It's Over

Feb. 12, 2017

The long wait has finally come to an end. Our two mothers, Apollo and Astra, had been split from their Cria, Bronson and Blanchett, in order to wean them. Unlike cows or sheep, it takes female Alpacas SIX WEEKS to 'dry up'. It had been a difficult split in the beginning but soon the alpacas and the humans came to terms with it.

Anyway, Saturday 11th Februray saw them re-united after a full six and a half weeks apart. We had expected something different to what happened, but it was great to see all the same. It was as though they had known what was happening before it actually did. There was a glint in each of their eyes, a knowing look.

When they were re-united the mothers and babies sniffed and licked each other and then began to run around the paddock in a celebratory jog. Like a lap of honour. But wouldn't you know it, Bronson attempted to drink from his mother; but she wasn't having any of it. She continually moved away from. She knew she had nothing for him. So, not wanting to leave it there, not wanting to give in that easily, he tried Astra. But she let him know in no uncertain terms that he was not wanted around her if that was all he wanted. She kicked out at him, not striking but warning him to stay away. It looked hilarious though. Imagine a normally refined animal who walks paddocks as though she is the Queen of the land flicking out her back leg like a bad ballet dancer.

Within fifteen minutes of being back together it was as though they had never been apart. The photo attached is of them not long after the reunion. Then last night, the babies sat beside their mothers after spending six and a half weeks like lost sheep, in each others company - never apart.

Well, the reunification of our alpacas was less of a drama than we would have expected. Maybe the large drama associated with such occurrences is only a human trait. Alpacas are much more restrained, in every way.

The next big days ahead include shearing and birthing, but neither are until June. But I'm sure I'll have another blog for you all by then.

Don't forget, you can contact me if you want to visit us (our alpacas) or you wish to acquire some of our alpaca wool produce. We still have two hats left, one adult size and one child size. Both have been created by local artists with our own wool.

Until again



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End Product

Jan. 23, 2017

No matter what your business or past-time its good to see an end product. Whether its painting, reading a book or putting together a model airplane, you will get that feeling of accomplishment when you see or just enjoy whatever it is you have done. Well, alpaca farming has a number of those moments. For example seeing you Dam give birth to a healthy Cria. That is, as you might expect, a fabulous sensation. One of the others is seeing your fleece coming back to you as balls of soft and luxurios wool and seeing them become something wearable.

I have had a number of products created by some artistic individuals and some of these products have found happy owners. These products are extremely warm and for anyone who has a problem with the itch created by sheep's wool, this will not be a problem for the wearer of alpaca wool products.

On this website you will see that we have two hats remaining - an adult sized and a child sized hat. They are made with natural alpaca wool. Both were created by locally talented people - the adult hat is crocheted and the child's hat has been knitted.

Should you wish to purchase either or both hats without wishing to pay on the site, you can contact me on the website, on Facebook or call me.

I have attached a photo of both hats.

Enjoy the hats if you decide to purchase one or both of the locally produced natural end products.


Alone But Together

Dec. 28, 2016

It's another first for us here at Hilltop Farm but this is not enjoyable. The 'babies' (Cria) have to be weaned off their mothers. For those of you who are unsure what weaning means - it is to accustom (the young of a mammal) to take nourishment other than by suckling. The only way to do this properly seems to be separating the young ones from their mothers so that they are unable to suckle from them. The hardest part of this is hearing them calling to each other. The mothers haven't been without their young in over six months and the babies have always been drinking their mother's milk.

Why don't they just leave them where they are? I hear you ask yourself. That's a question I would have been asking several months ago before I knew the reason behind it. Both mothers are pregnant and due to give birth in June 2017 and they will require a six month period where they can focus on nourishing the baby growing inside them.

We have seven paddocks fenced on a three and a half acre field behind our house, so keeping them apart physically is not a problem. Or so I thought. We separated the adults from their Cria around midday yesterday 27th December and already Bronson (our male Cria) has jumped a three foot fence in the hope of making it up to be with his mother. He would have had another two fences to get over if we hadn't spotted him.

The good news however is that the Cria are running to us each time we go into their paddock. I'm not sure if its just for company or because they think we are going to re-unite them with their mothers. We are having great fun though playing with them. And they also seem to take some enjoyment from it.

I will keep you updated on how it goes.

Regarding the previous Blog, I have sold a hat and four balls of wool and another person is interested in acquiring a number of balls of wool. Someone I know is crocheting an 'Evening Shawl' and another is crocheting a hat for me. When these items are ready I will post photos here on the Blog.

Until then.


I just can't believe it!

Dec. 5, 2016

Just this day last week (28th November) we were in receipt of our first ever deliery of processed alpaca fleece in the form of balls of wool. And just a mere week later we have our first ever produce from Hilltop Farm Alpacas, alpaca wool.

I hadn't realised the amount of heat that could be both created and maintained by such a relatively small piece and feeling it is almost incomprehensible. The wool is so soft and warm and if you were to hold the hat in your hand and close your eyes, you could imagine that you are holding a piece of magic in your hand, such is the sensation of the wool.

And to add to its magical capabilities, a person I know who is allergic to wool felt the hat on their arm and was completely at ease doing so.

It is easy to see why alpaca wool has been called the 'Fleece of the Gods'. 

The hat attached has already found a new home and I am hoping to have a few more items of clothing created from this gorgeous wool in the coming weeks and I will post up the results here. These new items will be available on our on-line shop if you would like to acquire any of them in the weeks ahead. If you prefer you can just contact me personally if you wish to avail of any of the products that appear up here.

Until later


And so it happened

Nov. 28, 2016

I was like a little child at Christmas today when I got home from work to see the balls of wool. Yes, my alpaca fleece has now been processed and has, as if by magic, been turned into wool that can be used to knit or crochet something with. What was so surprising was how soft it is even though I knew it would be but I hadn't expected it to feel so smooth and silky. If you do get a chance to feel alpaca wool you will understand why it is called the 'Fleece of the Gods'.

And now the next job is to find someone to knit something and as it trurns out there are some people out there already interested in creating hats and scarves with it. I have attached a photo of two of the wool balls. In total 33 were recieved with each ball over 100 meters long, fro. There were more white than black (18 white & 13 black - from two animals) but the mill sent me back the black fleece that hadn't been used and I am planning to create a couple of cushions with it.

If anyone who reads this blog has an interest in knitting or crocheting my wool, please contact me. Next year I will have twice as much fleece and therefore in theory twice as much wool. 

Until next time,