When people visit us in store, we often get asked why alpaca? While the qualities of alpaca wool speak for themselves and are the reason why a lot of fashion labels use alpaca yarn in their garments, it’s not why we started Alpaca Passion.
Liz and Keith first fell in love with alpacas before they fell in love with alpaca wool and the products it’s made from. At the time they were living on their chestnut orchard in the Buckland Valley in northeast Victoria. Tired of mowing over 40 acres of grass, Keith started looking into livestock they could graze under the chestnut trees instead.
As vegetarians, they were reluctant to purchase animals that were produced for their meat, and wanted a herd that would not damage the chestnut trees or the ground they walked on. Alpacas easily fit these requirements and the fact they are incredibly cute was a huge bonus!
They purchased three female alpacas, one already pregnant with a cria (that’s what a baby alpaca is called FYI). It was perfect timing because Liz and Keith’s two children had just moved out of home at the same time, and they were definitely feeling empty-nest syndrome.
As they got to know the alpacas more and more and welcomed their first cria into the world, their interest in the alpaca breeding industry quickly overtook anything else they were doing and their stud herd Buckland Alpacas was born.
To make it as a successful alpaca breeder, where other studs are sourcing your animals for their genetics, you need to attend alpaca shows where your animals are judged on their physical composition and their fleeces. It’s taken 20 years of considered breeding and consistent showing, but Buckland Alpacas is now one of the most highly regarded herds in Australia.
At this year’s National Alpaca Show in Bendigo Victoria, Liz and Keith won Champion Junior Female, Best White Female, Reserve Champion Junior Male, Reserve Champion Intermediate Female, and Champion Adult Male. Another fantastic result for Buckland Alpacas!