaca can be used for meat, alpacas offer a high yield with little wastage. 

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Herd guards

Alpacas are rapidly becoming accepted as essential complements to all sheep and goat breeding enterprises where predators cause lambing and kidding losses.

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Alpaca Exports

Australian alpacas are highly valued in international markets

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