The core herd of Inca Alpaca comprises of some 140 black and grey huacaya females carefully selected for their breeding potential. Half of this herd descends from our family stud farm in Australia called Van Diemen Alpacas. Although we started farming alpacas in Australia in 1994 we didn’t import our first group of females to England until 2004. Now our family in Australia only has a small herd of grey huacayas and they focus on elite stud stock breeding and sales.
When we established Inca Alpaca we were given an ideal opportunity to create a herd based on the knowledge and experience we had gained from the ten years prior. We knew that females with a proven and uniform pedigree would be the key to improving the breed. We see the physical alpaca traits (phenotype) in two parts; conformation and fleece.
The main goal of breeding up alpacas is to increase fleece production so if we want to hang greater amounts of fleece on our alpacas we must have sound conformation.We believe that conformation is just as important in our breeding programme as fibre quality. Through careful selection we are able to breed alpacas that are highly productive in the following areas:
– Females that grow to 45kg in 12 months, ready for mating.
– Dams that are highly fertile and are able to comfortably wean a cria in 5 months.
– Females that exhibit a good size frame to ease birthing and aid lactation.
– Medium birth weights and selecting against reoccurring birthing problems.
– Males that are fertile and ready to mate at 18 to 24 months.
– Cria that are strong, healthy and grow out well from birth with a good feed conversion ratio.
– Conformational soundness to allow the alpaca to be fit for function.
All of our alpacas are weighed and checked thoroughly on a weekly basis. Progeny testing, growth performance and resistance to disease and parasites are constantly measured and aid in the implementation of our husbandry and breeding programme.
The production of high quality fibre for fashion has been the focus since we began with alpacas over 20 years ago. Our aim was then and continues to be one of growing highly productive alpacas that carry a fine fleece with a heavy cutting weight. Since the implementation of the SRS® breeding system and the high selection criteria that we have set ourselves we have seen a significant reduction in micron matched with increased staple length and density. Click here to read more about our breeding programme.
As part of our ongoing performance assessment we have been recording fleece weights, staple length and fibre diameter of every alpaca at each shearing. An example of two positive trends that have emerged from the data in the last four years is where we have slightly reduced micron and increased fleece yield on alpacas sheared in their second year. Through constantly reviewing the performance data we collect at shearing we are able to gauge a sires positive or negative influence over a number of females within our herd.
We are proud of our alpacas and the results of our breeding programme. The way we are able to show off our breeding success is by attending shows. The British Alpaca Society (BAS) runs and supports many national, regional and agricultural shows throughout the UK whereby BAS members can exhibit their alpacas and compete for prestigious prizes. An alpaca that has won a prize does not guarantee quality as you don’t know it’s pedigree (genotype) but it does mean that it’s phenotype was the best within a group on that given day.
We love going to shows and supporting the British Alpaca industry. To see a detailed list and photos of our show winning stock please click here.
To see an updated list of our alpacas for sale please click here
To see a list of our sires that are available for stud service please click here