It’s Alpaca Week and farmers across Australia will be opening their gates to the public to give prospective buyers information on this growing industry.
Julie Lawrie of Bonnie Vale Alpacas will be available by appointment this week. You may have seen her at the Wellington Show.
While the industry is not as unheard of as it was 20 years ago, these creatures are still generating interest and growing in popularity - in the meat market.
“It makes sense that if you have livestock you are going to be looking at hide and meat as well, otherwise you have to be getting under 20 micron with the wool,” Mrs Lawrie said.
“Our bread and butter though really is the wethers,” Mrs Lawrie said.
“They save farmers hundreds of dollars protecting their sheep.”
While shearing is still more expensive for alpaccas than sheep at $15 per head, Mrs Lawrie says that alpacas have their advantages and that is why people in the industry are catching on.
“You can have them on small acreage which is how we started out with them.”
“They are also very appealing animals - people just love them.”