We struggle this year in the Boland with drought, fires and water restrictions. The Berg River is our source of water for irrigation and borehole for other needs. The Berg River Irrigation Board allows pumping four days a week and the dam sluices are opened for only three days a week. Alpaca have not suffered and herd condition, measured by body score and monthly weighing, remains stable. We have increased our supplementary feed.
We are building up our stock again after the successful auction in September last year. Some young females were not confirmed pregnant and were not sold. These and others are now available having been scanned positive. We have used Lorna Ramsden’s herdsires over the last two years to introduce new bloodlines into the herd.
This season’s shearing went well. Manager At serviced herds across the Western Cape and again in Namibia. Our best micron was 14.4 and average 21.8. The Wellington Alpaca mill has increased their fibre processing facilities with new machinery installed improving their service to members. The Desert Mill in Swakopmund is offering an alternative service with attractive pricing and transport costs. The latest initiative by the Alpaca Society is for BKB to accept alpaca fibre for auction. This indeed is an advancement in the industry. African Alpacas is participating and sent over 375 kgs to BKB.
We celebrate our annual National Alpaca Day on Sunday April 30th. This is an event well publicised by the Society when members across the country open their farm gates to the public. Some might offer just a chance for locals to see and interact with alpacas, while others offer formal tours, lectures a farm shop selling alpaca merchandise and more. Our gates will be open from 0900 to 1230 and look forward to receiving everyone.
African Alpacas recently sold the first foundation alpacas to neighbouring Botswana. The six alpacas had to be transported in a veterinary sealed vehicle from Wellington to Gaborone to comply with import protocols. The delivery on 16th December encountered taxi traffic jams in Beaufort West, threatened delays by the Zuma Day of Conciliation rally in Zeerust – fortunately the marquee collapsed and the rally was cancelled – and general beginning of holiday season traffic .... and normal border formalities. After a 21 hour ordeal the alpacas alighted in good health to dive into their feed and drink bowls. A further sale of five breeding alpacas to KZN is due for delivery in March.
Gavin, At and the team at
African Alpacas, Inca Vale Farm
021 8730321 / 082 3402650 / Fx 086 6630321